| October 2021 |


Shaping Career - Empowered Decision

Have no idea how to find a career direction or alternative options?

WRITTEN BY: Michelle White

The excitement of getting a first job is understandable. We feel relief that we now have that decision out of the way…and no longer must answer that dreaded “So, do you have a job, yet?” question.

Fast forward 3, 4, 5 months and you finally pluck up the courage to tell someone close to you “I don’t hate my job, but don’t love it either and I cannot see myself doing this for the next 40 years”.

Let’s start with the very good news! The job you are in now is highly unlikely going to be even close to what you eventually end up doing. (Few people have that straight line, ladder like career path nowadays). A comprehensive paper is authored by Mark McCrindle and Ashley Fell, two Australian social researchers who are leading authorities on Australia’s changing generations (generationz.com.au). An excerpt reads: “Not only are Gen Z mobile in terms of using technology constantly and when they are on-the-go, they are also moving homes, jobs, and careers faster than ever before. Today’s school leaver is expected to have 18 jobs across 6 careers.”

About that first job…The first few months in any job is tough as you feel a little lost, not sure what you are doing and not really feeling as if you are making an impact. As you progress these feeling might continue, or you settle in and work out how everything around you operates. As you continue, you might start really kicking some goals and now get the hang of the job where you feel more confident and competent. A 12-month time frame is probably not a bad goal before you act as this allows you to sink your teeth in and spend enough time on tasks to master them…. Unless you work out early in the game that this is not a role you want to be in.

More good news, it is possible to change and find what you are really interested in.

The bad news. No matter how good people’s intentions are no one can tell you what to do or give you that quick solution you probably want to hear. We all have friends and family around us who have our best interests at heart – but they do not have to live with the consequence of their advice.

“Others do not have to live the consequence of their advice”


Ok, so back to the good news. Understand your career will likely take interesting turns and twists and each step builds towards the next until you hit that sweet spot – which is different for everyone – you will work it out as you go. You will find your way.

Let’s explore those interests. When your brain is stressed, it is hard to think of alternatives, what you like, what you don’t like and that big “what is your passion” conundrum.

Firstly, passion comes from doing something, enjoying it and being good at it so you want to become even better and master it. Park that thought and look at basic interests – a broad base such as health, business, sales, animals, technology, science, the planet, military, government etc.

Now undertake a comprehensive research program. This investigation should be a detailed process of discovery enough for you to understand the full picture of the different options in this space.

Once you have that big picture information – look at the aspects that look exciting to you. Talk to a broad group of people in those roles and get the real story.

This process of information gathering is powerful and will probably give you some confidence to decide on your next step. The more you know, the more factual your information, the better you will feel about committing. Investing in this exploratory process before committing in time and money is well worth the effort.

… and for extra inspiration read about the careers of Stephen King, Oprah, Vincent van Gogh, J.K Rowling, Harrison Ford, Vera Wang and Samuel L. Jackson, to name a few.