Gary was always good at fixing things. He could take a car engine apart and put it back together. If your washing machine had broken he could fix it.
In high school Gary was always in the auto shop classroom and never in the library. He was that guy.
However, when the time came he thought he needed to go to college in order to get a good job.
He went through college hating every minute of it, wishing he could spend more time refurbishing the 1969 Chevy pickup waiting in the garage at home.
After graduating from college with a low GPA and a headache, Gary went looking for a job.
With no real direction, Gary took the first job he could get because he knew somebody who worked there and they got him the job.
Gary was pretty miserable most days. Working in a cubicle, sitting in front of a computer screen, and doing work that he was not designed to do well.
The trouble was Gary couldn’t see a way out. He thought he was on a career path for life and there were no exit doors.
Unfortunately, this is an all too common way to choose the type of work we do.
For those who don’t like what they do I’ve noticed three typical factors in how they chose their work.
The problem is we often choose a career based on short term needs and overlook our ability to be intentional about our careers. Trust me, I know supporting ourselves and/or a family are absolutely important needs – short term or not.
However, when it’s time to make decisions about the type of work we want, we have the pressure of short term needs combined with the lack of personal insight needed to be intentional about our career.
Like Gary, we can feel stuck in a job or career path with no hope of something better. So what do we do?
If you’re in this situation I encourage you to look at your current work as a stepping stone to something greater.
The work you hate now could be planting a seed that will blossom into enjoyable work in the future.
Take this time to look inward at who you are and pay attention to what you’ve learned about yourself with your current work situation.
You may have only discovered what you don’t like, but that is part of the process of finding your passion and ultimately finding work you love.
Gary’s now working toward moving into a career he will love. He’s grown a lot and he is more sure of what he wants to do every day. And yes you guessed it, he’ll be working with cars.
Write down ten things you’ve learned about yourself as a result of doing the work you’re doing now? Then go through your career history and do this for each job you’ve held.