By Courtney Wright
I love people. Spending time with people, meeting new people, hosting people, sharing knowledge, learning new things, providing great customer service, collaborating with colleagues, networking, presenting to an audience, leading teams…..you name it, if there are people involved you’ll usually find me there.
Looking at my career path, it’s difficult to identify a clear direction when it includes 6 industries, 5 countries and 4 continents so far, (plus a fair bit of travel for both work and pleasure thrown in for good measure). On reflection, I’ve found that a major underlying pattern throughout my career is people. What do helping customers find the perfect pair of jeans, managing book distribution for self-published authors, human resources, international recruitment, facilitating workshops, business development and career coaching all have in common? You guessed it – people.
But enough about me… what’s YOUR passion?
As Dahl so eloquently suggests in the above quote, embrace your passion with both arms and bear it in mind as you embark on your career journey. Find new ways to engage with others who have similar areas of interest: join LinkedIn groups with others in your profession or industry, volunteer with a charity, follow thought leaders who inspire you on social media, attend networking events, participate in clubs, team sports, or student societies if you’re currently at university, find a mentor, pursue further education, write about your areas of expertise so others can learn and benefit from your experience – there are an infinite number of ways to share your passion!
Identifying your passion(s) can also help you manage uncertainty throughout your career. I worked in retail throughout my undergraduate degree, and as a 19 year old in Canada I never imagined I’d one day be living in Australia and working as a Career Coach. In addition to being a people person, I’m passionate about international travel and experiencing new cultures, and these have certainly also influenced my seemingly random career path. In fact, Pryor & Bright’s Chaos Theory of Careers describes how to navigate the complexity of modern career paths: release control and embrace uncertainty in order to enhance our careers.
So choose your field of study, obtain your degree or other qualifications, and decide on the direction your career will take – but stay open to new and creative possibilities which you might not have considered! As we increasingly hear about ‘The Future of Work’ – how the skills needed to stay competitive in the workplace will change and the workforce will evolve as technology continues to advance – the concepts behind the Chaos Theory of Careers becomes increasingly important for all of us. That’s why you can’t lose sight of your passions, and remember to share them with others too, because in the words of another wise writer, Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places you’ll go!
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.