We all need a career beacon to guide us in our career choices and decisions. The question is what is your beacon or do you even have one? A beacon provides guiding principles to make career choices. These guiding principles can be based on external and internal factors or a combination of both. If you don’t have a beacon, then you are leaving your career choices to luck and external forces. But if you have a beacon for career guidance, is it based on your internal factors such as your true values, talents, and desires or is it based on your obligations and what others want and have planted in your mind? Most of us go through career cycles without giving much attention to our true desires and talents while trying to fulfill our life and family obligations.
Let’s talk about the external factors and go back to when we were kids attending high school or college. We are told to follow certain careers because they pay more or have more prestige in the society. Then, we enter the job market; we are again in situations where we need to make career decisions based on our false external guiding principles which happen to be based on money, competition, and prestige. Then, there are those situations when we have to consciously put aside the thought of talent and desire discovery because we have to earn money to pay for rent and buy food. How can we expect a kid who steals food to survive or is forced to forget education and wash dishes in restaurants or drive a cab to think about what he truly wants or the talents he possesses let alone to select a career where he can fairly compete because his career selection was based on a true career beacon?
On the other hand, a career can be selected based on true desires, values and talents. Again, most people select a career based on the wrong career beacon. They select a career because that’s what their mother or father wanted, or because it pays well, and by selecting a career based on these false principles, they go through life wasting their numbered days, unhappy and most importantly without the opportunity of ever reaching their full potential. I personally have made a few career decisions based on the wrong guiding principles and consequently felt that something was missing or knew that I could never be the best in certain areas. But when you combine your natural talents and values for the pursuit of your deep desires, something magical happens; work becomes fun and easy, you become the leader in your field, you become fulfilled, you may cry from joy once in a while, and lastly, you won’t have any thing to regret in your older years. You may wonder, how do I know what my desires and talents are? The answer lies in your feelings and what brings you the most joy, or comes easy to you. You may have to consider your past and current activities which bring you a sense of being and happiness. Some people may have known these answers but were forced to forget them over time and make a living instead and others may still be looking for the answers after many years, but one should never give up searching for their ultimate life purpose. Whatever the situation, these questions can be answered when paying attention to feelings whether good or bad because even bad feelings could signal that something’s wrong with what you’re doing now and help you find what you really enjoy doing.
Life may not be fair from the moment we are born because we have no control over where we were born or how rich our father was, but once we understand that life and career happiness can only emerge when we combine our desires with our God given talents, and persistently attempt to achieve our goals, then we start making career decisions based on our internal and true career beacon for the pursuit of happiness.