As an 18-year-old graduating from high school, there is an expectation that you are supposed to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Embarking upon your collegiate education or jumping into a career are two paths most commonly taken during this pivotal milestone. But what if you have no idea what you want to do?
As a young adult with little real world experience, it may be difficult to hypothesize your dream job. As the saying goes, “You don’t know if you’ll like something unless you try it.” Therefore, sometimes finding your chosen career takes a little experimentation. Perhaps you are already at this phase as young professional immersed in the workforce. However, you may be finding that what you thought would make you happy doesn’t seem to be bringing you fulfillment. So what next?
The answer lies in deciding what defines your element and then bringing that conceptualization to fruition. Ken Robinson, author of the best-selling book, The Element, defines this term as the point at which talent and passion meet. So start by asking yourself, what are my talents? Talent is defined as a special ability or something that you do well. The answer to this question should focus on areas in which you excel. This could be something simple such as being known for your organizational skills or it could be something more complex. Next ask yourself, what am I passionate about? Passion is defined as a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement. So the answer to this question should focus on activities that evoke this kind of emotion.
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After you have done some brainstorming the answers to these two questions will hold the directions to the career that you have been searching for. However, these directions may not be as cut and dry as those provided by Google Maps. Perhaps you are thinking that your talents and passions are completely unrelated. If this is the case, then it’s time to get reflective and creative! As Robinson mentions, true human capacity can be reached when self-exploration occurs and leads to a better sense of self-understanding. This enhanced awareness of your skill set and sources of inspiration or motivation will allow you to better conceptualize your career goals.
During a TED Talk, Roselinde Torres, a global leadership advisor, commented that current educational and professional leadership development programs aren’t adequately prepared for present and future change. Taking the concept of the element one step further, with our world moving at an increasingly fast pace, leaders from various fields including business, healthcare, or communications, can use the unique components that comprise their element in order to anticipate and facilitate innovation.
So whether you are a career girl trying to establish your career, excel within your profession or start on an entirely new course, finding your element will help you channel hidden assets, use them to find professional fulfillment and find opportunities to be a pioneer for positive change.