Career Path formula

Oct 19, 2017

My formula finding a job I would love!

Author: Michael Habenicht

A question I asked myself many years ago... what career path should I choose. I had no idea where to begin, what direction to go in, but I knew what I enjoyed in life and what I was naturally good at.

One day an idea hit me, so I snatched a sheet of paper and created four columns. The first column I labeled "What I Dig", the second column I labeled "What I'm Good At", the third column I labeled "Natural Talents" and the final column I labeled "Careers".

Once I had my four columns drawn and labeled, I begin filling in the lines (answers) for the first three columns with as many answers as I could think of that were related to the column's label and myself. With my first three columns filled in with answers, I began drawing lines from each column's answer to the next column's answer, and so forth - based on each column's answer and their relationships. Many answers from one column to the next connected harmoniously with other column answers and some answers had less connections across the three columns.

Once I exhausted all possible column answer connections, I looked at the results and picked the top 3 column "answer to answer" connections (those with the most lines draw from one column answer to the next). This left me with a total of 9 keywords related to "What I Dig, What I'm Good At and Natural Talents".

The key to this was to:

Define what I dig, what I'm good at and what I have natural talents for - with the idea that it would not only help me find a career I love, but also give me a competitive edge over others in my career of choice - using natural talents.

With my 9 keywords established, I began researching careers related to the keywords that defined myself as outline in the three columns. After lots of research, asking questions of those in the industries related to the 9 keywords and additional research on "the largest industries" related to my keywords, I finally enter descriptions of jobs in the fourth column - based on the 9 keyword search.

Next I created a new list of columns defined as before:

The first column labeled "What I Dig", the second column labeled "What I'm Good At", the third column labeled "Natural Talents" and the final column labeled "Careers".

I filled in my 3 chosen keywords for each column, and wrote down the job descriptions I had gathered from my research. The "Careers" column had close to 17 entries based on my research and input from individuals in the industries I had spoken to. I then created a fifth column with a dollar sign ($) for the column's label.

As before, I drew lines and made as many connections as I could between each keyword from column to column - across to the "Careers" column. I looked at which had the most connections as before and picked the top three careers that had the most line of connects from the other columns.

Back to research... with my three careers selected, I then began researching what I could expect to make financially in the three careers I had chosen. Once I finished my career financial research I entered an annual dollar amount in the ($) column.

The final step to this entire process of drilling down on my career choices was to determine how long I could expect to stay within the career of my choice, before I aged out or wore out. This was important because my top three career choices were, "An Oceanographer, US Forestry Service, and Graphic Design". (Side note: I guess you could say I really dig the outdoors and nature.)

Funny thing about all this is 3 months later I joined the NAVY, so I got my Ocean and Service life experience, and while onboard the USS Missouri BB (63) I was the ship's artist and received a few awards for my creative works. After serving in the Military and arriving back home I found my old career choice list and took a long hard look at it.

My life was ahead of me and I decided to go with "Graphic Design" as it was my first choice before joining the Military and it seemed to meet the most requirements of what I would find in a job I could love.

So here I am many years later and I can say with 100% certainty, this formula for picking a career worked great for me. I absolutely love my job and there's never a dull moment.

I'm a Graphic Designer, Website and Code Developer, and an Illustrator.

Tags: Thinking Aloud Art Renderings Graphic Design Illustrations Photography Web Designer

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