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career scc

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / freedigitalphotos.net

By Diana Ritchie, Spouse Career Center and Swiss Career Connections

It reminds me of the saying, what do you want to do when you grow up?  We all know that when we grow up we will work, but do we all know that we get to choose what we do when we grow up?  As a student I didn’t.  I studied Economics at university because my father was a successful business man and wanted his children to study commerce.Well I did not get into the faculty of commerce at McGill University and since I liked and did well in Economics in my final year of High School in Toronto, I took the next best thing, a BA in Economics.  My real first job out of University was selling Life Insurance and I was very good at it and I enjoyed it because I was good at sales.  Was this my dream job? No, but it had aspects of what I enjoy, a flexible job, meeting new people, helping people and being creative.  

Statistics show different figures but in summary about 80% of people in the Western world do not like their jobs.   Jobs as we know them today are a legacy from the industrial revolution and the terms they used have stayed with us to the present; terms such as compensation (meaning payment for your time at work), labour (referring to staff) and Human resources (similar to natural resources).  Work historically was not meant to be enjoyable and even today we work so we have money to do what we enjoy.  What if our job was what we enjoyed?  I sometimes hear people say, “Why should I be paid for doing something I enjoy?” I would like to believe that we are coming around to the idea that work does not need to be hard and unpleasant, that getting paid to do something we like and enjoy is the norm and that employers (and many are starting to realize this) are responsible to their employees to ensure that they are happy and enjoying their job.  Evidence of this is the ratings on the best employer published by Forbes, CNN, Guardian, etc.

Another quote which I like is “Make your hobby your job and you will never have to work a day in your life”.  This is about knowing yourself, knowing your values, your passion, what you are willing to do for free (but are actually getting paid for).  Did any of you do an aptitude test in secondary school?  I did.  I do not remember much, but do remember, "Diana should avoid jobs that require her to be in an office all day, every day, she needs flexibility".  The jobs that worked out for me were jobs that were flexible, where I went out to meet clients.  It's important to recognize your natural abilities, which from the age of 16 are part of your for life.  They never change.  Natural abilities are abilities that come easily to us and therefore we enjoy.  We can all learn skills (this must be true or math teachers would be without a job), but we do not all excel or enjoy it all, thus why we find some subjects harder or easier.  SCC works with clients from students to seasoned professionals with an online assessment called Highlands that tests natural abilities as a means of supporting their search for the dream job.  

Last year I facilitated a workshop at a career fair entitled: Introduction to Dream tools! Proven techniques to achieve your dreams for work and life. The participants experienced a meditation that took them to a time in the future where they would find themselves in their dream job, where they used their internal 5 senses to ampifly the experience, which they then brought back to their present.  This allowed them to be clear of their destination, to know they will get there and, by embodying the experience, they will arrive there quicker.

Assuming you believe that obtaining you dream job is something you would like to aspire to, then here are some tips:

1. Figure out what you are really good at and what you want. Some ways of doing this: through assessment test, meditative visualisation, a list of your strengths/weaknesses (there is a great book called Strength Finder which allows you to do an online test, by Tom Rath).  Do not forget to find your values and passion as well.

2. Armed with this knowledge, research your ideal job, ideal employer – make a list of your potential employers.

3. Get out there and publicly announce what you stand for, what you believe in and what you can offer and start connecting with like-minded people.

4. Stay focused, keep your eyes and mind open and see the abundance of opportunities all around you. Then pick as many opportunities as you want.

Author’s bio:

As owner and founder of SCC Sarl, Diana Ritchie has been operating successfully in the region for over 10 years, providing career-related counseling, networking and coaching to partners and spouses of international employees relocating to Switzerland.

Swiss Career Connections (for private clients)

Spouse Career Centre (for corporate clients)