Okay here’s the deal. Everything we have heard since high school revolves around “should’s” and “must’s.” “You should take this AP class.” “You need to do this.” “You must do this to graduate.” But you know what? The only “should” you need to follow is that, you should pick the job you like and will enjoy, not the one that looks the “best.”Example: Recently, I was working with a student pursuing a degree in Pre-Business, Accounting along with a minor in Nutrition Science. That struck me as different. So I asked her why she was interested in Nutrition Science. She told me about how she was injured in high school and how much she enjoyed learning about the body and physical fitness as she recovered. I then asked why she was pre-business? And the answer read loud and clear: parental expectations. Here’s the thing: you have to choose a position that you will get the most intrinsic value from, not the position that will put you above the next candidate.
It’s important to be mindful that a defined plan is good in theory, but take the opportunity to accept changes or new opportunities that arise. Sometimes, students can have a strict perspective on what they “should” do to be the best candidate, but here’s the truth: if you go into a field you enjoy, greater opportunities will come naturally. Thinking about each position as a step on a ladder is going about it the wrong way. Choosing a position or opportunity because it’s “better” or “looks good” doesn’t offer the best opportunity to develop and grow professionally. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you get a job you will enjoy:
- Sometimes an internship can be revealing. You may find out you don’t like that field, but you can still get valuable learning experience from it; like what type of working environment you prefer or maybe what type of supervisory style you enjoy the most.
- An interview for a position is a two-way street. You are interviewing them to see if it’s a good fit too. If the people who interview you have a bad outlook on their role, or maybe they don’t seem like the coworkers you’re looking for, then it might be best to look for other opportunities.
- Take some time to be introspective and think about what you enjoy doing most. Or take the time to do a self-assessment, like the TypeFocus or the Strong Interest Inventory here at the UGA Career Center. Becoming more self-aware gives you the tools to make sure you are applying to the right positions and taking on the right challenges.
In the end, if you choose a job that looks good, you’ll probably get some cool opportunities. But selecting a job that you will enjoy, provides intrinsic value and will be much more fulfilling. If you pick a job that you should have, but you don’t like it, you’ll regret it even more and won’t perform your best. By picking the job you want to have, you have a solid investment in a career, not just a job. So do you want a career? Or just another job? Exactly.
It’s been real. It’s been fun. It’s been real fun.
- Why You Should Go To That Interview (Even if You Don’t Want To) (thedailymuse.com)
- Exercise: Start a “Job Journal” to discover what you should do! (aplusresumes.wordpress.com)