As a recent graduate there is one question I hate more than any other.
“Oh, you’ve just graduated? That’s great! Have you got a job?”
Faceplam. I shudder. These 5 words highlight everything that is wrong with how we think about work and how we design our careers.
While this question is meant with good intention, it is professional suicide.
The next time anyone asks if ‘you have got a job’, you should run as fast as humanly possible in the other direction, you can add screaming for extra affect if you wish.
Here are the 3 reasons why:
It inferrers our true calling in life already exists.
It doesn’t. And it never has. How can your career exist when until a very recent moment in time, you didn’t exist? By contributing your service, you contribute your light to the world. Your career matters. You deserve a career where you feel alive. It is not a matter of going to the supermarket and picking it off the shelf. That’s why it’s called a CAREer, you’ve got to care. How you think begins with a change in your language. With language like, ‘apply’ for jobs, ‘get’ jobs, ‘loose’ jobs and ‘change jobs’, of course we feel uninspired! Instead, choose to ‘create’ or ‘design’ your career. Know your calling is within you, not out there in the market. You must care enough about your CAREer however, to bring it to life.
It inferrers you should know your true calling
While society doesn’t care about your CAREer, it desperately wants you to choose one. This way, you can begin planning your mortgage repayments. Look no further than LinkedIn’s success for proof. It is the essence of our obsession with linearity. And linearity requires planning and planning requires you to know where you are going. Your true calling is often greater than you are right now in this moment. Naturally, this raises objections as, “I couldn’t be the one for that. I don’t have the right degree/experience/skills.” Your calling does two things; it brings your light into the world and it grows us into the person we need to be. It takes courage to go against the grain. The losses are high but the gains are more than we can imagine.
It does not account for life
I began high school in 2000 and my path was clear. Deeply passionate about Australian-Asian relations, I studied in Japan with academic scholarships from the Ministry of Japanese Education and the Australian Institute of International Understanding and interned at the Australian Trade Commission and two Fortune 500 companies in Tokyo. I would say it was going to plan. In March 2011, we experienced the greatest earthquake in Japan’s modern history. All foreign contracts were terminated. Now, I live in Germany. I can tell you, my LinkedIn profile hates me and I am ok with it.
I believe so deeply in the power of work but don’t over plan it. Life is organic and it is our gift to shine and grow into the circumstance we face. By letting go of the need for our careers to look a certain way to feel fulfillment or achievement, we will reclaim our lives in the process.