College Planning Expert’s Tip of the Month – October

Be who you want to be now

Do something now to help your dreams advance to their next step
By Jim Elliker, article courtesy of Next Step Magazine

“Lots of us wish we were doing something else entirely. But instead of wasting our days daydreaming about it, bring yourself closer to your wish.”

One way to explore future careers is to begin today—right now, right where you are. All it takes is changing your mindset from wishing an opportunity would come along to making your own wishes come true.

Now this doesn’t mean you apply to medical school next week. But there are some practical ways to begin your career’s journey.

Take a risk
Do you dream of becoming an actor, but work at a hamburger stand instead? Lots of us wish we were doing something else entirely. But instead of wasting our days day dreaming about it, bring yourself closer to your wish.

What if you recreated your job as if you were on stage and the customer was your audience? What would happen? Are your customers smiling now, or bored and impatient? This could be your first real audition as an actor!

Sure, it’s a risk, but now that you are entertaining customers, you’re adopting your own style. What if you became the place’s first singing drive-through order taker? Crazy? They might fire you? Maybe—but they also might see more customers!

Get involved in other ways

Say you are a people person interested in helping others solve difficult interpersonal problems. Have you thought about becoming a psychologist? Let’s pretend that you work at a warehouse moving boxes. Don’t waste time wishing you were somewhere else!

Take the opportunity to ask your fellow box-movers their life stories. Pretty soon, people will begin to trust you and share. Can a box mover inspire others to take a different look at their relationships? Don’t be surprised!

Figuring out your dreams
OK, you get the idea—bring the future into today. But the harder part, you say, is figuring out what you would like to do! If you look carefully, you might find a few clues.

Clue 1: What kind of person are you?

You may be a people person who looks to solve relationship problems or an “investigator” who digs for solutions where others don’t bother to venture. Or maybe you always take an artistic look at life or like keeping things orderly and predictable. Your core approach to life does have an effect on what kind of work you might enjoy.

Clue 2: What kind of activities are you good at?

Are you able to lead others in a new direction? Are you effective at helping those less fortunate? Do you think a lot about big problems? Do you like solving science problems?

If you can begin to define who you are and what you’re good at doing, you are on your way!

Now, list one or two jobs you would love to try based on both your talents and interests. Show it to your friends and family and get their reactions. Now, just for fun, think about how you could bring that future job into your current task right now.

How would a doctor attempt your homework assignment tonight? How would a business owner organize your club dinner next week? How would an architect act in class tomorrow?

By acting on possible future jobs today, you gain insight into what you might enjoy!

Jim Elliker is a human resources professional, a formal Naval Officer, a graduate of Miami University and the proud father of five. He is also an ordained deacon in the Greek Orthodox Church.

~ Courtesy of David Mammano, College Planning Expert, Campus Calm

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