Your Career: Thinking Outside of the Box

think-outside-the-boxI do not for one second regret going to college and earning my BA in Corporate Communications.  My college experiences, both academic and personal, have contributed much to the person I am today.  I do, however, wish I had thought outside of the box when it came time to consider my career path.  Now, I certainly do not have a crystal ball to show me what life would have been like in the present had I thought outside of the box my junior or senior year of college, but something in me feels a bit of regret that I didn’t choose a more “daring” approach when I began narrowing in on my career path – I didn’t dare to dream.  So, you may take this advice with a grain of salt, but I felt compelled to share these tips with you!

Before continuing, one thing I want to stress is that you should not be discouraged or fearful if you decide to switch career paths after receiving a degree in a specific field.  Anything is possible if you set your mind to it and put in the work – I’m living proof!

1.  Assess your passion and skills

It is so critical to choose a career that incorporates your passion in life.  My one blog post titled, “Finding your keys”, defines your passion as something you don’t consider a “chore” – something that you can honestly say you would devote your time to every day, without thinking twice.  Of course, you also want to consider that what you’re going to school for is in some way relevant to your passion, helping you work toward your purpose.  A great tool to help you assess your skills and personality is the DISC test.  I’ve personally completed this and a lot of companies now use it.

2.  Once you’ve assessed your passion and skills, think of a plethora of ways you could use them

This is the fun part!  The time where you can really let your imagination and dreams run wild.  Don’t limit yourself!  For example, I knew I had a passion for interacting with people, helping others, and public speaking, so my first three careers outside of college consisted of giving career presentations to high school students, recruiting, and human resources.  Sure, all of those careers encompassed my passion and skills; however, I didn’t realize how “safe” I was playing it and that there was something much more exciting, suitable and purposeful out there for me – television hosting!  BAM!  Public speaking = check.  Interacting with people = check.  Helping others = check.  But, did I even consider television hosting in college?  Nope!  I kept myself safely packaged in my box.

3.  Thinking outside of the box also means thinking outside of your location

This last tip really comes from personal experience.  Do not let fear of relocating be the deciding factor between living your dreams and living a life you’re simply “OK” with.  There’s another word for that: settling.  The worst feeling in the world is regret.  Now, I know I’m not alone – there are many of “us” out there!  By “us”, I mean, those who have lived in a small town their whole lives, parents and immediate family within a couple miles distance, and the bubble you call “life” seems just peachy!  But, boy, I cannot even begin to tell you about my personal transformation since deciding to chase my dream job of being a television host and relocating across the country!  More confidence, fears conquered, new perspectives, a fresh start, and my life has become purposeful.  And, guess what?  Technology is a beautiful thing and your parents, family, and friends are all just a Skype call away!  You CAN do it.  So, let’s quickly explore the possible outcome of each situation. 1.) You decide to relocate, it doesn’t work, you move back home.  Result = you tried and now you know it wasn’t for you.  You have closure and can move forward!  2.) You decide to stay put out of fear of relocating and then 10 years later, wish you would have given it a try.  Result = regret and living in the past.  YUCK!  I’ll take scenario 1, please!

Look, I know there are certain situations – some uncontrollable – in our lives that make chasing our dream jobs not as easy as this all sounds.  But, time and life are too precious to waste.  You deserve the opportunity to live your dreams.  Surround yourself with supportive, encouraging, and inspirational people and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  If you’re saying to yourself that you have zero people in your life to support you, email me through the “Let’s Connect” tab on my website and you now have one person in your corner rooting for you!  I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes…

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

– Jen

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