Career Myths Vs Truths #6: Find a Career Doing What You Love

In our book, Don’t Dread Monday, we highlight ten career myths and their corresponding truths. This is the sixth of ten blog posts in which we highlight these myths and truths. Aligning to these principles will set the foundation for a sustained career of engagement and success. I am sure you will find value in #6.

Myth #6: Find a career doing what you are good at.

Of all the myths we’ve outlined so far in these blog posts, this one may be the most pervasive. It’s the standard that schools and companies use for aptitude and career tests, measuring your strengths to guide you toward a certain career. There is some value to these assessments—it’s important to understand where our strengths and weaknesses lie—but they fail to take into account one very important element: a person’s innate interests. 

These evaluations are also not omniscient nor without faults. Time and again, I meet people who were told not to pursue a certain career direction because they “weren’t smart enough” or “not inclined” toward that job. Later, they discover they did have those abilities. 

Even more common—I know so many people who were relegated to doing tasks and jobs they were good at, even earning promotions in those fields, but had no passion for their work.

This is something that occurred in my own life, very early on in my career. I was working at Anderson Consulting as a consultant, but as the newest and youngest hire, I was really doing grunt work. Specifically, I was making PowerPoint presentations for one of the partners. For six months I ground out presentations, and I got good at it. So much so that after those six months the partner brought me into his office to offer me a promotion as a Presentation Expert. I would be in charge of creating all of the presentations, all of the PowerPoints, for potentially years on end. I dreaded the thought of it. It was the last thing I wanted to do. That conversation sparked my job search, and within a few months, I had moved to a different company where I could pursue what I really wanted to do. 

What’s clear to me is that tapping into your passions and bringing them into your work is the true path to sustained success in your career. It’s easy to get stuck doing a job that you’re good at, or that others tell you you’re good at, and not pursue what you love to do. However, taking that leap will lead to more joy, more success, and more longevity. Everyone that has found sustained success is doing what they love.  This leads us to the sixth career truth:

Career Truth #6: Find a career doing what you love.

It can be difficult to find your life’s work. We’re here to help. Schedule a free, 15-minute consultation with one of our experienced career coaches today. They can walk you through your career problems, from a simple resume and LinkedIn consultation to a career 180. You can contact us or call us at (800) 680-7768.