How do you pick a Career? What is a Career, anyway?

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What’s a Career, anyway?

I’m sure you remember the exercise at the end of high school. You fill out a quiz about what you like or think you like and out pops a card with all the careers that fit you.

You get a ranking matched to your strongest traits — then you choose a college degree and then get tracked into a predictable track until death.

Or so the paradigm goes. But then you go out into the world and it doesn’t fit?

We need a new way to understand what a career is.

Careers are supposed to be linear, but the world is messier than that.

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The career advice model was linear in that it assumed that the world stays the same, with little design for neurodiversity or differences in work style baked in.

What if you don’t like working in the office? Can you work at home? What if you don’t want a boss, or maybe you love being told exactly what to do. Perhaps you are good at socializing but not writing. Do you like working alone or do you love teams. Do you love listening and helping, or telling others what to do? Do you like creating or do you like analyzing? The spectrum of brain chemistry and socialization all gives us distinct superpowers.

The way we learn, the way we socialize, what our brain is good at and what it isn’t, what we learned to like, and where we fake enthusiasm all have to be factored in to this lottery ticket of a career choice.

Ignoring the messiness has knock on effects. Society optimizes a path early, and picking an area that aligns to making money, that doesn’t match your superpowers leads to social and financial debt that compounds, that can only be unwound by retirement, or slow soul death. At least until you lose the personality that your childhood gifted you.

The good news is the world is changing, and you can choose a direction that fits what’s unique to you.

Pick a superpower, but one that is uniquely yours.

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Everyone has something they can do with their eyes closed — an effortless superpower.

Sometimes it has nothing to do with work, and comes from some early childhood experience. But its uniquely yours.

Maybe you can see or perceive colors, and enjoyed drawing. It could be that you are good at remembering names and people. You might be more emotionally perceptive than average and are deeply empathetic, and utterly bored by certain subjects. You might see numbers or people differently than others.

Or there are certain ideas or views of the world that just resonate so much more. It’s important to embrace this authentic edge as a positive thing.

The superpower gives you word of mouth in a crowd. People talk. Oh she’s so good at x or y. And magnetic attraction. You can’t help doing it. And people talking about it and encouraging you gives you natural momentum and confidence to do more of it. What would do for free, in your spare time, but do’t think you can do all the time. Thats the hook to lean into.

It’s when that magnetic attraction meets making money that’s when you have ingredients of a career.

Experiment until you find the magic moment of truth, and don’t worry how long it takes.

The journey and experimentation in that journey is the training for what you really want to do.

Trying a variety of careers and seeing how it feels is ok. As long as you continue to be honest with how you can align with the superpower you have.

Some jobs feel 50% right — but the key question is to ask yourself which 50% gives you joy. If it doesn’t try something else that retains and amplifies your superpower.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to find the exact thing we want to do in life, its ok to take as much time as we need on that because when we find it the magnetism of our superpower will kick in.

That’s when career growth will compound beyond the effort we put in.

Mould your career to your superpower.

Photo by Juliet Furst on Unsplash

The rigidity of a traditional career no longer apply — if you want to be a TikTok influencer, a writer, a teacher of an online course, a musician who plays on beachfront resorts — whatever your social style and way that you think, there is something that will fit your superpower.

The world is much less rigid than it was.

You can work for yourself or work for a company, you can work from home or enjoy the office, you can work permanently or ask for an internship. Shamelessly ask for opportunities to express your super power.

Find jobs on online platforms that help you make money from your time or space. At any moment upgrade and refresh your skills.

As the world changes faster, there is hope.

The reason that the waiting game doesn’t matter anymore is because at the point that you meet your real career life will accelerate exponentially. When people naturally notice and talk about your superpower jobs and offers will come to you.

Every opportunity strengthens your experience, and makes your super power, creating the flywheel of becoming more and more valuable.

And then you can return to the authentic place of expression that your childhood demanded, without giving up anything.

That’s the dream.

Thinking about career choices? Please email me anytime. Sumon [dot] Sadhu [at] gmail [dot, com].

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