1 Thing You Must Know Before You Begin or Change Your Career

1 Thing You Must Know Before You Begin or Change Your Career

The most important question you can ask yourself, (as it relates to career change and personal growth) is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.

Let me illustrate by telling you a little about my journey and how I answered the question.

Do you remember the movie City Slickers starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance? As the title suggests, the movie is about three close friends that vacation at a dude ranch. It might better be described as an attempt to ward of a midlife crisis.

In the movie, Curly (played by Palance) tells Mitch, (played by Billy Crystal) that he only needs to figure out one thing. Mitch asked him what the one thing is, Curly replies “that is what you have to find out.”

“That one thing” is what I had to find out in my life and it is what you must figure out for your life.

My journey is probably a lot like yours

There are lots of things I really enjoy, classic cars, music, technology, space operas, family time etc. But none of those is my “one thing.”

My search took me through a series of career changes, all guided by the path of least resistance. That path turns out to be the most brutal taskmaster I have ever encountered.

In high school, there was vocational testing that indicated mechanical engineering was my top vocation. I knew nothing about that or what it entailed (it was very wrong by the way.)

My friends all knew I was good with cars and I enjoyed working on them because it came easy to me, and it gave me a way out of poverty, so at fifteen I started working at a gas station. I was a full-blown auto mechanic by the age of twenty-two running my own auto repair shop. I soon discovered working on cars for a living was not the “one thing” for me.

I was taking night courses at the local community college and the professor took an interest in me and suggested I might enjoy working with him at his company programming computers, (mini-computers were the hot item in those days.) That began my new career in the computer field.

Several more career changes later I was still looking for that elusive “one thing” so I went through an assessment process to see if I would be good at starting a church, the results came back a resounding “no!” That was one of the more difficult yet important words I had ever heard. How did they know, based on three assessments, that I was not cut out to be a church planter?

I was familiar with two of the three assessments, using them in my business consulting and coaching career at the time. I added the third to my work after the assessment center experience.

I finally figured it out

Here is where my life changed, where I finally figured out what my “one thing” was. As I spent time correlating the data from the three assessments for my clients I started understanding how to use the data to spot passion, purpose, and potential in the results. In turn, I started getting a picture of what drives my passion or better stated, what inspires me.

Here is how you can figure it out

I used what I learned to create Compass Career Assessment and Coaching System, so everyone can figure it out, for $9.99! For those of you who have already taken the assessment, I recommend you log back into www.lmpmaps.com and review your results again. I added the passion statement to the system in the summer of 2017, there is also a new chart at the front of the report that explains what drives your purpose, passion, and potential.

So, once you know what your passion is, what do you do with it?

Lots of assessments and websites can tell you about yourself, but when you think about it, what good does that do unless you know what to do with it.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to give you some thoughts on how to use what you learn about yourself, especially your passion, what inspires you.

Once you know what your passion is in concrete terms, it should be causing you to ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Given what I know about a job opportunity, will my passion give me long-term sustainability in that job?
  • Do I get excited when I hear about the details of the job, (if your passion lines up with the job description you should get excited about the tasks you will be performing, not just the opportunity to earn money and get ahead)?
  • Does the opportunity before you seem to be directed by your passion? In other words, does your passion statement seem to lead you to that type of job?
  • Are you settling? Are you letting your need for income keeping you from continuing the search for the right job?

Use what you are passionate about to guide you through the decisions in life that deal with the uncertainties of the future. This is where you will make great things happen in your life, it is where happiness in career starts, it is where a life of fulfillment starts and it should be where you start.

Your personal mission statement

I recommend that you use your passion statement and your purpose statements to write your personal mission statement. A personal mission statement goes something like this:

I will leverage my [fill in this section with a summary, in your own words, of your potential], powered by my [fill this section with a summary, in your own words, of your passion statement] to fulfill [fill this section with a summary, in your own words, of your life purpose statement].

Thousands of you on my email list already have access to Compass and at a minimum, you have access to these three statements. If you are new to the list and do not yet have an account, spend the ten bucks and make it happen, it will be the best money you have spent in a long time.






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