Some of us officially qualified for adulthood over a decade ago and we still don’t know what we want to be when we grow up. And it’s not because we’re Peter Pan—it’s because we just haven’t found a job or career that we feel is a good fit for us.
We need to begin by stating the obvious: No job is perfect. Even if you’re in your Dream Job, it will still have its disadvantages. But some of us would at least like to experience a job where we feel our skills, our talents, our giftings, and our personality all come together into that magical Sweet Spot we often hear people raving about.
For some, it takes working a job (or several) that’s not a good fit to discover the areas in which you thrive. Others don’t get what the big deal is. Everyone has to work, so why spend so much time figuring out your “calling”? Work hard and bloom where you’re planted, they say. All we really have to do in life is love God and love people, they say.
So if you don’t know what you want to be when you grow up—and figuring it out is important to you—how should you go about doing that?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“I am trained and work as a career counselor and find regularly when working with my clients that they get lost in the process of trying to figure things out. Most career development professionals would tell you there are some basics to get started in this process. Some of the language of career decision making may sound too theoretical, but it is really practical too! Reflecting on your own values, interests, and skills will allow you to better understand what options make sense to you. It might be that you are interested in graphic design, but your skills in that area need to be built further to pursue it. Once you have done your self-reflection you can then explore what options are available. You can think in terms of broad categories. For example, if you have always known you are interested in computers and technology look at what professions might use those skills is a good place to begin. As Christian, it is always a good idea to pray and talk to other believers who know you well and have seen you use your gifts and talents in ministry. Figuring out your career calling is an exciting and at times overwhelming process, but God has equipped each of us in unique ways to serve him and others.”
:: Amy Johnson, author of How I Learned to Start Trusting God
“It depends how much time and money you want to expend. I looked at my skills and abilities and what I wanted out of life and was able to figure out a good career for myself. However, some of my siblings utilized the services of an organization that spent an afternoon performing batteries of tests on them and came up with personalized recommendations for career paths. That was an expensive service but worth it for them as they were able to focus their education and career path.”
:: Nicole Eckerson, author of Instead of Chasing Purity
“The best advice that was given to me was to be honest with myself about what I wanted to do. If you’re a good student in high school, you feel pressured to meet a career standard that the world equates to success. While engineers, doctors, attorneys, and architects make good money and have stable careers, deep down some of us would suffocate in those jobs. We’re just not wired to thrive in those roles. The best place to start is by figuring out what your skills are and what gets you excited. Once you narrow those things down and think you know some areas that interest you, shadow some people who have those careers. See what they deal with day in and day out before you lock yourself into a degree program and lots of debt for a degree you’ll never use.”
:: John, author of Single Men in the Church: Absent Without Leave
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on your calling and career, check out these posts:
Single and…Seeking a Career Change – “I would love to be a Spanish college professor. I was a teaching assistant in grad school and I loved it. Being able to see students connect with the Spanish language and cultures was so exciting for me. On a daily basis I got to share something that I love with others. That job has given me hope that the idea of loving your job actually exists.”
What I Learned from the Career I Was Never Meant to Have – “Whether I like it or not, I’m a career woman—something that didn’t change after my marriage at the age of 41. Over the years, I knew without a doubt that God’s sovereignty was at work in my unsought career, just as it was in my undesired singleness. I’m glad I trusted Him with these unexpected life paths. He’s taught me many things because I did.”
Defining Success: Family Man, Career Man, or Something Else? – “It’s been a cause of struggle for me since I started my new job, wrestling with my own plans while being faced with a divergent plan. I’ve only recently been humbling myself to take that divergent path because this fact is becoming clear: I’m successful where God wants me to be. I’m not starting a family because that’s not what the Lord has for me. I am starting a career because God wants me to.”
The Single Most Important Thing Singles Can Do for Their Careers – “Your career will benefit from taking the risk instead of the safe route. Employers want to see a track record of taking initiative, because they understand that the character traits unique to risk-takers will benefit their business. No employer is going to want to hire someone who takes pride in his or her boring, safeness.”