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‘There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue these.’ – Michael Nolan
I can clearly remember the moment I gained clarity about my career path. I was 15 years old and drove with my mum to the airport to pick up my Aunty. I was immediately drawn to the impeccably dressed flight attendants, strutting their way through the airport.
Then and there I knew that I wanted to be like them. My future had been decided.
For the next 5 years I completed subjects relevant to that career path, and attended many information days and mock interviews planning my journey. Eventually, after many failed attempts at interviews, I landed a job as a regional domestic flight attendant for QANTAS based in Sydney.
At 20 years old, I packed my car full of all of my belongings and headed up the Hume to begin my new life. I had planned the career pathways for promotion from domestic to international – my life was set.
Early into my ‘career’, and by early I mean approximately 3 flights in, I discovered that as a flight attendant, I was air sick!
I hadn’t factored that into my goals. Approximately 8 months in to my ‘career’ I decided to resign and return home.
I honestly felt that my life was over.
I had no plan B.
This was going to be my life career.
I was completely lost.
Over the next couple of years I moved between several jobs and it was only on a trip in a combi around Australia that I finally realised that if I wanted to further my career, it was up to me to create it.
Since then I have had varied jobs in different industries and combined with studies in Career Development, I am passionate about mentoring people in relation to their careers.
We all have our ups and downs.
We all go through periods of high ambition, and others when we just want to get paid and go home.
At various times in our lives, we all feel a little lost with no direction. Or sometimes we have a direction, but become frustrated at the little progress we are making towards achieving our goals.
Below are a few things to consider.
Job vs career
A job is a position that you work in to actively earn money. A Career is a journey of lifelong ambition and determination to achieve set goals. I want to make it perfectly clear that not everyone wants a career and that is absolutely fine. Sometime jobs may even provide opportunities to develop your career when you least expect it even if you don’t have a clear career path in mind.
A commitment to lifelong learning
In the workforce you need to understand that change is constant, is inevitable and ongoing. This often means that to achieve your goals and remain competitive in the job market, you may need to develop new skills and make a commitment to regular education and professional development to create the career that you love.
It won’t happen over night
Career success depends on many things. Training and education, hard work, ambition, attitude, talent, access to positive mentors and even luck and timing can make a difference. It is unusual to simply fall into your dream job. People who are in their ideal positions have often worked very hard to get there! There is usually a series of steps, sometimes over years or even decades, before you can meet your long term goals.
You are unlikely to be determined and driven continuously throughout your career. At different stages of life, people have different interests, needs and required work outcomes. Life stages effect your motivation to achieve your goals.
You may be a recent school leaver and just want a job to gain some income.
You may have returned from parental leave and family is more of a focus than your career.
You may be heading towards retirement and want a less demanding and stressful role.
Know where you are and what your motivators are.
Don’t compare yourself to others
While it is good for all of us to have role models, positive mentors and people in our career that we admire, remember that everyone’s journey is different, and everyone is unique in their strengths and abilities.
Create your own story.
Rachael Brown has close to 10 years’ experience in human resources, with a particular interest in recruitment and career coaching. Rachael is passionate about inclusiveness and providing everyone with a fair opportunity, regardless of the barriers they face. She encourages people to be the best version of themselves by coaching them to promote the skills and knowledge that they have to offer.
Find more useful information and advice at www.inspirehq.com.au
Disclaimer: The material contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is intended to be, legal advice. If you wish to act based on the content of this publication, we recommend that you seek professional advice.