Adulting 101: Part 7 - Career

Welcome back, class.
This is part 7 of "Why Did No One Tell Me?!?"
Normally I would link you to the 1st lesson, but instead, (Part **5** is here.) That is because today's lesson correlates so closely to personal, romantic relationships, the parallels are almost creepy!

Today's lesson is: Choose Your Career Like You Choose a Lover 
Again: Understanding lesson 5, "Relationships: By the Numbers" should help this lesson click easily.

First. everything in K-12 education is designed with two messages: (1) "Go to college!", and (2) "Fit in!
FORGET THAT.
As soon as you finish high school, you are tossed into a world with countless trades and entrepreneurial routes that already exist and require zero college education, and the highest echelons of society are filled with outliers who refused to conform to a previously existing model. For examples, look at the founders of Apple, Snapchat, Facebook, Netflix, or Amazon.

No matter what your career goals are, the takeaway is simple: identify what you want to do (i.e. your passion) and work on acquiring those skills necessary to advancing you toward that goal. If you want to be an architect or surgeon, higher education makes sense. If you want to programme, produce music, or be an electrician for example, there are boot camps, extension courses, and trade schools or apprenticeships that will get you working in your field faster and for less money. 

Now let's back up because I know I breezed by a huge sticking point: Identifying your passion. If you aren't blessed with a genius-level ability or obsession such as an artistic or physical talent, I understand first-hand that deciding what you want to do can be a most daunting challenge.
Going to college to "find yourself" makes less and less sense now that college can require entering into crippling and potentially life-long debt, and many like myself earn a degree and still haven't identified their passion. 

What to do in the meantime? Find yourself
When I was finishing my 5-year professional exchange in Hiroshima, Japan, I got a job offer in New York City, but thanks to a recent visa extension, I also had the choice to stay in Japan and work for up to 3 more years. I confessed feeling lost and asked some old-timers how to know which decision was "the right one". Professor Tim's response was the most helpful:
"Just do something. Even if it doesn't turn out to be your dream job, it will get you closer to finding that." and he was right. 

So you know what you want, or what you want for now, and you have the skills needed to go for it. If your next step is interviewing, treat interviewing the same way you would treat dating
Apply for jobs you are attracted to. 
Do your research to make sure the company or job is as good as it seems. 
Go into an interview the same way you would a date:
Look the part, bring your best energy, be honest about who you are and what you want, and most importantly, make sure they know who they are, and have what you want from them.

Remember that if this job is just a stepping-stone, you can always find value in the experience. Bad or challenging work environments also help you grow, teach you to adapt, and provide great anecdotes for future interviewers.

I hope this provides a fresh perspective to your job hunt! 
If you think "yeah, but what about XYZ?" I want to hear it!
Even if you think I'm off my rocker, or just plain wrong, let's start a conversation.
I really want this to help people, and we've all read links where the comments are better than the post!
If you like it as-is, please share it (or my previous "Adulting 101" posts) with a young person - or an older person who still needs help. We are all students of life!

Until next time,
Make good choices!

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