BY AURÉLIE PIRON, MENTOR MY JOB GLASSES & ENTREPRENEURE
When I was 15 years old, I pushed the door of an Information and Orientation Center for the first time to get an idea of the study fields I could look into after my Baccalaureate. I remember mentioning the possibility of attending business school, an idea that did not please my counselor that much: “But Miss, you’re not seriously thinking about studying business! You won’t have a life!”. He recommended me following another path instead: “You have an aptitude for mathematics, you need attend a classe préparatoire (pre-college education specific to the French education system) and pursue engineering studies.” To be quite honest with you, I had no idea what I wanted to do at the time.
Today, I could say that this man misguided me with his advice. However, I believe each one of us is responsible of his own path and while he provided me with guidance, he did not choose for me. Since I truly liked mathematics, I decided to study engineering. In the end, this choice allowed me to meet my husband and tons of friends with whom I developed very strong connections during my college years.
If you are currently facing the same situation and are uncertain about what to do, remember that these first choices will not condition your whole professional life!
WILL YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE ACTIVITIES BECOME YOUR FUTURE JOB?
To begin with, it is interesting to understand the reasons behind our questions or actions (or the lack of these two). If you decide to meet someone, read an article, browse guidance websites, attend a job fair, or to do none of these: what is the story behind this action (or non-action)?
When I first pushed the doors of the Information and Orientation Center, my main goal was to know more about business studies, where could I enroll, the cost for attending the existing schools, etc. Even if I didn’t know what I wanted to study at the time, at least I was curious and looking for answers. You must know that this interest in business did not come from nowhere: I had launched a “small business” at 14 years old with one of my friend. We sold our products at markets and I remember loving the contact with the customers, the pleasure of tending to their needs, of advising them… In a way, I was already working on my guidance path.
WHAT IS THE FIRST QUESTION YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF TO FIND OUT WHICH PROFESSION IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
It does not matter where you are at or what you love, you have surely quite a few interests and hobbies. Pick at least two activities that you love, that fill you with energy or that soothe you. These may include: listening to people who have concerns, reading sports magazines, playing Minecraft, cooking for your loved ones, playing chess, crafts, challenging yourself, gardening, computer programming or learning multiple languages.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
- In these moments, what matters to me the most? What do these activities have in common (people, environment, place, type of activity)?
- What makes me come alive? What stimulates me in this activity?
- What are my favorite moments when I am involved in this activity?
- What meaning do I give to this activity?
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT JOB?
Making a choice is certainly giving up other choices, but it is also and above all taking a big step forward. I have switched paths several times and each time I have learned and experienced new things as I was moving forward! Even if I have enjoyed completely different experiences, I have come to realise all of them had a common denominator: accompanying clients.
During my first experience in the IT industry, I managed projects that involved helping customers defining their needs and getting what they were looking for. One time, I got involved in an association to promote technical jobs among young girls. I found a lot of fulfillment in this activity and I decided to retrain as a Human Resources Manager. 10 years after obtaining my engineering degree, I went back to school and got to work for 13 years in the Human Resources field.
What I deeply liked about this new job was to help people find their way by removing any obstacles and allowing them to reach their goals.
Then I started listening to an inner voice that kept pushing me towards doing business on my own. The one that was there since I first started looking for career guidance. This time, I chose to become an entrepreneur and set up my own business.
The moral of this story is that a choice is never final if you decide it is not. Don’t be afraid of your doubts because they will get you where you want to be. You will get there one step at a time and at your own pace!
Want to continue the discussion and find more guidance? Click here to contact her through My Job Glasses!