Prequel to my last post for confused jobists

It is a light-hearted post but there was some seriousness behind it and the question I raise. Now that I’ve pretty much got my act together, I thought I would share this post from last November. Enjoy!

WHAT WILL I BE WHEN I GROW UP?

‘If I wasn’t an engineer, what would I be?’ I found myself wondering the other day. Sometimes, I skim through job ads in the local papers and its amazing how many exciting professions there are out there. Growing up in an oil-rich country in Africa, there seemed to be just a handful of “profitable” occupations. They included engineering, banking and perhaps government! But as I have met people from all works of life, I have subconsciously taken stock of what other jobs may be out there for a gal like me. What jobs activate my “buzz” button? What else can I do if for some reason, engineering doesn’t continue to work out ? Let’s have a look at my top 5 things to be when I grow up (in no particular order):

1. Talk show host: Maybe an over-rated job but I love it, love Oprah! I’d probably interview people trying to make a difference in the world. This job will give me a real opportunity to brand myself. I would be no good at the Jerry Springer stuff (I lack the ability to keep a straight face).

Keeping my boss on the straight and narrow, Awesome!

2. Executive Secretary/PA: It uses my very best strength. Organisation. I would love organising other people’s lives for a handsome fee! Also, the idea of being the right-hand person of a CEO or MD is very very attractive to an attention junkie like me 🙂

I can do wonders with make up

3. Make-up artist: About 3 years ago, I actually started to research schools for this. There were a handful of them in the London area but they cost an arm and a leg. I remember one particular one was about £4000 for a 3-week course!!! That amount of money could pay some kid’s way through university. But still, it is my fantasy to make-up models for the London or Milan fashion week. I can do wonders with some mascara and eye-shadow.

4. Motivational Speaker: Yeah, I know it’s similar to the talk show host but the main difference is that you have to motivate people. You can’t just say pointless things. I absolutely admire motivational speakers with favourites like Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. It would be a gift to be able to motivate people with the words of my mouth. After buying a book on Amazon.com on the world’s greatest speeches, I started to think that I can practice everyday, with every word I say bringing people up not tearing them down. In progress…

speaker

Having to hold a mic for a living would be great!


5. Singer: Last but by no means the least. But I can’t really sing so this is a long shot. When I hear amazing singing, I am sometimes moved to tears as my skin becomes riddled with goosebumps. The absolute best moments I’ve had is sitting in the audience as someone sang their heart out, causing my eyes to well up. This may have to do for now.  Fair enough.

All photo credits to http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Tips for the confused jobist

It’s taken ages to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I read engineering at school but never quite fit in. At the same time, I never really knew what I wanted to do instead. When people asked me, ‘So what do you want to do?’,  it was always answered with a silly, confused expression.

But that’s changed in the past year. After starting my MBA (something I knew I wanted to do), I continuously made mental notes of areas that I found particularly interesting. Then I went off and did my research, which was something like:

  1. Identify area of interest e.g. marketing, web design, personnel management e.t.c.
  2. Act as a job seeker and SEARCH for roles in that area (the internet, job boards and social networking sites like LinkedIn are great for this).
  3. Take note of the JOB DESCRIPTION (what you’d be expected to do and be responsible for) Is it still of interest? If yes,
  4. Note the SKILLS employers expect from a potential candidate. Do you have them? If no, what can you do to get them? Can you get it in your current role? Should you consider personal development e.g. self-study, taught courses or perhaps a new role that provides such skills?
  5. Consider SALARY expectations. Is it what you thought it was? Is it reasonable such that you can live comfortably on it?
  6. And finally, give yourself a timeline. How long will it take you to get where you want to go? 6 months, 5 years?

Note that it’s okay to take a temporary hit on salary if  long-term, the role provides skills that will get you to the ‘Promise Land’. Money isn’t everything… And remember you are not applying for the roles now. You are just  discovering what opportunities are out there and subsequently setting out a personal plan to be the perfect candidate for the role in X numbers of years.

Now I have a good idea where I want to go and roughly how to get there. It’s made me happier and more confident. And it’s wiped that silly, confused look off my face :).

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