Some may be familiar with the story of Albert Einstein. Many though may not realize the great Albert Einstein could not get a job! His friend helped him get a desk job. Though he had aspirations in becoming a university professor like his colleagues, Einstein had to deal with change and conform to a job that was barely enough to pay the bills. What I appreciate about Einstein is that he didn’t let these changes stop him from pursuing his passion, even though he couldn’t get a job as a high school math teacher.
Instead of wasting time complaining or dwelling on his economic situation, he used good time management to improve his knowledge of physics and publish his theories. Even though his first publications didn’t garner much attention, he continued to do what he loved doing and getting his ideas out in front of the public eye. He took advantage of the fact that his desk job wasn’t mentally taxing and used that energy to continue to pursue his love and theories of physics. Once his theories were recognized and acknowledged, as you know the rest is history.
In my previous blog, “Times are a changin‘”, I advised readers to change their mindset in regarding their job search. One important question to ask yourself is, “Do I just want or need a job, or do I want to pursue a career?” If you just need a job, do you understand that you’re just exchanging personal time to pay bills? The need to pay bills just like Einstein did is understandable, but a majority of the time jobs do not fulfill certain personal needs, so it will be only a matter of time when one finds themselves bored, frustrated, and stressed by their jobs. Some may eventually tolerate late hours, and working beyond our worth just to pay down debts. Now, you may be pursuing a hobby or higher education to fulfill a personal need while maintaining a job. This is the point where you may have to adjust your mindset to seek employment that is similar or lends to areas we enjoy working in.
A career can consist of working in a field that involves your passions, interests, and personality needs. Your career should involve some of these attributes because it’s your lifework – make the most of your journey. For example, the field of psychology is expansive. A person can be a psychologist in: clinical psychology, industrial and organizational psychology, personality psychology, behavioral psychology, etcetera. Therefore if an individual chooses a career in psychology, they can move or change within this field and still enjoy working within the field of psychology.
In pursuing a career a person may need a job to pay for tuition and other necessities like Einstein did. Jobs are still important and a necessity despite choosing a job or a career. The difference again is a job is any type of work that provides a mean to pay debts. A career is a journey, it’s a long-term pursuit of goals to establish and develop your life. So what if one decides they just want a job? Then one needs to get into the mindset as was mentioned before, that the job market has changed. With automation, robots, and other technological advances eliminating common jobs planning should still be seriously considered. Planning and strategy helps in the direction where one needs to update skills or learn new ones to survive in the market today.
My blog entitled “The Millennial Renaissance Man” helps explain how employers want and need a workforce that can adjust to change and develop diverse skills in a highly competitive global market. Personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs, Strong Interest Inventory, and Five Factor Model can help individuals map out a career or a new job. You might be pleasantly surprised to learn what preferences are revealed in these assessments.
Einstein was not just an intelligent man in physics, but smart in using his time in a way that was practical in his development. Both a job and a career involve planning and development. Invest in an assessment and use the results to lay the groundwork for your employment itinerary. Then chart a course to navigate towards your goal.
As relaxing as it may seem, today one cannot just sit in a boat and let it drift. We need to be proactive in charting out our course of employment and know how to navigate the ebbing tides of today’s economic times.