Have you found the perfect career? Maybe you’re far from it?
Our perception of a certain job may be different than the reality of that position. For instance, my first career was video production. I was excited about the adventure and diversity of work environments.
Reality of My Dream Career
About four-years after college graduation, I was doing exactly what I thought I wanted to do. The reality was that even good pay in the video production industry was relatively low. I spent more time on shoots carrying equipment and setting up gear than actually operating the camera. Many of the environments I worked in were freezing outdoors settings, and hot, sticky indoor factory locations.
My perception was that a video production career would be all about creativity travel, and prestige. The reality was that being creative was about 40% of the job. The rest was administrative work and manual labor. Sadly, as much as I traveled, I rarely experienced anything other than shoot locations. There was never time to explore or enjoy the places we flew to.
I worked extremely hard to achieve a 4-year degree in video production, then I relentlessly pursued dream positions. After a few years of entry-level video production experience, I actually obtained the exact job, title, and function I had set my sites on. I moved out to the West Coast and began producing high-end videos for a well established company. Sadly, after a couple years with the company, I was miserable. At that point, I decided that video production is only a good career for me if I am self employed.
What I’ve Learned After Leaving My Dream Career
I left my dream job in 2010 to begin my entrepreneurial career. Since that time, I have bounced in and out of the workforce based on the season and my business’s profit. This has given me a unique perspective about what I really want out of a job and career.
Self employment will be my career for the foreseen future. That isn’t to say that I won’t have jobs to support my business.
What I have learned over years of professional experience:
- I am not good at multi tasking, nor do I enjoy it.
- I am not efficient at administrative tasks
- I lose focus when stuck in too repetitive of a routine
- I need to be challenged to stay engaged
- I always perform well under pressure, but do not work well with constant daily pressure
- I am great at interacting with people, even when I don’t feel sociable
- I am very analytical
- I excel at increasing efficiency
- I demonstrate initiative and critical thinking to solve problems
- I understand revenue, profit, and budgets.
Notice that everything I mentioned above is generic. Nothing is specific to a job. These are the attributes I have recognized in myself. These are my internal factors that will set me up for success or failure in a position.
Every Job In My Field Isn’t Right For Me
Although I am confident in my education and experience, that doesn’t mean that I will excel at any job in my field. Many positions in the video production field involve too many of my weaknesses. Several jobs I’ve had outside of the video production field have catered to my strengths with little focus on my weaknesses.
As I continue my entrepreneurial pursuits, I have learned that my supplemental jobs need to cater to my strengths more than a desired title or function.
I encourage any readers who are seeking a job to spend some time assessing your strengths, weaknesses, and your ideal work environment. Consider less specific elements of a desired position and think more of the general pros and cons.
As you take some time to think about your future career goals, check out this article for more details about finding the perfect career.
Have you found the perfect career? Here are a few indicators.
Post by Mike Gamache – ESS Blogger, Video Producer
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