Warren Buffett claims that he tap-dances to work every day. And why not? In 2013 alone, he made $12.7 billion. That’s $1.5 million per hour – even while sleeping. Clearly, Buffett picked the right career – not just for himself, but also for those lucky enough to have picked up a few shares of Berkshire Hathaway.
My father bred new strains of onions, carrots and cucumbers as a professor and research scientist. Having grown up as a farm boy, he was in heaven, developing high-beta-carotene carrots in a quest to keep 500,000 kids per year in developing countries from nutritional blindness. He believed he had the greatest job in the world and would never have traded careers with Warren Buffett.
Cecile Pelous was an executive in the fashion industry nearly 30 years ago, working with the grand couturiers in Paris, when she sent a letter to Mother Teresa. “Can you use me?” she asked. Mother Theresa wrote a one-word response, “Come!” Cecile sold her house to start an orphanage in Nepal. Before long, she had legally adopted 79 kids and was raising and educating a hundred more from the streets to help them lead productive lives. Cecile wouldn’t trade places with Buffett either.
Whatever you’ve picked as a career, I hope it makes you want to tap dance – at least a few times in your work life. When you look back and survey where you’ve been, look ahead to the distant shore, or consider the people who have rowed alongside you, take an occasional pause to click your heels.
Few of us know what career is in store for us when we take our first job. But here are some signs that you’ve increased the odds for a spontaneous outbreak of tap dancing:
1. You’ve found something you can be really good at. I recall taking up piano lessons at the same time as another young hopeful would-be musician. It wasn’t long, though, before she was in “John Thompson Book Three,” while I remained stuck in “Book Two.” Had I stayed with piano, I’d have been as miserable as those on the receiving end of my performances. My fellow student, however, went on to delight others with her gift as she became a professional musician. Thankfully, I merged into her audience – to the benefit of all. There’s no sense in fighting Mother Nature on the career front if you ever hope to tap dance.
2. You like the nuts and bolts of the job. Pick something where you don’t have to fake it to make it. When I watch natural extroverts gather energy from social situations, I recognize they have something I don’t. Whereas Bill Clinton comes alive and is energized by others, being on stage for too long drains my energy. I can finally host events without anxiety, even enjoying the occasional party – but I’m always happiest to retreat into a book or a private conversation with a friend. This means that as much as I love policy issues, governance and leadership, a career in elected politics would have undone me.
3. The job lifts you. For those doing what they were meant to do, the normal irritants of the job become a kind of “atmospheric dust” that creates the foundation for beautiful sunsets. Every career has its dust, but you might be in the wrong one if that’s all you see. If you find yourself grousing, fussing and fomenting, give yourself – and the rest of us – a break. In your torrent of objections and cautions, you’ll never build a great career – and you might just keep others from achieving their dreams. No career is perfect, but the right one for you will be filled with many uplifting sunsets.
4. You’re in the thick of things. Life in the backseat or on the periphery of the action rarely makes for a great career. Naturally, there are lots of great support roles on the edge of every industry, but if you’re determined to leave a mark, it generally pays off to operate at the center. If you love accounting, work for an accounting firm. If you’re fascinated by the law, get into the judicial system. If you’re an engineer, build cool new stuff. If you love finance, work for a bank or an investment house. Build the motor, buy the brake pads.
5. You’re in an industry that fits your personality type. Engineers are not like real estate developers, who in turn don’t think like fashion mavens, who are wired differently from lawyers and accountants. We all have psychometric preferences – ones that tend to make us more or less like those in various industries. While this alone shouldn’t determine what you choose (as there are many roles on every winning team), make sure you understand your dominant traits and those of industry leaders. Then get on a field with those playing the same sport as you.
6. You like the other people in your field. My best-ever career (and investment) decisions have come from genuinely liking and admiring people I’m working with. Grappling with the discomfort of interpersonal contretemps is never productive. It saps everyone and it ensures suboptimal performance. Also, it can take down a career faster than anything else. If you can handle snakes, you’ll be OK getting into the viper pit; but if not, pick another industry.
7. You’ve found an inspiring mentor. Having someone to look up to is a key to finding a meaningful career. Your mentor doesn’t need to be your file leader – or even in your industry. But if you would have a great career, find a mentor… then become one yourself.
To continue reading click link: How You Know You’ve Found the Right Career | LinkedIn.
Choosing the career that will make you want to tap dance your way to work is one of the most important decisions of your life. Which is why New England Tech offers the Student Interest Survey, to help students find the right career choice. Not sure what you career path you should take? Click Here to take our Student Interest Survey.