Stanley Steemer and Passion

16Jan12

A while back, I saw a commercial like these:

 

 

Note: I do not have copyright on these clips (though I doubt that Stanley Steemer will mind my showing their ads for free — even to my small audience).

I realized then that I wanted to be the Stanley Steemer guy. It’s not that I want to drive a yellow van and clean carpets for a living, but that I wanted to have the same passion for my work as he does — or to have work that I feel as passionate about as he does.

I keep looking, and perhaps one day I’ll find it. I’ve spent a lot of time on interest inventories and assessments. Taking the time to do that has given me a pretty good idea of who I am and what kind of work I would be happiest in. It makes me wish that I’d done all this work ages ago — before five years of graduate school (and accompanying debt) and a decade of underemployment, possibly even before finishing my bachelor’s degree. I’ve realized the importance of good career counseling at the beginning of one’s career.

A local trade school has advertising which mentions the oft-quoted claim that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. This is patently not true. However much you love your work, you will have bad days, days when nothing quite seems to fit, when everything seems to be an effort. You can’t keep keep your work from ever being an effort, but you can make the bad days better, the good outweigh the bad, and the good days outstanding.

Knowing who you are, what you want to do, and what you’re passionate about as early in your career as you can (and with the awareness that your interests and values will change over time, and that your personality will develop) will help you choose a satisfying path early.

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