Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Choosing an Occupation

Most folks I know have had some trouble deciding what they want to be when they grow up. The technique of contemplating what you would do if you had a million dollars (as seen in Office Space) doesn't seem to help much. Instead, it makes you dream of all the ridiculous stuff you could buy.

I can't promise that it will work better, but I stumbled on another way to address the same problem. Ask yourself: what have you enjoyed helping other people do?

I think this attacks the problem more sensibly because it fits better with the purpose of an occupation. People pay other people money because they benefit or expect to benefit in some way. Imagining a million dollars doesn't seem practical, it doesn't require you to consider something that another person would find useful.

Thinking about how you have helped someone also encourages you to think about activities you have already performed. You are much more likely to understand how something makes you feel if you have actually performed the task. The question also indicates a sensible way of exploring occupational possibilities: helping other folks do their job or solve a problem.

Will this work? I don't know. Try it and let me know.

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