When growing up we all have ambitions for our life careers. These often change as we get older and learn about other career opportunities, and some people take many years before reaching their first career decision. In the constant pursuit of direction and purpose in our lives, we often get told to “Do what you love”, as it won’t feel like a job. This is all well and good, but it can lead to people going in the wrong direction at an early stage when they have more opportunity to be educated and get their foot in the door.
The problem with the “Do what you love” strategy is that we don’t always know ourselves well enough at an early age. Do we really understand whether what we love doing at that age is going to be what we’ll continue to love doing for the rest of our lives, or at least a significant portion of it.
What we are able to do early in our lives is to know what we are best at doing compared to the others we grow up with. This is a standard part of human development and we can easily point out who is the best at each thing. By the age of 14 we will have a pretty clear view of what career areas exist in the world and can match our strengths with those. We don’t need to get too specific at this point as there is still learning to be done, however we can choose education options to enhance our best attributes. If this pattern is continued into tertiary eduction then we will have an individual who is highly skilled in a certain area, and therefore be able to not only find work with this skill, but also continue to improve at a good rate due to their innate aptitude.
There’s a certain amount of competitiveness in us all and being highly skilled in anything, regardless of what it is, will give us a sense of achievement and accomplishment. This continual personal victory can only lead someone to loving what they do, which can be quite different to doing what they love.

Whether you’re still in education or have started working but still not sure of your career path, then now the time to take stock of your skills and find employment and/or training that align with this.