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Fall into  a Career vs. Choose Your Own Path | Living in Your Sweet Spot

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Sometimes you don’t know how your life is going to turn out, even when you plan it. When I was in high school, my parents hired a career coach for me. She was basically a life coach for 16 and 17 years old and her goal was to help us navigate the next few years of our lives.

As she evaluated my strengths and passions, she suggested that I pursue a career in Marketing. At the time, I knew I wanted to be in business but I was more interest in Human Resource Management.

I got my degree in Management (Human Resource Management) and Management Science. I was planning to pursue a career in Human Resource Management when I landing my first job as a Training Coordinator. I had no idea at the time how that first job would lay the foundation for a career in Marketing. 🙂

Fall into a Career vs. Choosing Your Own PathI starting learning how to build websites. I took a few continuing education courses in web design, HTML and other web technologies popular at that time. I even redesigned the website for that company. When I started looking for a new job. I realized that I had more experience in marketing education programs and building web experiences than I did in Human Resources. So, my next position was a Marketing Project Manager.

When it comes to finding our calling in life and starting our careers, most of us will go through a similar process that has very little to do with what we actually want to do or went to school for. If you fall into a similar situation like me, someone else’s insight was correct. My high school career coach saw marketing and even though I studied something else, I ended up in marketing.

For most of us, our jobs are not a matter of design so much as luck and divine intervention. Perhaps you finish school/college/university and you find yourself at a loss for what to do, so you take the first job offer that comes up – which is stacking boxes for an event company.

Then maybe you find yourself somehow rising through the ranks and becoming the head of logistics. Maybe this then catches the eye of someone at a major corporation and you get head hunted to become the head of international logistics and transportation.

Great! So now all your experience, all your skills and all your qualifications make you the ideal fit for that job. That job that you never had any interest in doing. Never mind that you studied in college to become a Robotics Engineer. 😳

How the heck did that happen? 🤦🏾‍♀️

Fall into a Career vs. Choosing Your Own Path

Basically you allowed your skills to form as a result of your experience. Our strengths are partly natural and partly acquired through our experience. The latter actually tends to play a larger role though and certainly from the perspective of someone looking to hire you. Never mind that your love of computer science, mechanical and electrical engineering  – you’ve got 10 years of experience in logistics!

In other words, your strengths will be largely shaped by your experience, so if you want to make sure you don’t just “land” in a career you never planned, you need to ensure that the experience you’re getting is highly relevant to whatever it is that you want to do.

Obviously this is out of your control to some extent. You don’t always get to choose the job offers that come your way or the advancement courses you get offered. But most of the time it will be up to you. And it will be up to you to make your experience relevant to the career path that you have chosen.

So don’t give up on your dreams and don’t stubbornly hold out for that perfect job either. Instead, plot yourself a course and steer yourself as much in that direction as possible, looking for opportunities wherever they arise to mold your strengths, talents and abilities to be a fit for whatever your passion is calling you to do with your life.

Are you in a different career from what you went to school for?

Tags : choosing a career you lovefalling into a careerfinding your career pathfinding your own pathhow to find a careerhow to fulfill purpose through career
Kesha Holloway

The author Kesha Holloway

Kesha Holloway is the founder of Living in Your Sweet Spot. She is passionate about being a wife and mother and desires to align herself with women equally passionate about their families. She believes the woman is the backbone of the family unit and it's her mission to help lift women to achieve their purpose.

22 Comments

  1. I went to college for a very brief period of time, for communications. All because someone told me they thought I’d make a good journalist. I then thought maybe I’d love to be a travel editor. But right now I’m doing what I’ve always dreamt of doing, staying home with my babies. Who knows where life may take me once they are grown or in school (especially if I stick with blogging) but right now I am loving every second!

  2. Isn’t it strange how life works out sometimes. I always wanted to work in an artistic field and ended up getting a degree in computer science. Everyone said there was no money in art. Maybe they were right but at least I get to do arty stuff in my spare time while being an IT geek 😀

  3. I am very much in a different career than what I studied at school for, although the skills I learned through further education have certainly helped me do what I do now.

  4. This post is written for me … and then I realize for most people is it true in these times. Sometimes you just have to play the hand you are dealt even if you had other plans.

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  5. Your case is such a rare one, I find it mind-blowing that your career coach got it right. When I told my career coach I wanted to a scientist, I was told if you are not a doctor or an engineer you are a failure!

    1. Wow! That’s unfortunate that this happened to you. That career coach should have helped guide you to the career path you were desiring. So many people have fulfilling careers in other areas than doctors engineers. And…there are so many miserable doctors and engineers because they chose the wrong path.

  6. “ your strengths will be largely shaped by your experience,” there is so much wisdom in this article. I made the choice 5 years ago to leave a career I had grown into and worked myself up in, and went back to my love of art… and it’s been the best, life giving, change!!

  7. I have a B.A. in Communications with a focus in Journalism. I work for a music promotion company and one of my roles is social media for our company & select clients. I use my degree to an extent, but not exactly in the way it was intended.

    1. Wow! It’s so interesting how it all works out. I love your blog so I guess you can say some of that Communications degree is being executed through it.

  8. I think this post will hit home for so many people. I am a advocate for rolling with it, seeing what hand life deals me and going with it.

  9. Learning new skills on your own can definitely increase your job opportunities. I enjoy learning the conventional and DIY targeted way!

  10. This is totally right! I agree that a lot of people (including me) end up doing different things than what they’ve studied for.

  11. Actually, I went to school for fashion and marketing. Some life circumstances led me to blogging and now it’s a full time job.

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