One of the issues that plagued me while growing up, was trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. I always knew I wanted a big career, I just couldn’t figure out the ‘doing what?’ part.
I grew up hearing about that innate thing that was supposed to give me a clear sight of what my career purpose should be.
Passion. Gift. Talent.
There are so many different words for it, and for a long time, I couldn't identify mine. I kept asking “what is that thing I’m here to do?” All the people I admired seemed to know theirs. Beyoncé was clearly born to be a performer. Stan Lee has the gift to create amazing superhero characters. Serena Williams was a goddess on the court. My mind constantly wondered, “What is Jennifer supposed to be doing?”
First of all, if you're still asking yourself this question, I want you to know that it is perfectly okay. Not everyone is born with apparent gifts like a singing voice, great drawing skills, etc. Some people are great at making others feel comfortable and letting their guard down, regardless of how wary they initially were. Others can create amazing adverts that move their audience to tears.
The point is, there's something you can be great at.
Here's the question- are you going to sit around and wait for your lightbulb moment? If you do that, I can almost assure you that you will never discover what you should be great at.
Life will lead you to where you need to be, but you have to get on the path first. As a content marketer and content marketing writer, my career began as a beauty blogger. I started a blog to share mainly skincare tips. Along my journey, I discovered that I enjoyed the analytics and audience reports part of blogging more than the actual reason why I started a blog in the first place. That gave me a nudge in the direction I should be going.
I'm doing something I love, but I wouldn't have found it if I decided to sit on my hands and wait for a lightbulb moment. Here's the best part- I'm almost certain my career journey won't be ending here either. I don't know what I will be doing in the next 2-5 years, but I know that it will be as a result of the actions I am taking now.
I have also heard many success stories describing how people found their passion by doing other things.
As women constantly scrutinized by society and accused of choosing to be dependent, we don’t have the luxury of waiting. Starting on your career will get your bills paid, and also help you discern among what you enjoy doing, what you can't do, and what you can get better at.
Just remember to make sure you don’t get stuck doing something that doesn’t feel like yours. Remember that you are on a journey of self-discovery. Try out those ideas you’ve always thought you could get right. For the things that don’t work or resonate with you, cross them out. That’s one less thing you weren’t born to do.
For the things that you enjoy, or see yourself growing in, don’t be afraid to explore. Educate yourself on them and find a small section of that career path where you can start working your way into.
Important tip: When you do find that thing that feels right, you will be surprised that there are times when you will absolutely loathe making any effort towards it. It could be because you were assigned a project that doesn’t interest you, or you have to work with someone you don’t feel comfortable with. To make sure you don’t give up, remember that discipline and hard work are just as important as passion. It is only with a mix of these that you can grow in your chosen career path.
Words by Jennifer Okafor