In the book Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, Ken Robinson, describes that the key to enjoying work is being in your element. “Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do. One of the signs of being in your element is that time changes and an hour can feel like five minutes. You look up and you wonder where the time went. If you are not in your element, five minutes can feel like an hour. The clock seems to have stopped” (p. 227).
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until you are stuck in a job on a linear path from assistant to manager to senior level executive to find out that you are not in your element. College provides many opportunities for you to experiment with different career paths and interests.
- Get Involved in Student Organizations
- Take Electives
- Network with Individuals in Your Field of Interest (and conduct informational interviews)
- Work on Campus (you never know, you may turn that part-time recreation job into a full-time one)
- Try free online courses
Take charge of your college experience and spend quality time learning, meeting new people, and trying new things. You never know, maybe you’ll find a calling in sports management or nursing.
Continue experimenting with career options until you find the one that lights a fire inside of you. Look for a career that will get you to jump out of the bed in the morning to go to work and come home from work excited about the next day. Don’t opt for the career path that is safe or stable, if you have a passion for something (whether it’s art, theatre, surgery, fighting fires, or teaching) you’re more likely to spend time learning the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in that career field.
Even if you do not find the career that will allow you to “be in your element,” you will at least have a chance in college to narrow down your career path by eliminating certain fields.
The key to a successful college career is to have an idea of what career path you want to follow by the time you graduate and the skills, knowledge, and connections to help you find a job in that field.