Given my passion for investigative journalism, I am hooked on many of the shows featured on ID Investigation Discovery. I find it fascinating how a drop of blood or a strand of hair can lead detectives to the perpetrator of a crime committed days or decades prior to the investigation. Recently, I watched a show called “Murder Book” which features cold cases that are re-opened for investigation. In this episode, entitled “The End of the Road”, Sheriff’s Deputy Lane Youmans from Grays Harbor County, WA spoke about the investigative process stating: “In order to connect the dots, you have to collect the dots.” This principle can also be applied to identifying the career or an area of study that’s right for you.
Think of things that have interested you over the years. As a kid, did you enjoy assembling model airplanes and now like to do household or car repairs? Maybe your passion for cooking was inspired by playing with that Easy Bake Oven you got for your birthday. The word games that my fourth-grade teacher Miss Thompson used to teach spelling and grammar definitely inspired my love of writing. Now, I sound a bit like Dr. Seuss in the funny poems I sometimes write for family and friends rather than sending the traditional greeting card.
For over fifteen years, I worked in a government jobs where I had very few opportunities to use my creativity. Through my training in and study of personality type, I realize that I have experienced the proven adverse physical and psychological effects working in the wrong field or job can have on you. Rather than doing work where I was using my imagination, I spent my days gathering information from clients and entering it into MOSES (Massachusetts One Stop Employment Services), the database used by the Department of Workforce Development. I forced myself to use my mind in an unnatural way. That, coupled with navigating the extensive database using magnification software to compensate for legal blindness, made my days long and tedious. It got to the point that my chest would become so tight that I couldn’t talk. When I started having seizures on a nightly basis, I knew things had to change.
Teaching the Myers-Briggs workshop for job seekers at the One-Stop Career Center where I worked as a Career Advisor was the best part of my State job. I loved discussing personality type and creating informational materials for workshop participants. Since improvisation seems to come naturally, I injected humor in to my presentations whenever possible. I was flattered when participants commented on this in their evaluations.
When I discussed the importance of finding a fulfilling career I had to bite my tongue to avoid going into a tirade about my frustrations! So you don’t wind up in the same situation I did, get out there and do some “detective work”. Identify the things that are important to you. Examine your past experiences and present circumstances to determine what you like to do and how you like to do it. I like the way author Jeff Goins put it in his book “Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams In to Your Comfortable Life”:
“Live your life according to your values. Do things to meet your goals and make you feel good.”