Eeny, meeny miny, moe

choices_webWhat do you want to be when you grow-up? How would you like to invest your two biggest personal resources time and energy in order to support yourself? Just take a quick gander at the educational system, which is designed to groom us for that “dream job”. You were probably asked the “BIG career question” at a young age in primary school, and shuttled down a chute with hopes that it would turn you into a productive person. How can you arrive at the end of the journey prepared for that life altering dream career? My answer is simple: I don’t know. Yikes!

Lucky for you and I, we were not the first to be faced with this task. So enters Mr. Ed with his great wisdom. Mr. Ed is an actual person and not a horse of course. My brother and I used to work on Mr. Ed’s farm for several years doing odd and ends. He’d stop by and see how things were going often when we were doing particularly unpleasant tasks on the farm. Mr. Ed would share stories of his past jobs before he found the career he would later love. Mr. Ed’s stories were always much the same and always end with the same advice. Mr. Ed would describe a nasty job that paid by today’s standards horribly. And his advice…

“You don’t have to find your dream job now. If you find a job that you hate you are a step closer to finding the one you’ll be happy with.”

Every time I saw Mr. Ed, I’d expect to hear some version of that advice. It is safe to say that this has stuck with me. I have certainly found jobs that I was unhappy with such as a nurse’s aide, which was not for me. Mr. Ed’s advice would change the course of my career from one in health and medicine to that of research. I still consider his advice today. Although I’m a microbiologist, I still have some career choices ahead of me. I’m still trying to decide what field of research I’d like to focus in on and more.

When you find yourself considering keeping a job or pursuing one further. Ask yourself, “Does this make me happy?”

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