“You can’t get what you want until you know what you want,” a great line from a Joe Jackson song in 1984. I always liked that guy.
Job seekers often sing that tune. Dean called the other day. He is sick of working in call center hell. He can’t take one more day. He would love to work in some field that uses his first love, photography, but he is not sure exactly how to make that happen. He doesn’t know exactly what he wants so he can’t find what he wants.
Briana called too. She has a fabulous education. She kicked around for the two years since graduation working on interesting but dead end positions in non-profit and education. She is not sure what else to do to get her career started. The problem is she is not sure what she wants. No one will help her figure that out. Plenty of people will move her along once she narrows down the options.
Adam worked for a year teaching math in Dallas public schools for Teach for America. Now he has the credentials but isn’t sure that is what he wants to do for the rest of his life.
Insurance companies and financial services firms prey on folks making a transition from one thing but not sure what is the next thing. They make their jobs sound so secure and enticing. Everyone needs insurance, right? Everyone has money to invest, they tell weary job seekers. You just have to ask your friends. But most people are not suited for this kind of work. It is yet another detour for those who do not know what they want.
When you know what you want, the path is clear. Then you can say no to some things and yes to others. You know which path to take. Cliché after cliché is out there about knowing the right path to take. It is true.
If Dean wants to work in photography then why can’t he work in photography? I’ve seen his photos. He is good. How can he make a living with photography? Brainstorm with Dean for a minute:
- He can open his own studio
- He can work for a marketing or advertising agency
- He can work in big companies that do their own photography
- He can work for hotels or resorts that offer photography
I bet there are lots more ways a person can use photography. Each of these ideas is a path to follow. Researching these ideas reveals people to talk to who can add information and leads to the search. Follow several concrete leads at once. But nothing starts till you narrow down what you want to do into concrete ideas.