Two Exercises: Interests and Career Goals

Some of the interns have read the career development exercises for this month on "Interests" but not yet done it. They may be wondering about the relevance. I'll explain.

We have interests that drive our enjoyment of our work and keep us motivated; because the interest is keen, we're more likely to do our best work. This results in our becoming invaluable assets to wherever we are dedicating our energies.

Net-Temps has an article on the subject of interests and emphasizes the importance of the "Interests" exercise. The teaser says:

Identifying Your Career Building Blocks
A great first step as you begin exploring the possibilities for a passionate career is identifying your building blocks. Take a look at the things that you have really loved doing over the course of your life and break them down into the reasons ~why~.
Having gained a little more insight into the exercise by reading the Net-Temps article, why not go ahead and plunge into the "Interests" discussion as we work toward building the right criteria for landing your ideal job and career path. This is a building block toward developing a career strategy and a means of mapping where your strengths lie.

Let me explain further. For example, it's good to know you want to be a writer, but there are so many types of writers and so many types of writing. Determine what it is about writing and any related interests in order to see what parts of writing appeal to you and will keep you captivated. Determine where in the writing stream you want to be and which industry is going to be more significant to you than another. It could be that you've been bypassing something that is right up your alley because the traditional way of speaking about the industry only brings up those traditional images. Break out of the mold and take the time to see beyond the obvious.

I knew a man who attended medical school. His frustration was that he simply did not have the same drive that the other medical students did. What he learned was he truly did have an interest in medicine and healing, but his deepest motivation lay in pharmacology. He went to pharmacy school, became the head of a hospital pharmacy, and learned how fulfilling his life choice was.

Equipped with more insight into your interests and the basis for your desire to be involved in these things, you'll then want to start (and complete) the career goal exercise. Take some time to analyze your answers regarding your interests. Then dive into writing about your career (not job) goal.