The Dictionary of Occupational Titles classifies nearly all the kinds of careers people have. With over 12,000 job titles, why do so many of us have trouble figuring out what work we want to do?
It is a simple question that has a complicated answer.
First, many of us think about careers the way we think about vegetables. We know the vegetables our parents fed us, but we are oblivious to the vegetables we have never seen let alone tasted. We think that what we don't understand is "odd."
Second, we run our career choices through filters that have nothing to do with how well suited we are to certain kinds of work or how happy the work is likely to make us. What's a filter? There's the money filter and the what others think filter and the parents and family values filter, just for starters. Our filters that direct us, often without our realizing what we are doing, to make career choices that leave us less than contented. Better filters have to do with how well suited our inborn temperament is to the kind of career we choose, what kind of aptitudes we have as natural gifts and what kinds of activities capture our attention.
Third, we think work will "just happen." We let our lives meander without deciding to take control. Some of us are fortunate enough to know from an early age on what we want to be "when we grow up." Others discover a passion as they move into adulthood. Few people realize that building mastery increases pleasure in a career activity and that we can create passion out of hard work and success.
Perhaps you have found your way to this Career Quizzes site because, in fact, you are this very minute bored or unhappy with your job. Even people who love their work have moments of procrastination but if you are more inclined to procrastinate than work, it might be time to think a bit harder about making some changes in your career.