I have several friends whose children graduated from college and then were not motivated to seek a job in their chosen profession. They ended up finding other types of jobs, often making less money than they could have if they had sought a job in the area they had studied. While the economy over the past few years has made it hard for some college grads to find work, what I found interesting was that these kids did not even try! After four years in college, they had decided that they didn’t want to do what they had thought they wanted to do. Now they are floundering, trying to figure out what they would like to be when they grow up, and taking jobs that they do not enjoy just to pay their bills.
It’s sad, and yet perhaps not as sad as the person who works their entire life in a job that they hate. I’ve known a lot of those people over the years, and always wondered why they didn’t try to change their situation if they were so miserable. Perhaps they just didn’t know where to start.
That’s where my friend Jay Forte comes into play. He is passionate about helping people find the career that will make them happy. His book, “The Greatness Zone”, is a terrific story about how a college student realizes partway through his studies that he is not excited about his major. The 90 page book describes how he identified his “Greatness Zone”, which is the place where he could use his talents, strengths and passions to create his best, happiest and most successful life.
If you have high school or college students, or even just people working for you who seem unhappy, I would recommend that you give them this book. It may just change their life. And imagine how simple your role as a leader would be if all of your employees truly loved their jobs!
Thanks for continuing to highlight this issue – and it is part of a greater discussion about knowing yourself well enough to make decisions that fit your talents, strengths and passions. We are working to get The Greatness Zone thinking into high schools and colleges – to help students make more informed choices about which major will allow them to connect to what they are good at, passionate about and what matters to them. We also find that it creates a great discussion between parents and kids. It is all about taking responsibility for the decisions we make and owning our lives – something we all have to do but many don’t know how.
Though the thinking in The Greatness Zone is right for students, it is also right for all of us as we must continue to connect what is best in us to our changing statuses in life – to live our best and most significant lives. This approach work for parents, single parents, retirees, job seekers and anyone whose worlds have changed or those who feel they are not connecting to their purpose or potential.
With the clarity of knowing yourself and your world, you can always make better choices that fit you and allow you to use the best of you to be successful in life.