Our system is broken. Our culture is suffering. And the solution is more accessible than ever. So why are so many people not doing what they love?
More than ever before we’re seeing that the old advice of “Go to school, get a degree, and you’ll get a good job,” just doesn’t work for the majority of people. Reports keep coming out about how millennials are unemployed or taking jobs that have nothing to do with what they went to school for.
Raise your hand if you know someone who got a degree in a field they wanted to work in and is not working in that field. Or how about someone with a college degree that just isn’t working at all?
Yea, I thought so.
So what’s the problem? Well, I’m no expert but I have a theory. I think what our current system is teaching us is that we need permission.
In school, our teachers give us our assignments. In the workforce, our employer gives us our job description and assigns us specific tasks. But when we don’t have someone else telling us what to do, we spend all our time looking for someone who will tell us what to do.
The mentality is “I need to find a job so I can do what I love.” College grads are too busy filling out applications and mailing out resumes to realize that they don’t need someone else to give them permission to do what they love to do.
This sort of inaction can be a killer.
Thanks to technology, the internet, social media, and the ease of access there is no excuse for not doing work you are passionate about, especially if you’re the creative type. You can press start today.
So you want to be a designer? Don’t wait for a creative agency to hire you according to your college portfolio. Start creating your own design projects and sharing them online.
You want to be a writer? Don’t wait for a publisher, agency, or magazine to hire you. Start a blog and get to writing.
You want to be a radio show host? Don’t wait for a station to accept your application. Start a podcast.
You want to be a reporter or journalist? Don’t wait for a studio to give you an assignment. Start a YouTube channel and start interviewing people about interesting things.
You want to be an actor? Don’t wait for your “big break”. Find some people who want to make films, and go tell some great stories.
I could go on and on here, but the point is to decide what you want to do, and go do it. Press start. You don’t need permission. You don’t need an assignment. Go create.
Now, I understand that there are some professions that have limitations, and couldn’t necessarily be “started” on your own. For instance if you want to be a surgeon, please don’t go out and just start operating on people. That could have some negative repercussions.
Or, if your dream is to be in the secret service, please don’t go find the president and try to jump in as a bodyguard– I don’t think that will turn out well for you.
But if there is a way for you to start doing the thing you want to do, just start doing it! Take action toward your dreams every day.
Being Active Helps Land the Gig
Even if your ultimate profession isn’t something that is entrepreneurial and requires an employer, you can still be active. Here’s a few ways to be active in your industry, even if you don’t have a job:
Filling out your LinkedIn profile isn’t enough. To stay sharp in your industry, I assume you’re reading articles and news about the industry on a regular basis. Why not grow your social media presence as a resource for your industry?
Example: If you’re an IT professional, use social media to share the articles you’re reading about IT. Networks like Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Facebook can help you become recognized as a resource in that industry.
Odds are you have some thoughts, ideas and perspectives on your industry. Having a personal blog where you share these thoughts and ideas can be a great way of showing potential employers how qualified you are.
Find a local meet up of people in your industry. Odds are, they’re either working in the field, or looking to make connections in that field. This is a great way to network and gain exposure to opportunities.
Creativity thrives on action. So press start. Go do what it is you want to do and share it with the world. You don’t need someone else to give you permission. All you need is the desire to make it happen.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
As a bonus, you can listen to a similar rant from Chris Brogan from his Human Business Way podcast. I actually had started brainstorming this blog post back in June when Chris released his podcast rant about this same topic. It’s only 4 minutes long and definitely worth the listen.
What action are you going to take today for something you’re passionate about?