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Career Coach: Father Knows Best

The Career Coach gives some sage advice straight from her fathers mouth.

There used to be a show on TV called Father Knows Best. My father always knows best too. My dad encouraged me to go to college and when I was in the middle of my sophomore year I was in a quandary should I continue pursuing my studies as a pre-med student or follow my newfound passion of film and theater arts? I was afraid my dad would be disappointed that I didnt want to continue training to be a doctor, a long held dream of mine. My dad sees things clearly. He has two signs on his desk: Think and Question Authority two qualities that make him a terrific problem solver. He said, Its your life. You should choose what would make you happiest.

My dad knows that when you work at something you are passionate about, you do you best and work is fun. My dad loves computers and after he retired from IBM after 40 years, he still works with computers, teaching other seniors how to use the Internet, enabling them to email their grandkids. My dad recognizes the wisdom of the Confucius quote Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Many people work all their lives at jobs they tolerate, looking forward to when they can retire so they can do what they love to do. Why not follow your passion and do what you love to do now?

Youve met people who have found what they love to do. Their eyes light up when they talk about their work. I have a friend who was miserable when she was an attorney. She was depressed and subdued. When she finally decided to leave the legal practice and become a mystery writer, her enthusiasm was contagious and she was a joy to be around.

In Kansas, I met a woman who was a housekeeper at an historic hotel. She polished the crystal chandelier until it sparkled. She treated it like it was made of diamonds, instead of glass. Her eyes, catching the light reflecting from the fixture, shone with joy and pride. Her joy in her work was inspiring and illuminating. Her attitude toward her job made her stand out. She was passionate about her simple tasks.

Think about those people who are fun to be around. When they speak about their work it sounds fascinating. Some people can make their work sound exciting, even if it seems mundane to others. Its because they love what they do. Spend time with people who love what they do. The attitude and passion of those people will inspire you to follow your dreams.

Working at a job you love is key to success because the extra effort it takes to stand out and excel wont seem like work at all its just doing more of what you love. The right job will transform you and your outlook. People who are doing what they love often say things like, I cant believe I get paid for this. Your lifes work gives you a sense of vitality and lifts your spirits. You feel energized and excited about your work and look forward to doing it.

Dont get sidetracked. The job you love is out there waiting for you. Keep looking until you find it and when you do, pursue it passionately.

Resources: Doing What You Love, Loving What You Do by Dr. Robert Anthony, Berkeley Books, New York

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter/hiring strategist and career coach. She speaks regularly at schools and industry meetings and is looking forward to her presentation on résumés and demo reels at this years SIGGRAPH conference in Los Angeles.