|Mr. Piggy looks hungry!|
There are two types of college students — those who choose majors in order to get a job, and those who choose majors that they love. Both have issues. The latter group believes that by studying something they enjoy, that jolly leprechauns and magic will surround them for the rest of their lives, providing them with and endless pot of riches to reward them for their courage to stick it to the man.
Yes, once upon a time I was a French major.
You see, I figured that, by merely following my dreams I would become not only happy, but ridiculously wealthy. The thing is, I never put an ounce of thought into how I would go about making my riches.
Many of you dreamers are the same way, and, though I am scolding you to help you to get your act together, know that you are a trillion times better off than the former group (you know, the people who chose a major based on making money), because no matter how much money they make, they will never find happiness searching for gold.
If you’re one of these people, I promise you that it is never too late to change your ways. All you have to do is find a scrumptious way to turn your passion into a job, which of course, is easier said than done.
But, alas, I have crafted a few steps for you to take:
1. Make a list of your skills, strengths, and interests
If you are a human being above age 10, you have some sort of valuable information that an employer or customer (if you’re going to the entrepreneurship route) will value. Not sure how to differentiate between these three qualities?
Skills are specific processes that you know about. Some examples of skill sets would be editing, writing html code, editing photos in photoshop, and speaking Swahili. Strengths are qualities of you as a person (think character strengths). Consider if you have can easily solve disputes between others, tell ridiculously funny jokes, or are unapologetically optimistic. Interests include everything that you do during your free time. What do you get excited to do on your day off (other than lounging on the couch watching Netflix)?
2. Brainstorm 44 ways that you could make money using different combinations of these skills, strengths, and interests.
This can be anything from basket weaving lessons for underprivileged teens to becoming a marketing executive at a women’s fashion magazine. Be as specific as you possibly can and do not judge any of the ideas. You never know; a bad idea might spark an excellent idea. Let them flow. Feel free to look on the Internet for ideas. Get creative.
Also, do not stop until you have reached 44 (or more) ideas. Why 44? I don’t know, just do it.
3. Be ruthless
Now is the time to judge your ideas. Cross off any of them that jump out as you as unworthy of your time. Then, create a top 10 list of ideas that you feel the most passionate about. Among these possibilities, consider which ones might be profitable. Is this a job, product, or service that someone would be willing to pay for? If so, who? If not, give it the ax. Remember, you’ve got the passion part down, now it’s all about finding a way to make money while doing it.
4. Look for opportunities
Look for job postings in a specific area. Being focused will give you a huge advantage, since most twenty-somethings are looking for any possible opportunity to make money. This isn’t about being picky — it’s about making a focused search for what you want, crafting a plan, and going for it. Spend at least 15 minutes every morning looking for job opportunities in this field. Keep track of those that spark your interest and those that make you cringe (and everything in between).
5. Invest in yourself
Searching for jobs in your field of choice will make you realize how much you still have to learn. You might even have an anxiety attack like I did (but seriously, don’t. It’s not worth it). Try not to be intimidated — look at it as a chance to learn a new skill.
Education does not finish after college (or ever, really). In fact, the most valuable skills that you learn in life will not be those that you learned in school. You will acquire them out of necessity — from throwing yourself into situations where you have no choice but to sink or swim.
And hey, even sinking is a learning experience. It might even be the best one.
♥AUTHOR: COURTNEY JOHNSTON