One of the activities I sometimes do with groups who are taking my journaling workshops is ask them to list ten careers they would just love to do- for whatever reason- even if they don’t have the skill set to do them. If I had to write that list today, it would look like this: nonprofit executive, foundation officer, creativity consultant, professional organizer, torch singer, radio personality, private investigator, television sports announcer, and professional athlete.
I have people create this list because I want them to think about what interests and intrigues them so that they might incorporate those things into their everyday life: ala I want to be a professional athlete not because I like competing (hate it, don’t even want to run recreational 5ks though I run regularly. Would rather just get up and run Monday, Wednesday, Friday and not “train” for anything), want to be famous or have a big salary (I can’t imagine either making me happy) but because I love to be in motion and to stretch my body’s capabilities. So what should I do with that information if I am being true to myself? Plan each week with time dedicated to the athletic pursuits that I enjoy and that stretch me (literally and figuratively). Am I really going to go out and earn my credentials to be a private investigator? Notsomuch but it does explain my fascination with reading memoir, watching Dateline and 20/20, researching for my work, and asking plenty of questions of most everyone I meet.
It’s also probably why I am a sucker for any quiz- to do a little private investigation into myself– so when I came across The Self Directed Search, a career inventory that you can take on line for $9.95, I had to do it. And here’s what the 30 minute test revealed about me: I am inclined towards a social, artistic, enterprising career (with investigative a close fourth) and best stay away from careers that involve the mechanical and technological. No surprise there. It also suggested careers to me- some that I have tackled in some way: teacher, community organization director, editor, and columnist/commentator. But the inventory also makes suggestions about what careers you might explore and some of their suggestions were very surprising: minister/ priest/ Rabbi (their first suggestion), food and drug inspector, arbitrator, cosmetologist, choreographer, comedian, magician, sign shop supervisor, and a paper goods production supervisor. So if this writing, teaching, and community activism thing busts, I am hanging it all up for a magician’s cape.