What Your Professors Didn’t Teach You About Choosing A Career

In an age where lifestyle design is possible, the most important questions to ask yourself is what, when and how?  We can live anywhere, do anything, be with anyone…

Start thinking differently.  Gain a different perspective.

Creating the life that you want can often be a tough task.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Having a happier and more fulfilling life can be achieved by changing the way you approach your lifestyle design.  Lifestyle design methods of the past are outdated and flawed.  Unfortunately, they have become accepted as the only way – primarily out of routine.  For some people this way still works.  But, for most, I don’t think it does.  Instead, it has bred generations of unfulfilled people.  Things have changed, our way of thinking needs to as well.

So what is the problem?

The problem is that the way we design our lives is backwards – we find a job, then we build a career then we figure out based on the resources we have (read: time and money) what type of lifestyle can we lead.

What is the cause of this problem?

The cause is rooted in the way we are brought through our education system.  We are all taught to go to school, to get good grades so we can get into a good college, to get a college degree so when we graduate we can get a good paying job.  Once we get that job, what’s next?  We grind at that job so we get promotions and 3% raises every year, so that in 40 years we can retire.  That is how our system is designed.  I won’t say this is wrong – I’m just challenging it.  In many ways it has to be this way because you can’t have 300 million people doing their own thing.  There needs to be a system and there needs to be cohesiveness.  But the real question is this: is that the lifestyle you want?  Is falling in line what’s best for you?  It depends.  What lifestyle do you want?

What is a viable solution to the lifestyle design problem?

The underlying issue is in the order we design our lives.  As outlined above we think – job > career > lifestyle.  What we need to do is flip that around and think – lifestyle > career > job.  What lifestyle do you want to lead?  What career would support this?  What job can you get now that will get you there?  Think of the labor system as a resource, which will help you to create the lifestyle you want.

This may not seem like a big deal, but give this a try.  I mean really think about what life you want to lead.  What does a perfect day in your life look like?  Get specific.  What time do you want to wake up?  What do you want to eat for breakfast?  How many hours a day do you want to work?  How many vacations do you want to take?  Where do you want to live?  The questions can be endless but when you really start answering them honestly you may find that what you’re doing doesn’t support your desired lifestyle at all.  If it doesn’t, it then becomes a matter of finding (or creating) the job that does support your desired lifestyle.

Viewing your life in this manner can be one of the most powerful mindset shifts you can make.  The important part of this is that you are taking control.  Demand from your job and career what your lifestyle needs and like water carving out a path down a hill your career (the hill) will eventually conform to your lifestyle (the water).

You have nothing to lose by demanding from life what you want of it.

Happy Wednesday!

(Chad)

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3 comments so far

  1. Nick on

    Haha, HD crew is everywhere. All different places in the US some PPG, some not, and some still in GO. Don is on Tandem. 🙂

    We had a good time back in the day on the old HD.

  2. chad on

    Nick, that’s the absolute right attitude to have. You see it so much – people who don’t take control of their life. They just sort of let their circumstances or company or w/e dictate where they go and what they do. They never really ask, is this the life I want? It’s awesome that you’ve gained this perspective already.

    BTW… I drove by PPG the other day and couldn’t help but wonder what all the old HD crew was doing… especially Don.

  3. Nick on

    I agree with this. After moving to the Netherlands for work (my own choice,) I still get people from back home in Pittsburgh asking me when is PPG (my company) sending me back home…

    I tell them that they are not sending me anywhere, if I want to stay here I am staying (which I do at this point) and if I want to go back, I’m going back no matter what PPG has to say about it, it’s my life. People tend to be surprised at this answer, but I tell them why should I let a company control my life? It’s my life and you only have one live to live…Live it up!


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