The Key to a Great Career

According to Larry Smith, one needs to be passionate about their work to have a great career. In his TED talk titled, Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career, Smith argues that you will never find a great career if you are afraid to pursue your interests.

But is it really that easy? At AthLife, we agree that interests are very important and suggest the following steps to finding your ‘Great Career.’

Step 1: Discover Your Interests

We all have many interests if we look for them. How do you spend your free time? What do you enjoy doing? AthLife Advisors use the Strong Interest Inventory to help Lifeletes discover their interests as the first step of career exploration. The most respected and widely used career development instrument in the world, the Strong, reveals your interest patterns by synthesizing information about your personality, areas of interest, preferred work environments and styles of working, learning, leading, risk-taking, and team participation. Lifeletes participate in an hour-long debrief of their Strong results with an AthLife Advisor to discover how their unique interests can guide them during career exploration.

Step 2: Learn More about Career Opportunities Associated with Your Interests

Once you have identified your top interests, it is time to consider career choices that incorporate your interests. O-NET OnLine is a great resource for searching occupations based on interests. It is also important to talk to people who work in the career fields you are considering. This is best done through an Informational Interview or Job Shadow.

Step 3: Evaluate Career Opportunities to Find the Best Fit

After you have selected your ideal career opportunities based on your interests, an important final step is evaluating if they fit well with your values and lifestyle. For example, if you are interested in pursuing a career in coaching, it is important to consider the different levels of time commitment for coaching at the high school level versus at the college or professional level. Do not feel that you must compromise your values or preferred lifestyle to have a great career. Return to Step 2 and research other career opportunities if you are not comfortable with the fit of your selected ideal career opportunity.

The process of finding your ‘Great Career’ begins with identifying your interests and then exploring occupations within those interests. It takes work to find work that you can enjoy. Stay focused and let AthLife help you navigate the way to your ‘Great Career!’