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Career Connexion 

  When I grow up, I want to be...

I was sitting at my desk one day catching up on my e-mails when I heard a couple of my colleagues chatting next door about their children. One of them blurted out, “Thank goodness my son is finally going back to school to finish off his degree!”

Her son had left university because he didn’t like the courses he was taking. Instead, he wanted to fast-track his way to earning a good income, so he decided to get a job in the postal business. After a while he realized that although his income was really good, he also realized that he doesn’t want to do shift work and manual labour for the rest of his life. Lo and behold, he went back to school to pick up where he left off with an aspiration to establish a career in the field of science. There are many different factors that might trigger an individual to jump from one job to another. However, in this case, the student realized that he didn’t want just a job; he needs a career.

In one of my recent readings, I came across an article called First jobs of the rich and famous. I had no idea that the founder and chairman of Dell Computers, Michael Dell was once a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant earning $2.30 an hour. Also, author Stephen King worked as a janitor. He was cleaning a girls’ locker room when he became inspired to write the novel Carrie.

What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that young people often get asked. Sometimes, even adults ask themselves the same question when they’re in the midst of contemplating a career change. There is really no definite answer to this question because switching careers or establishing one is a natural progression. Studies also show that on average, a job seeker will change careers several times over the course of his or her lifetime.


One of the things to consider when exploring a potential career or a change in career is finding out first the kinds of employments that match your passion. Reflect on the things that make you tick. Also, focus on likes and dislikes. What do you really like doing when you’re at work, at home or at play? What type of activity energizes you? What is your passion?

Transferable skills

 It is also important to review your skills and think of how you can leverage them to the career that you want to explore.


Update your skills and broaden your knowledge. Take a course or two to ensure you really like the subject matter relating to the career you are thinking of entering. Being equipped with the knowledge and education will help prepare you for a new career. This is especially helpful to students.


For those who want to branch out into a new career, in a sense, you are starting your career again from square one. Consider obtaining a part-time job or a volunteer opportunity to help solidify your decision while gaining experience related to your new-found career. This can also apply to young people who are preparing themselves for a career after college.

Some may realize the career of their dreams early on in life while some realize it at a later stage. Some find out what they want to do by trial and error or by chance. As the Chinese proverb says, “If you love your work, you will never work another day in your life.” In other words, one should find the work that he or she loves and do everything to make it work.


Michele Majul is an HR Professional with Canada Post Corporation in Prairie Region. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Human Resource Management.

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