I have always considered myself an introvert. Growing up, I was that quiet child that liked to read instead of playing outside with all the other kids and got A’s in everything but oral communication. I always thought I would go into something mundane and prosperous like finance or accounting. Fast forward twenty-something years, and I’m currently doing the exact opposite: marketing and communications. Did I ever think that I would end up pursuing a career that forces me to utilize my biggest fear? Of course not.
So, I ask myself, then, why do I gain the most satisfaction in terms of personal achievement and accomplishment from this field? Is it my passion? I wouldn’t necessarily say so. Actually, I can assure you it absolutely isn’t. Seminars and small talk gives me anxiety, I am deathly afraid of public speaking, and I’d much rather read by my fireplace than be in a social environment on a Friday night.
Taken from my last post, Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You, “This is because the specifics of the work are not important. Traits such as mastery, purpose, autonomy, impact and creativity cause you to be intrinsically motivated by your work.” I urge you to be mindful of these five traits when considering your career.
After high school, I interned with the government, then went to Mohawk for Executive Administration. I worked in two office at Mohawk and was offered a job at a reputable company when I graduated. I finished school, got a job, and I was good at it – so what was the problem?
I realized I was mindlessly dragging myself into the office every morning. I found myself staring at the clock a lot, either anticipating lunch or 5:00. I despised the stack of papers on my desk and felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I realized I had lost (or didn’t have) any of those five traits.
I spent nights reflecting on what I could do to be better and happier. This was when my own little light bulb went off – I remembered how fantastic I felt after doing things that at the time, would have rather went bungee jumping: speeches I wrote and presented for events. I loved the satisfaction of overcoming my biggest fear, the ability in expressing my creativity, but ultimately, I loved the connection I made with people.
So, I quit my job, went to university for Business Communications, and got a position in the University Marketing and Communications office. I also volunteer to fulfill that inner desire for making connections with people. Each and every day, I face challenges, scary but exciting. I meet new people on a regular basis. I never have time to look at the clock because my mind is thinking about new ideas and creative projects. My tasks include doing things that are way out of and beyond my comfort zone. I mask my quiet and introverted side so that people can see my creative and dynamic side.
Whenever I meet people who tell me they don’t know what to take in school or what field they want to be in, I always tell them what my father always told me: “Education is never wasteful or regretful.” Even if you aren’t sure why you’re in school for the program you’re taking, or where it will lead you after graduation. I sure didn’t. Even if you’re working at a job you don’t like or feel like it won’t get you anywhere. Very few people know exactly what they want to do, pursue their education, graduate, and land a job in that exact field. It is all a part of the journey, and more importantly, it’s a part of the road to success that is never straight.
– Sozanny Chea
Executive Office Administration ‘12