Oh, the age-old question asked to us when we’re kids and re-evaluated many, many times when we are adults. Some of us know exactly what we’re meant to do in life and head steadfast in the direction of our life-purpose horizon. Most of us, however, are not that lucky and our career paths are… well… rocky.
In fact, nearly 80% of Americans aren’t happy with their jobs. Something’s gotta give.
Jennifer Turliuk, currently a student at the amazing Singularity University has accomplished some pretty amazing stuff:
Received her BCom From Queen’s University
- Ran Canada’s biggest business plan competition there- QEC
- Started her own DJing business
- Developed a startup in Australia that was featured in the NY Times and won her 2nd place at Brazil’s MBA business plan competition-Latin MOOT Corp Competition
But, it hasn’t always been a path of perfect steps–Jennifer has learned a lot of lessons along the way and now offers up the tactics she used for the career path-choosing strugglers.
Finding a job vs. finding your passion
Jennifer started out like many of us do—graduate from college, write the perfect resume, nail the interview, secure a corporate job and be on your way to a safe, secure future. Oh yes, safe and secure… how sexy and interesting.
Don’t get me wrong, these things are VERY important in life. But, like most of us after the corporate job security allure has faded (about a 2 year lifespan), Jennifer found herself unsatisfied and determined to figure out what she wanted out of life, career and everything in between.
Instead of pondering over prospective ideal career paths, she got to the heart of the matter. She started a “what do I really want to do with my life self-education” program; you know, the stuff they don’t teach you in school. She started cold emailing, and was shocked at the amazing responses she received.
Her tactic paid off and she managed to meet with the founders of Airbnb, Square, Kiip, Mint, Color (just to name a few) simply for advice, recommendations and anything else that would help her along her passion-finding way.
Jennifer also volunteered at any and every conference to continue her people-meeting and advice-finding. She even sat in on classes at Stanford where she met John Krumboltz, an international career expert and career coach.
He told her one very important thing that has stuck:
Test out career choices MVP style—prototype work experiences through low commitment tactics (i.e. cold emailing, volunteering, attending talks and absorbing).
Making It Happen
Jennifer quickly found inspiration to start her own business and her career-building momentum hasn’t remotely slowed.
After her few “prototyping” months, which she says were more valuable than any MBA, she joined Startup Chile and was recently admitted to the 10-week grad program at Singularity University (started by the founders of Google and based at NASA… no biggie).
Her final words of wisdom for the career path seekers:
- Pick a few things you’d rather be doing, find companies and people that are doing them, and get involved (shadow, sit-in, talk)
- Volunteering, internships and even informational interviews will help you continue to learn and meet the right people, and might even land you a job
I love the idea of prototyping potential career-paths, and Jennifer is an excellent example of the success you can find by doing so. So all you dissatisfied workers, take these tactics and start the reach–perhaps it will lead you to your own startup, or better yet, life success.
Ps- Follow Jennifer on Twitter @jenniferturliuk.