With a chunk of the year already in our wake, this is the perfect time for us to examine why we do what we do and if there’s maybe a bigger purpose behind becoming a professional.
Moving from the classroom into your future career
Never underestimate certain skills or mental shifts that you’ll develop as a student while you slog away on that next assignment or practical. Once you transition into the daunting world of work, these integral things that you have learnt about yourself as a ‘pre-professional’ will become more essential than what you ever thought possible once you stride into this next stage of life.
In an article that Samantha Gratton wrote for RELEVANT Magazine, she asks the probing question: “If a job doesn’t define you, then being without a job shouldn’t define you either. Right?” She answers this question a bit later in the article, “You can’t just look for a job that sounds like it could be a good identity to take on, you have to look for a job that fits into who you already uniquely are apart from your career.” So, maybe the age-old question worth asking then is: do you know who you are apart from what your job may be?
Don’t think that because you might not have employment at the moment, your value as an individual is somehow diminished. You are more than what you do. Whether you’re officially employed or not, work should be an expression of what you know you’ve been created for. It’s while as a student where I think, more than at any other point in your life, you come to slowly discover and hone what this is for you. Maybe some take-away advice from Gratton if you’re reading this and perhaps are still unsure about what industry you’d like to move into after varsity: “You have strengths and abilities, so use them regardless of your job description. Ask yourself what you feel gifted to do. Then go do it, even if you’re not getting paid to do it.” You should never equate what you’re worth with the paycheck you may get at the end of the month. You were made in the image of Gob to ‘show off’ His beauty in the way that you work. That could never be measured in monetary value.
Maybe you’re still wondering about the reason for becoming a professional in the first place if the shift seems so tough. I would say that it’s all about how you approach this transition. Now that you may be outside of the safe confines of a class, it is vital that you begin applying the head knowledge that you gained as a student. How you cope when under pressure in a work situation shows a lot about the sort of person that you are.
The career you may already be involved with or what you hope to be doing in the near future can all too easily suffocate your character. Why not instead regard it as an exciting opportunity to grow more into the person you’ve been created for? This could never be defined by your job description.