How to Find Your Passion and Make it Your Job | Emma Rosen | TEDxYouth@Manchester

How to Find Your Passion and Make it Your Job | Emma Rosen | TEDxYouth@Manchester

hello so I want to start by asking you to raise your hands if you know exactly what it is you want to do when you leave education I can see about six hands okay now I want you to raise your hand if you have a few more general ideas or actually you have no idea at all okay that's that's that's the vast majority of you so not that long ago at all I was sitting where you are today and I had no idea either I have no idea when I was at school when I was at college then at university and when I finally enter the workplace in my early 20s I didn't know that either what I want to do today is tell you a little bit about what I did about that problem so to set the scene I want you to come with me to a wintry Monday morning in November three years ago it's 6:35 a.m

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and it's cold out it's dark it's raining basically like this morning and I haven't slept all night all night I was kept awake by the thought of having to go to work the next day I had a tight knot of stress in my chest and it had prevented me from sleeping all night long from worry and so eventually my alarm went off I had to get up and had to go and face the day ahead at work what I had was a really bad case of the Sunday night blues so I had quite a good job I was working on a corporate graduate scheme that I'd worked really really hard to get on to my parents were really proud of me was owning a good salary I had job security job stability I was using all the skills that I'd learned at university and had a clear path of progression I ticked all the boxes I had one the career lottery but yet every day when I woke up I dreaded going just work absolutely dreaded the idea and it took me a whole nother year to figure out actually what had been my dream bot my dream job that had ticked all of my boxes it turns out that it was not for me and that was okay so that begs the question what on earth is for me I had no idea I was back to square one so in a fit of despair one night I wrote down a list of all the different careers I had ever wanted to try everything from when you're asked as a small child what you want to be when you grow up you say astronaut or firefighter prime minister so my list had 25 jobs on it and they ranged from really traditional sensible professions to slightly more unusual but still fairly mainstream ones then the third category seemed completely random there were things that I've been told weren't real jobs at all but they all have one thing in common all of them were things that I had secretly dreamed of doing my entire life but for one reason or another had never had the opportunity to fully explore them but in my mid-20s I was still curious about them now I sat back on couch I started daydreaming trying to picture Emma the author Emma the Explorer Emma the archaeologist and there are so many different possible cells to choose from and each one was totally unrecognizable from my current reality that day sitting on that couch I decided that I was going to try every single one on that list in a year before my 25th birthday and I was just about to turn 24 so that worked out was roughly one every two weeks I was going to quit my job and take a radical it's the battacor so I had to my notice at work which was both the most terrifying and the most liberating day of my life and I said I said about trying all these different jobs they ranged from wedding photography be publishing to being an extra in a movie then there was teaching tall guiding and interior design after that I was working in the police dogs unit there was landscape gardening and blogging and just as I'd always dreamed there were adventures by exploring in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco there was travel writing in Venezuela and archeology in Transylvania of all places so what I want to do now is tell you a little bit about what I learned doing all of these jobs and the three most important things that I learned from doing so many jobs in so many different industries so the first thing is about starting your career search not by thinking about jobs but by thinking about who you are as a person so set jobs aside for a minute and see how you'd answer these three questions when I did this I went back to my list of 25 and I changed some of them so first up is what skills do you want to be using and what skills are you good at and they're not necessarily the same thing but what you need to do is try and find the crossover about where they are so this could be things like teamwork or leadership could be analyzing data problem solving writing a second question is what do you want to get out of the workplace and all too often we think about how we fit into a job or a career type we don't consider how well it suits us so this could be something like making a difference having a positive impact on society or it could be variety not wanting to do the same thing month in month out or perhaps it's autonomy you being in control of your workload the third thing to think about is working environment this is something that's very often overlooked and actually it can make a substantial difference to your happiness at work on a day-to-day basis so do you want to be a power dresser going into a slick City office or maybe you like the idea of doing something practical outdoors or using your hands do you want to be working for a large international company that will send you around the world or do you like the idea of starting your own business it's an entrepreneur with your two best mates in your garden shed use your answers to these questions to objectively assess how well different sorts of jobs student you so the second thing I want to talk to you about is the sheer importance of getting multiple work experience placements in a diverse range of careers so I think careers should be like dating very few of us end up marrying the first person that we kiss were first person to be on a date on date with but with our careers that's exactly what we do we marry our first career and what I think we should be doing is dating around we need to date a few more careers because doing so allows you to make career decisions based on knowledge and experience rather than based on assumption hearsay or perhaps expectation and I think this point about assumption is really really important and it's something that I learn a lot more about during doing so many different jobs there was one job in particular that showed that and bizarrely that was alpaca farming so this job I got through Twitter of all things sent out a tweet said quite like to try farming don't know any farmers but in ten minutes an hour Packer farmer from Cornwall got in touch and said come and work for me thought okay sure why not and it was September I was it was still quite warm out I was hoping to go down maybe get a bit of a town at the same time and we spoke on the phone and she said absolutely not you need to come in January because if you like farming in January when the weather is miserable you're meant to be a farmer I was such good logic that I couldn't disagree with her so a few months later January rolled round got my car they drove down to Cornwall my phone signal did that there was a little X at the bottom my phone and arrived in the middle of the night and the first thing I did was step into a puddle I wonder what on earth I was doing with my life well I've got the next morning though and the hillside was covered in a glittering frost I put on about seven jumpers and went outside and I did all the things that I'd always thought I would do farming so feeding animals animal husbandry helping to use with lambing it was fantastic but then it got to lunchtime and sat down with the farmer she turned to me and says that's less than half of what I do because to be a sustainable farmer and the 21st century I have to be an entrepreneur as well after actually make a living selling the produce for my farm and she had multiple lines of business but the one that she told me about and that I worked on while I was there was which took her our Packers she shared them throughout the wall spun into yarn then the yarn was made into high-end luxury children's wear that she sold Harrods and she managed every single step in that process from helping in our Packer give birth to negotiating with Harrods imagine all the different steps in that process on top of the regular jobs of being a farmer and what this showed was how many business acumen skills you needed as well as combining with a practical outdoor job and it showed how completely wrong I'd been about this career I was so wrong about it and I would never have known if I hadn't have gone and seen for myself if I hadn't learned by doing so the last thing I want to talk to you about today it's about what happened after I tried all those different jobs because I loved more than one of them and I've quite a lot of them and this left me with a new problem how to choose I realized that all my life I've been trying really hard to be a high achiever but it turns out that's not why it was what I was was a wide achiever why I also realized was that maybe I didn't need to just choose one but maybe don't apply that to the dating analogy growing up I'd always assumed you can only do one job but what doing so many different jobs showed me was there in fact this isn't necessarily the case at all in fact this is a flawed assumption what I could have was a portfolio career and this is the concept of having multiple jobs at the same time in either the same or in different industries and doing so by for part-time freelance or contract work I can take the skills that I was best at and that enjoyed most and I could specialize in those rather than industry specific knowledge I could take my skills and instead of applying them vertically in one industry I could apply them horizontally in many so if we fast forward a year I'm now 26 and I finished my project just over a year ago I chose to specialize in communications both in terms of written and verbal through speaking and over the past year and a bit I have officially had seven jobs and I see that as something to be proud of not something to hide I think a portfolio career can show opportunity in what is traditionally seen as fickleness or indecision because instead it can show traits like flexibility adaptability resilience the ability to learn quickly given that 65% of the jobs that you will do don't even exist yet and that our careers are likely to span well into the mid 70s as ultramarathons and that we all have over 5 career changes not job changes career changes each I think these are pretty useful skills to have but ultimately I think it's about happiness figuring out what job or jobs you want to do and getting the experience to see if they are right for you happy people have been proven to earn more both of themselves after their companies or organizations and to work harder so is in everyone's interest that you love what you do both yours for friends your families the people you work with and the people you work for we often hear throwaway statements like follow your passions or achieve your potential well I hope this talk has done has given you some insight as to how you can practically go away and figure those things out because these days every day I wake up and look forward to the day ahead and I don't think that I should be the outlier I think that should be the you know thank you