Everyone wants to find their purpose, their reason for existing. For career happiness, it is important to be able to fulfill your purpose.
While many of us have multiple purposes, such as wanting to empower future generations, save animals or the planet, or even visit faraway planets, it is important to help your Engirlneer identify her purpose so she can find a career that will ultimately make her happy and bring meaning to her life.
Most kids will change their image of an ideal career practically on a daily basis. One day they want to be a firefighter, the next day they want to be a sanitation worker. Often, this change is based on something as simple as a sweet interaction between them and someone they know who holds the inspiring profession.
If you want to help your Engirlneer determine her purpose, you need to ask her why she wants to be in that career. If she doesn’t have a good answer, then she probably really doesn’t want that job, but she may learn that she likes certain aspects of the career that would translate to her picking one career over another in the future.
Maybe her response to, “Why do you want to be a sanitation worker?” is that she gets to be outside instead of working in an office. Now she’s narrowed down one aspect she’ll need in a career to be happy. Maybe she’ll also say that she sees so much garbage all over the street and that job seems like it would help keep the planet clean. Now she’s narrowed down another interest.
Often, adults will try to sway Engirlneers to a career the adult thinks is prestigious. However, instead of judging an Engirlneer’s imaginary career choice, follow up with the question, “Why?” This will help narrow down what an Engirlneer really values in a career and her life. Maybe your Engirlneer wants to be an artist because she wants to be creative and make art that makes people happy. However, maybe she wants to work with technology instead of with canvas and watercolor. Now she’s narrowed down her focus to something with graphic design.
Along with asking questions, let your Engirlneer explore activities she enjoys. Sometimes, letting her try a new activity will mean letting her give up one she doesn’t like. As caregivers, this might be the hardest thing for us to accept. Letting your daughter give up on the dreams you may have had for her so she can explore her own wants can be scary and disappointing, but we need to remember the focus of our parenting is to help our children be themselves and explore their individuality and what makes them happy.
By encouraging your Engirlneer, she will better understand how she translates her, “Why” into a fulfilling career. Actually DOING is the best way to determine if you enjoy something.
Maybe your Engirlneer really wants to be a chef, but after 6 months in cooking class, she realizes that being on her feet all day and working long hours doesn’t align with her other interests. However, thanks to the class, she has realized that she wanted to be a chef because she wanted to experiment with different flavors or recipes. Now that she understands WHY she wanted to be a chef, she can now explore careers in other areas that will allow her to experiment without requiring her to be on her feet all day.
This brings me to another point: study your Engirlneer for her strengths and what makes her excited. Do you ever notice that your Engirlneer gets really excited when she gets to work alone doing calculations, but that when she has to work with a group and give presentations, she’s nervous and quiet? Try to figure out why she has this preference, and how that can affect her career choice.
These types of feelings might not necessarily dictate the career your Engirlneer wants to enter. For example, an extroverted engineer can be just as successful as an introverted engineer. However, understanding how she feels may dictate where your Engirlneer chooses to work or who she chooses to work for. It may help dictate her career trajectory. There are so many different paths someone in ANY career can take, and I truly believe it’s possible to be happy in any career choice as long as it aligns with an Engirlneer’s true purpose. The earlier and more often she can test her likes and find her true passion, the easier it will be for her to translate that to a career she loves.