The Skillful Man

Career selection is a minefield that young people are forced to walk through often with little assistance. With the current economy, just securing employment, any employment, is difficult enough as it is without being too choosy. Often a career evolves out of circumstances or developed interests. The fear of being trapped in one career for ever, can be paralyzing and cause indecisiveness. In our culture, people seldomly follow one career for the rest of their life.
Personally, I’ve owned about 30 businesses that were as varied as chalk and cheese. However the common thread was that they were businesses, and God called me to be a businessman. I’ve tried my hand at various trades, but was never very good at any one thing. However I did feel God’s pleasure in starting new businesses, and in that I became quite skilled. I’m convinced that a person can make a good living at just about any occupation if they set their mind to become skilled at it.
Here’s a few keys that you might find helpful in selecting your career.
1./ What do you really like to do? Where do you derive great enjoyment and pleasure? Forget about how much money is in it, that will vary with your skill level.
2./ Do you have a sense of God’s calling to a particular area? This one trumps all others.
2./ Look for a void and fill it. My son got a degree in biology. Every tree hugger and animal lover on the planet gets one. My oldest daughter got her degree in chemistry. Not many pursue chemistry because its hard, hence there’s lots of jobs available for chemists. Besides that, who would ever aspire to work in a lab, even the rats don’t enjoy it.
3./ In a positive economy, specializing is a luxury we can afford. In a poor economy, the jack of all trades will always find work. The reverse is true for consultants, specializing is crucial to success, but that usually is a second career later in life.
4./ Discover your aptitude. Listen carefully to the clues. You don’t want to end up a square peg in a round hole. A friend of mine got a teachers certificate only to discover he really didn’t enjoy the classroom setting. It wasn’t his cup of tea. He’s now working on his masters in mathematics. Definitely not my cup of tea! There are many career aptitude tests, but I would rather suggest some of the personality tests, like the love language test. Sometimes it’s more a process of elimination. Knowing what your personality is not suited for is as important as knowing what you are suited for.
5./ By far the most important bit of advice is to become as skilled as possible at the career you’ve chosen. You will never regret it.
Proverbs 22:29. Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

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