How I’m letting my passion guide me to my dream career

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Just over a year ago I moved to Toronto and got a job in social media. My job was to build an online community around the books 8 to Be Great: The 8-Traits That Lead to Great Success and Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky and RICH, both by Richard St. John.

When I first accepted the job, it was just that: a job. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do and I had a pretty jaded opinion of what I thought a job should be.

A year later, after many tears of frustration, stomping of feet and irrational hissy fits, I realised I’d been sitting on not only some of the most sound advice, but also my dream job.

After my three-month full-time contract with Richard ended, it was time to find a Real Job – one that was both permanent and, well, not as much fun. As far as I was concerned, I’d just spent the last three months getting paid to chat to people and play on the Internet, and that isn’t what a Real Job is all about. I had it in my head that a job is something you do 9-5, Monday to Friday, and complain about on Sunday evenings.

A Real Job isn’t about wanting to work weekends and waking up happy on Monday mornings. Or is it?

Although I continued to work for Richard part-time, and continued to maintain and improve my social media skills in my spare time, I focused my attention mainly on finding that Real Job. I searched tirelessly for jobs in marketing, events, PR, or whatever else took my fancy – and all to be rejected or ignored.

After months of following every piece of job-hunting advice I could find, I started to feel as though I was just sending my resumé into a vortex of nothingness and as a result I grew frustrated, hopeless and depressed.

In a final desperate attempt to find that Real Job before I accepted my fate as a burger flipper or upscale call girl (I wouldn’t actually go there), I agreed to meet with one more recruitment agent. After an hour and a half of going over my skills and resumé, I made an important realistion: I knew what I wanted to do and I’d been doing social media all along.

Although I felt temporarily stupid for not noticing that I’d been fostering my dream job all along, and for failing to take the very advice I’d been promoting from Richard’s books, I am relieved be able to focus my attention towards my love of social media. I can now also vouch first hand for some of the advice in those books: passion truly is the starting point for success and you certainly can have fun working.

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About the author

Sophie Bifield is a social media consultant who has spent close to 5000 hours professionally (and a whole lot more personally) creating online communities. Aside from being addicted to everything social media and being able to speak fluent web slang, she is also a graduate of Queen's University's psychology program. When not immersed in cyber space, @sophiebifield spends her spare time fundraising and training to run a marathon for diabetes. Check out her blog here.