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This morning I woke to the sound of some hideous techno music, courtesy of my lovely husband (1. Really?? 2. Honey, give it up, you are too old to be a hipster). I am more of a Cinderella-birds-singing type of girl, so you can only imagine my excitement. While driving to work I then proceeded to hit every-single-red-light and getting stuck in every-single-slow-lane. On the outside, my “presentation” (car, clothing, hair, make-up, etc.) probably portrayed me as put together and professional. Inside, I could feel a miniature Hulk Hogan ripping his shirt off and screaming at the top of his lungs. Then, as I was approaching my office, I started thinking about the day ahead, and suddenly I felt relaxed. A big smile appeared on my face, the same smile that would show on a 16 year old girl’s lips when she thinks of her high school crush; and that’s because I am in love. I am in love with my job.

I was born and raised in Italy and I tend to have a romantic view of everything: love and passion are in my blood (That’s Amore!), I can’t help it, but I am not alone. In fact, this morning a quick “in love with my job” Google search brought about 2,640,000 results. Upon reading some articles, I don’t seem to be the only person on earth who thinks that finding your true professional love is just like finding your soul mate, and that once you have realized you have reached that high, your life won’t be the same.

Your first job is most likely not going to be “The One”. Personally, I have gone on some horrible dates, and professionally I have not enjoyed every single job I have had. Just like every relationship has helped me discover something about myself (what I am attracted to, what I am certainly not into, what works and what doesn’t), every job I have had has taught me very similar lessons about who I am. I have learned what I am good at, what I need to improve on (see diplomacy), what I like, as well as important things about my surroundings such as knowledge of different industries, people’s personalities, and the importance of making the right connections. Like other college graduates in a similar career stage, I have developed a skillset and the self-awareness I hope will make this “marriage” last (UCF you are stuck with me for life!). Between the ages of 15 and 30 you will lose count of the times your heart will be broken (personally and professionally), so get ready to shed some tears and make your heart beat fast again.

According to Curt Rosengren, author of 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work, loving your job helps your life and your career by giving you more energy to put back into your work and what matters to you the most. He explains, “You feel energized by what you’re doing, so your tank is continually filled. That means you have much more energy to put into excelling. And in the long-term, that makes all the difference in the world.” Your overall positive outlook allows you to engage in your relationships, making a difference, enjoying life, and overcoming challenges (Curt Rosengren, 2011). So, if you want to be successful, get out of your head that work is not supposed to be enjoyed – although like in every relationship, once in a while, you will need to compromise and suck it up (trust me, I am married, I know).

How do you find your Mr. Right? You gain experience, and as career coaches our job is to be your match maker and help getting you on the right track. Our goal is to help you have a better understanding of who you are, what your strengths and interests are and help you plan your target career accordingly. As former recruiters, we can help you source and secure career opportunities by sharing our knowledge of how contemporary recruiting works. We can help you prepare for your “first date” and find ways to tell your story, relating past coursework, internships, part-time jobs, and life experiences to the requirements of the specific job you are interviewing for. Notice I put an emphasis on the “help” part, because just like your mom and dad did not come along on your first date, neither your career coach is going to do all the work and line up a job for you. Finding who you are, what you want, and how to get there, is going to take some significant work on your part.

Upon graduating from UCF, we ultimately hope for you to land a job that helps you gain the life and work experience you need to get to your dream job: a job where you can be as passionate, committed and dedicated as I feel about being a Career Coach, and many other professionals feel about their own careers. Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local, and the New York Times bestselling author of Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business, shared on his blog, “I love my job and our business on good days, and yes, even on bad days. I love it in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, til death (or acquisition) do us part. […] Being in love is a state of mind – one that you can have with someone – or with something – like a job!” (Dave Kerpen, 2014). So get out there, date, get your heart broken, fall in love again, figure it out, and at some point in your career hideous music at 6:00 am and dreadful traffic won’t really matter, because your true love will be there, waiting for you at your desk.

References:
Rosengren, Curt. “Why Loving Your Work Matters.” Money and Careers. U.S. News & World Report LP, 9 June 2011. Web. 2014, April 23.
Kerpen, Dave. “I’m In Love With My Business – And You Should Be, Too” Likeable Local, 5 Feb 2014. Web. 2014, April 23.

laura-g-mcdonough
By Laura Genocchio-McDonough
Career Coach – Economics and Finance

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