I can still remember the 2 careers my high school aptitude test with its multitude of questions revealed as being best suited to my skills and personality – movie director and minister. I still chuckle at how diverse they are in many ways. Having no interest then in film or a religious pursuit, these careers were met with laughs and eye rolls by my guidance counsellor, friends and family. “There is NO way you are going to be either one of those,” friends would joke. The general consensus was that somehow the test was flawed. I now realize had those ideas been explored and had we been able to look past those exact titles, they exemplified my skills to a T.
I went to university because I knew I needed to further my education – but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I got a degree in English Literature not because I necessarily wanted one, I knew it interested me and I was good at it. Quite frankly, I had no clue as to what I wanted to do with my life. And after getting my degree, I literally had no idea how to transfer my three years of newfound knowledge into a career.
Sometimes when you don’t know the direction you are supposed to take, the universe, fate, a higher power – whatever you want to call it – steps in and puts you on the path you are meant to travel. While walking through a shopping mall one day in my early 20s, I was stopped by a model scout …and my almost 25 year career as a model began. And where did it take me? Onto a plethora of TV shows, learning the ins and outs of live television, sound, lighting, angles and how to be outgoing to make the segment shine. I later went on to be an on-air TV host and create fashion shows with a million and one moving parts behind the scenes that I needed to have an eye on at all times. Not exactly a movie director but so many similar skills in a multitude of ways.
My career instilled in me the need to share positivity around body image and self-esteem and I speak regularly to groups of girls and teens about media literacy. And after having a major life shift due to developing autoimmunity, I have been connecting to even more groups – in lectures, online, in interviews and on TV about creating a spiritual connection with oneself, about finding love and happiness in our lives. I recently realized, minus the religious connotation, how many similarities there are in my career skill set and that of a minister.
Many people want to create a career change but just don’t know what they love. They don’t know what will light them up day in and day out. If this sounds like you, think back to when you were younger, before being convinced certain ideas were impossibilities, before ideas were put into boxes and shoved away. Think back to what truly interested you before the world – friends and family, finances, cultural norms told you to think otherwise. Or take an online aptitude test and be open to what YOU, through your answers, are revealing are your strengths. And don’t get hung up on formal career titles like I did – be open and explore!
It is never too late to be who you really want to be and who you are meant to be, to do what you were put on this earth to do. You are never too old to reinvent yourself and express your true talents. There are always signs on the road pointing us in the right direction – we must however be open to seeing and accepting them. At 45, I believe I am only now truly melding my passion and my skill set. I am finally reaching into my backpack and using all the tools that have been there all along. You are right on track no matter what age or stage you are at. Like an incredible meal, sometimes we just need some sweet time to marinate…
PSST! I write weekly on this seriously juicy book loving site. This article originally appeared there. You can catch this article and my other articles and other really great ones by fabulous writers over here.