Mon | Nov 12, 2018

Glenford Smith | Unemployed and unsure about my passion

Published:Sunday | March 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM

QUESTION: I'm in my thirties, and have a BSc in business administration with two years supervisory experience. I got laid off and am out of a job. I'm realising that business isn't what I'm really interested in. I'm now thinking about a career change but am unsure what my passion is or which area to look into. I've thought about the construction industry but don't have the necessary prerequisites. I'd really appreciate your advice.


SMITH: Perhaps the best thing you can do right now is to adopt a practical, pragmatic approach, going forward. This is in contrast to the idealistic approach you seem to be contemplating.

While pursuing your passion is ideal, circumstances might prevent you from doing that fully right now. Fact is, you're unemployed and need to get a job to earn an income right now. While you're contemplating what your passion is and which career to transition into, you have bills to pay, obligations to fulfil.

Focusing your efforts on getting a job in the area of business administration, which you're qualified for, might prove the wisest course of action. Having such a job will provide the stability you need, as the foundation for making a successful career change. So, my advice is to immediately accelerate your job-seeking efforts, based upon your work experience and qualification.

Finding or creating a career in the area of your passion is one of the most satisfying things you can ever do. There's a popular saying that "If you love what you do for a living, you'll never work a day in your life."

I believe there's much truth to that assertion. It's therefore quite worthwhile to discover what your true passion is, and how you can pursue it. Here are two approaches to help you do this.

First, answer these questions: What hobby, activity or interest do you engage in, where it seems like time just flies and is never enough? What do you do extraordinarily well, that somehow comes easy for you, and you find fun to do, which others struggle at? What talent, skill or ability do people routinely complÈment you on, or seek your help, advice or input with? The answers to these questions will give you some valuable clues as to your passion and talent.

Another, less intuitive approach is to utilise one of several scientific psychometric assessment methods available. Psychometric tests are routinely used by human resources departments or their head hunters in selecting suitable candidates for job openings. These tests are designed to measure candidates' suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities).

They can be administered by a professional who can explain what the results mean and guide you in making recommendations for career choices. For your purposes, though, I'm going to suggest three free or almost-free resources you should find helpful.

_Book: Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger & Barbara Barron-Tieger;

_Free personality assessment test at:;

_Myers-Briggs Test Indicator Assessment at this costs US$49.95.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'.glenfordsmith@