I was at a get-together where someone mentioned a goal they have of going back to school but unsure what direction to take. For the sake of this message, we'll call her Amanda. Amanda was sharing her consideration of exploring the field of forensic investigation. "It sounds interesting to me," she said. She even looked into the program at a college. Despite the explicit interest she expressed, her demeanor spoke with some uneasiness and uncertainty. I stayed quiet for a bit while those around rooted for her idea and interest. “Yes!! That sounds awesome. Go for it!! Do it!! It’s possible!!” It sounded like I was hearing the recording of Les Brown being played live by the group of wonderful people before me. While I do love Les Brown’s work, I felt like there was a need for Amanda to get some key questions answered in order to make a clear discussion of time and money investments to go back to school.
I finally broke my silence and said, “It sounds like a fun field to get into. What’s the demand for that job right now in your county?” She wasn’t sure. She said she’d try it out after the program. Then I asked, “how much of your time and money would you have to invest?” It was a minimum of 3 years at a university she explains.
As I’m listening to her, I’m not hearing a large enough 'why' to invest 3 years of life on a program that just sounds interesting, nor do I hear that she's done enough research with people in the field already. All I hear is that it would be interesting to consider the field and explore it as if Sherlock Holmes is part of the story. The thing is, this isn't a story. This is a single mom on a mission. This is about life and the potential loss of one of our biggest resources: TIME!
If you’re seeking a new career move, let's save you some time and energy by asking yourself at minimum these questions:
- What’s the problem I would be solving?
- Is this a problem I feel happy to solve?
- How much demand right now is there to solve this problem?
As professionals, employees, entrepreneurs and individuals in the working world we aren’t just going out there getting and doing a job. We do more than that. We are problem solvers. Your work is a lifeline to getting someone's health care needs met if you’re a nurse or insurance agent, or guiding someone to good health if you’re a fitness trainer. It’s a lifeline to helping someone drive a functioning and safe car on the road if you’re a mechanic, or gaining prosperity through clarity and direction if you support others as a coach. This is the reality of it!! So know the problem you want to solve and go out there and do it!!!