When I get into a good recruiting call conversation with someone I’ve never talked to before, Inevitiably a question I ask is, “So, how did you get into advertising?”  Often the answer is “accidently.”  I can’t say much about that myself, as I’ve already detailed my own accidental fall into the industry, here.  Sure, lots of people enter college, take an ad/copy/layout class which really turns them on, and plan to enter advertising.  But many art directors start out wanting to be gallery display artists and get into agency work to pay the bills until they open their own show.  Some PR executives graduate with Journalism, RTVF or mass communications degrees thinking they will be the next Katie Couric. 

The point is we often don’t know, upon college graduation, what it is we want to actually DO with that heavy stock piece of paper tacked into a folded pleather binding that gets dumped in a moving box and never pulled out again.

In the course of an email conversation with my friend Michael Iva over at Adholes, he linked me to this article he posted there last year, and a concept he calls Vocation HITCH-HIKING.  It’s a great introduction to building your career based on your passions.  Do you work to live, or live to work?  Does it mean you can’t “fall into” a career and discover a passion?  No.  But it means a little planning keeps you on track.



by michael iva
. . . or taking whatever job that happens to come your way:

–Your parents suggest that you pursue something to make them proud, or comfortable, or something they wish they could have done (without consideration of your aptitude or desire).

–Your friends were doing it, so why shouldn’t you?

–You hear that other people were successful at doing something; so if others could do it, you could too.

–You just settle for whatever is easy and available.

–It seemed like the best thing for you to do at the time.

–It was an offer you couldn’t refuse.

–You just fell into it.

–You thought you could make a lot of money doing it.

–You thought it would be cool, or prestigious, or the ‘in-thing’ to do.

–You had to make a living doing something, and this seemed as good a way as any.

— You were at the wrong place at the right time, and took what appeared to be an opportunity.

Meanwhile, you just made the biggest bad decision which will occupy a third of the rest of your lifetime.

Many people seem to look for jobs with less of a future and more of a present. They do not know there is a huge difference between the jobs they want, and the jobs they deserve (or earn), or what type of job is the right job for them.

People do not seem to understand that all worldly success depends on serving and pleasing others. Everyone has to serve someone to be successful. No one can profit just because they think they deserve to, others have to think so too.

Most people rarely do what comes naturally, or what is right for them to do because of their innate talents, aptitudes, and skills. How happy and fulfilled can you be if you are doing something that is not what you should be doing…something that is boring…something that does not fit your point of view, and mindset and interests and talents and skills and aptitudes?

You can’t be…so, put your thumb back in your fist, and find your vocation the correct way. . .


Look deep inside yourself and honestly answer the below questions, briefly, with the first thing that comes to mind. Once answered, your decision has unknowingly and already been made, for you, by you. You have just decided on the best vocation for you to pursue:

–What is truly fun for you to do?

–What do you really love to do?

–What brings you pleasure when you do it?

–What is interesting to do?

–What do you enjoy doing?

–What are you really good at?

–What is your passion?

What are your answers to these questions? List them all and the reasons why. (Are any or all of your answers basically the same? Do you know why? Because it is your passion.)

Once you have identified your basic answer, figure out how to commercialize it so you can know how to make a living by doing it.

Along the way, remember, nothing is going to be easy, and no one is going to look for you, or come to you. Whatever you want in life must be sought out by you. No one else can do this for you. You will need dreams, hope, faith, resiliency, and persistence to keep your passion alive. You will also need discipline, will, desire, resolve, and consistency to find what you want to get.

You can’t beat fun for having a good time; or as a vocation, a way to earn your living. Yet fun can also be a serious pursuit, like being in the correct vocation. Believe me, you’ll love making a living from doing something that is fun to do.

People who love what they do are highly motivated by their desire and enthusiasm. This will lead them to be more creative in bettering themselves and their output. They will enjoy their job more, and will be motivated to do more than others, and will consequently do it better. Work, well done to the best of your ability is one of the most gratifying of all human experiences. The contentment found in your true vocation spreads to everything else you do and every other aspect of your life.

Your future employers or clients can hire brains and experience, but character and passion is something you must supply. Being the right person for the right job is hard for a prospective employer or client to ignore. So do what comes naturally to you. Go with the flow nature gave to you, that special something that was given to you to help you survive and prosper.

Most people work just because it’s a job. They never followed their heart. Their job supports their entire life style and everything in it. Their job occupies too much of their time to be hated; yet people who dread their work are leading tragic lives.

However, when you do what you love, you love what you do. People who love what they do are happy. The only joy most people ever get from a lifetime of work is stopping at the end of the day. The least they could do is love what they do for a living. What a pity more people do not understand this principle, “follow your bliss, to find who you are, and what you should do with yourself.”

In other words…the simple formula for finding the most successful vocation for yourself is:

Fun + Satisfaction + Peace of mind + Growth + Profit = (Your Proper Vocation)

Originally posted Friday, June 23, 2006. 02:44PM at www.adholes.com.  This comment by Michael Iva at Adholes is Copyright 1987-2007 by QuContent. You have the right to post this comment / email forward this comment / or print a copy of this comment from your computer, as long as you do not change it in anyway, and give full attribution and credit to the author; and never charge money for it. Should you republish this please be so kind as to notify me of the usage for my records at ivamichael(at)hotmail(dot)com ‘Vocation Hitch-hiking’, is a registered trademark of QuContent.


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