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photo source @soleiletternel

Career choice is a juicy topic. It invokes excitement and fear. It pushes us to be confident and critical and requires us to be curious and brave enough to fiddle and be wrong.

"Live your passion" doesn't cut it. That phrase has always stressed me out. It's too broad and there's so much pressure.

There's no diagram or phrase to answer a question of such significance. It is a process and the right answer requires the right questions.

After a 17-year career in the financial markets, I scribbled my "what should I do next" ideas across a whiteboard. They ranged from "run a homemade ice cream truck" to "fish farming". Luckily, my then 4-year-old came into my office and erased the entire board. Instead of frustration, I felt relief. It freed me of 20 business ideas which were all valid but just not mine. It was then that I decided that I would put some substance around my ideas.

These are the questions I began to ask myself which led to the trademarking of AfireFi in 2017. They come from ancient wisdom and modern culture. Finding your own answers to these questions should be a fun process of self-discovery. I hope they help you as much as they helped me.

Career Direction Questions...

1. What are the big picture issues in the world or your community you care about?

It can be concerns like the declining fish population or the limit of creative arts in your community. Write as much as you like. There are no consequences.

2. What are you good at?

What comes easier to you than others? This may not be your passion.

Finance is not the cool kid in town but I do understand it better than most people I know. It isn't numbers and spreadsheets to me. It is a reflection of our lives, opportunities, and freedom. Tinker Bell hated being a tinker at first until she could see how her talent could help her community. What are the things you have a knack for?

3. What is your creative talent?

If you were out in your favorite bit of nature on your own without any technology - what would you do? Scale solo to the highest point, write, sketch, build a hut, cook? For me, it is writing. I have drawers full of journals. It was on a white water rafting trip that a fellow camper pointed out to me that I was in fact a writer since I was always writing.

4. What art forms do you enjoy?

Consider what type of art, music, nature, reading, fashion, dance, textiles, etc you enjoy. You may be able to incorporate elements of this into your work. Whenever I travel I seek out modern art galleries to give me insights into the local culture. I used my love of art to help lighten up the topic of finance in AfireFi.

5. What roles do you enjoy and not enjoy?

Sales, marketing, accounting, teaching, researching? I like research, technical bits, and sales but my daily routine completely grinds me to a halt. One of my best friends is completely the opposite. What roles do you enjoy playing?

6. What will you like speaking about in 10 years?

This is a biggie. Excitement about a topic will lead you on a never-ending quest for new knowledge and that feeling that work is a journey, not a job.

Remember... This is not a one-sitting event. Scribble. Contemplate. Come back to it. Repeat. Repeat. Out of the fog, ideas will emerge.

When someone dedicates themselves to solving problems with what they both enjoy and are good at, they are able to introduce an honest new perspective to the world. This is how societies shift.

You are important. Do the work.

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