When I was a kid, no one encouraged me to find what I was passionate about or good at so I could turn it into a job. I basically thought a job was something you select based on it being “cool” or not. I didn’t even consider that maybe some of those jobs were awful and not at all something I should be doing. When it came time to get a job, the criteria changed to ones I could do, so I ended up doing clerical work, customer service, and administrative tasks. These jobs all taught me different skills and I’m thankful that I was given the opportunity to grow, however, they were jobs that killed my personality. Sitting in a cube, answering phones, and being harshly spoken to by customers were all things that I generally sucked at and squashed my personality.
Now days, they have so much for those wanting to understand what they are good at. My daughter took an assessment on Onet and learned she scores high in the “Artistic” area. So I took the quiz too and learned I scored extremely high on that same category. If you have a child in high school or just want to get a basic idea of what your strengths are, I’d recommend taking the quiz too. You can also look at the ones you scored a little lower in and see what they say. For instance, I scored lowest in “Realistic” which said this:
People with Realistic interests like work that includes practical, hands-on problems and answers. Often people with Realistic interests do not like careers that involve paperwork or working closely with others.
- Working with plants and animals
- Real-world materials like wood, tools, and machiner
- Outside work
This will give you an idea of what you should not do. For me, working on spreadsheets with numbers has been a good paycheck, but it gives me no outlet for creativity, which I thrive on and am passionate about. With that said, I enjoy the aspect of working by myself instead of with a team of people, which only seems to hamper progress, in my opinion. I think it’s a good start to figuring out what you are good at, but a quiz isn’t going to determine the thing you should do. But, it does help.
What Are You Passionate About?
I think the best thing I’ve done is just to try things. I have tried hand lettering and love that. I’ve tried watercolors and love that too. I’ve also tried acrylics, graphic art (Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop), chalking, and line drawings. There are aspects of those things I enjoy–for instance, I like graphic art but really I’d love to create my own watercolors and hand lettering and use the graphic design programs to digitize them. The point is, you try things and learn what you like and don’t like. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m passionate about and narrow that down, but I am in the ballpark.
You can learn from classes in your community, books, tutorials, or online learning platforms like Skillshare or Lynda.com. I also enjoy learning from the Instagram community. I love the feedback they provide and the ability to share my thoughts in a safe place that feels a lot less threatening than a “team meeting”.
Still Learning & Trying
As far as jobs go, I don’t have a job doing something creative, yet. However, I do enjoy creating for my shop and for this blog. I’m hoping once I really pin down what I want to do, all the exploration that I’ve been doing will have helped me run toward that goal. In the meantime, I find it a fun thing to just explore and experiment and learn what I am good at and what I’m not. And as I go, I plan on adding the things I’m doing to my portfolio.
Created this from a drawing, then digitized it in Photoshop, added textures, colors, and saved it as a .jpg.
This was from a watercolor class I took online. I need more practice, but I love the colors. The “hello spring” is hand lettered.
I did this “Irish Blessing” last week for St. Patrick’s Day. I’m still practicing hand lettering, but it is something I really enjoy.
If you aren’t sure what you are good at, I recommend taking some time to read books or research online areas of interest. Even though I didn’t give it much thought before, I always seemed attracted to art works, whimsical drawings, and beautiful hand lettering. Think about the things you are drawn to. Maybe those are things you should pursue. Make a list and try a few and see where it leads. Even if you are busy, 10 minutes a day to try new things is enough to get going.
Happy Exploring & Creating!