I’ll never forget the day I knew I was done being a radio news reporter. I’d thought about it before – many times – but on that day I knew it.
I was watching a four-story mill burn. Suddenly, the top floor collapsed, taking much of the building with it and sending flaming embers soaring. It was a truly impressive sight—and it should have been exciting—but I had covered a lot of fires, and the thrill was gone.
For every sensational fire story, I had written a hundred other stories about city council, school board and other governmental meetings, none of which were very exciting. I knew that it was time to move on.
I soon found a role that was a better fit and allowed me to use the skills that I had developed as a communication major, but I still wasn’t engaged in the work that I was doing. This time, I realized the more important question was “What do I want to do?”
Today, as a nursing advisor in Herzing’s Admissions Department, I can say that I truly do enjoy my job and that I am not only engaged but fulfilled by my work. Every day is a new experience, and I like to help students discover how they can apply their skills, knowledge and passions to find a career that suits them.
If you’re wondering what step you should take next in your educational or professional career, then it’s time to do some self-reflection and soul searching. Ask yourself these three questions:
- What do you like to do? When I was re-evaluating my career, I thought about the tasks and responsibilities that I liked to do in a job and the activities that most interested me. I realized that I liked communicating, meeting new people and working in a dynamic environment. Understanding these three things about myself helped me focus on opportunities that would be most exciting or interesting for me.
- What are you passionate about? After thinking about what I liked to do, I took it a step further. I thought about the industry and type of organization for which I’d like to work, and I narrowed my search to marketing or education. These were industries for which I had a passion and been interested in for a long time. After more consideration, I realized that I wanted to go into education since working directly with students would allow me to utilize my communication skills and feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment from my work.
- What do you value? Finally, I looked for an organization that aligned with my beliefs. It was important to me that I truly believed in the organization’s mission and felt the company culture was a good fit for me, as I knew that was what it would take to keep me engaged and fulfilled in a career. I feel a true sense of commitment to Herzing’s mission, and this is part of why I enjoy my job today.
Whether you’re just beginning your career or looking for a change, think about what you most enjoy doing and the kinds of activities that will both challenge you and motivate you. Once you discover that, you can determine what it will take to achieve it. Is it more education? More experience? Developing new skills? Crystalize in your mind what your goal is, and then find your path to making that vision a reality.
Steve Luckas holds his bachelor’s degree in communication from Saint Norbert College and his master’s in business administration from Herzing University. He has worked in radio broadcasting as a news reporter, anchor and on-air producer. Steve also has been the Director of Administrative Services for the Catholic Parishes of Beaver Dam, WI. Since 2007, he has been a member of the Herzing University Admissions department where he has been an advisor, mentor, team leader and now serves as a nursing advisor.