How Do You Know if This Is the Career You Want to Pursue?

The realization about your dream career, or to know if the new career you have in mind is the career you want is, is something that happens gradually. It’s a process. With each experience and exposure to things that interest and inspire you, you get closer and closer to it. You need to delve in and experience things for yourself.  Instead of guessing, to test your interest, experiment a bit, do something in the real world and interact with people who are already in your target career, to get to know more about what it’s like. 

After doing that, you’ll be able to assess and confirm your interest in that career.

Do you have a strong feeling that a particular new career you set your eyes one is ‘the one’, but you are not 100% sure? 

What you know for sure is that right now you are not where you are supposed to be.

You are 100%, 99% certain that you no longer want to be in the profession, industry, or pursue the career that you are in right now.

Your gut feeling tells you to get out and chart a new, different path as soon as possible. 

Many people experience this kind of feeling. However, many people do not know where they want to be instead. They are hoping to get to a point where they just know what they want.

In some cases, this happens. Some people simply get to the point where everything becomes crystal clear to them. They ‘suddenly’ know what their dream career is.

But this is not how it normally happens. At least not in my case. 

The realization about your dream career, for lack of a better term, is something that happens gradually.

It’s a process. With each experience and exposure to things that interest and inspire you, you get closer and closer to it. 

It’s very unlikely that there will be a specific point in time or one day where you suddenly have a moment where you realize “Okay this is the career path that I want to follow”, followed by a light bulb shining over your head. 

It’s not like if you’re having dinner with a bunch of friends and meet their friend who happens to be a diving instructor, and out of nowhere, you think “Oh this is it! This is what I’ve waited my whole life for. This is my thing, I want to be a diving instructor too!”

That sounds ultra-romantic but unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Career change and the process of realizing which path you want to take is a slow and gradual one. If it’s cooking then it’s similar to cooking a slow roast instead of a pack of instant noodles. 

Realizing what career is best for you is an iterative process and you have to give it time to unfold. 

Many events and experiences preceded my first feature film. I didn’t always know that I wanted to produce films. Even now I cannot say 100% that this will be my main career path for the rest of my life.

What I can say though, is that I have the goal of producing my next film within the next 5 years or so. 

And that’s not because I’m not passionate about it, but because I am open to the possibility that my life and my priorities may change along the way. 

Before I produced my first two feature films, here are some of the events that occurred and experiences I went through:

I had a strong affinity for theatre during my childhood and acted in school and community theatre.

In high school, theatre always got me super hyped and I was always inclined to be involved either as scriptwriter or actor.

When working in Banking, I still felt so pulled to the world of acting that I spend my after-work hours participating in an acting class at NYU Tisch, in Singapore at that time.

I acted in so many short films, student films, and independent productions. I attended a lot of acting filmmaking workshops.

These experiences eventually led me to read and research a lot about filmmaking. I’ve become aware of my then role model Brit Marling who (also) left the world of finance to pursue Filmmaking and Acting.

All these things were like a tunnel that funneled me into filmmaking. Taking into consideration all my interest, passion, experience, drive, I was gradually sucked into this world. That is how it happened, in a nutshell. 

Another important thing that I almost forgot was that I made two zero budget films a few years before producing my first two feature films.

I made them at my house in the living room with some of my family members. There were three of us in total and we used most of the things that we already had in the house.

The film – was not good.

But it was part of the process that sooner or later I had to go through. 

And I had to admit that I still tremendously enjoyed watching them because those films made everything real.

Once they were finished I felt like “Okay. So it’s actually possible. There is a way”

Something so abstract had now become concrete. 

After that, I thought “Well, this is something that I want to do again in the future. But next time I might want to put more thought into it and plan it better.

So to figure out if a career you have in mind is the career for you, you need to do get your hands dirty. 

You need to delve in and experience things for yourself. Test it out as much as possible, experiment a bit.

After doing that, you’ll be able to assess and confirm your interest in that career.

You can read and you can fantasize about it all you want, but you need to get out there, get active and involved. Otherwise, you’ll only be assuming how it could be.

If you don’t have hands-on experience – meaning doing something in the real world or interacting with people to get to know more about what a certain career is like, it will remain abstract.

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