Sam Roworth, a former international-level athlete, chronicles the trials and tribulations of his hunt for an entry-level sales position in Canada. He and many other college graduates are struggling to find suitable full-time work.
Shakespeare hit the nail on the head in Hamlet: “We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
As an athlete, I know how intricately identity is linked to success. In 2013, I won a World Cup medal in the four-man kayak. The achievement was a result of years of intense training among the world’s best. Standing on that podium, I felt on top of the world. I had exceeded my own expectations and I felt unstoppable.
What followed was the mighty fall.
The next year brought injury, surgery, a new coach and higher expectations. The pressures that rested upon my shoulders broke me mentally and physically. Being an athlete was woven into the fabric of my identity, both for myself and others, so much so that I no longer had any idea who I was.
With the conclusion of my sports career and in the midst of transitioning into a different role, I am left with the same questions I had in 2014: Who am I? And what is my pursuit?
It turns out this was the first phase of my work with Peter Caven, from Launched Careers, whom I’ve partnered with for end-to-end career management. We spoke about the three types of work available: jobs, careers and callings.
Jobs are a way to pay the bills.
Careers are a path to increasingly better work.
Callings are important to my life and a vital part of my identity. This was an important piece for me. Having spent the past decade fuelled by passion in my athletic pursuits, the idea of settling into a “job” evoked connotations of unfulfilling work.
Mr. Caven explained the self-determination theory, which suggests there are three factors that contribute to enjoying your work: