Finding a new career requires a pursuit of excellence

Q: We are going to have to give up the family farm. It is too small to be economically viable and I can’t get enough credit to invest the dollars we need to turn everything around.

That is OK. We are all right with that.

A couple of the larger farms in our area are interested in both our land and our property and I expect us to get a reasonable return on our assets.

We should be able to get a decent house in town and have a few extra dollars left over. That is not my problem.

My problem is that I am only 46 years old. That is way too young to pack into some kind of a retirement package. I need to pick up a new career. But I don’t know what that would be.

I want more than a job to kill time. I want something into which I can sink my teeth and really get involved.

All of my life all that I have ever really thought about is farming. Without my land, I am lost. I don’t know what to do.

My wife thinks that this can be a really exciting time in my life and I suspect that she may be right.

A whole new world is waiting for me. If I could just think of some way to kick start a new beginning for me, I could probably really take off. So where do I start?

A: Your wife is right. This is a time in your life with the potential for a lot of excitement. Most of that depends on you and your willingness to take a look at new opportunities in what is for you a new world.

Nothing is stopping you from visiting either an employment agency or one of the student assistant offices in a technological training centre to spend time with vocational assistance counsellors. They have at their fingertips a number of vocational interest tests that you can go through and identify areas of interest you might want to explore.

Don’t expect vocational counselors to make decisions for you. They are there simply as guides to help you think about a future that will fit more clearly with your natural abilities.

Your part in all of this is to pick up on what your natural abilities might be. The trick is to engage in your own pursuit of excellence.

From now on whatever you do is done to the best of what you are capable of doing. No more just getting it done and out of the way. You don’t just help around the kitchen at supper time — you create a gourmet meal for your family. When you tidy up the washroom, you leave it so clean that if a germ happened to be left behind it would die from loneliness.

Operating farm machinery flawlessly is creative for you, and if you have animals they are going to be treated better than a prize-winning bull at the community exhibition.

Remember, throughout all of this, you are looking for excellence, not perfection, and what you are going to find as this process goes on, besides a wonderfully built stature of self-esteem, is that you are going to lean in one or two directions more than others.

Some activities are more interesting for you than are others, and it is those activities you might want to explore for future vocations. If you do this properly, you are likely to find a few surprises in your collection of interests.

The goal is to take those interests and with the help of vocational counsellors, turn them into lucrative and personally rewarding professional opportunities.

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