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Carreer Junction by Michele Majul-IbarraWork for passion or money?

by Michele Majul-Ibarra

Spring is in full swing and for some it may be the right time to spring into a new job or career. After all, spring is a time for rebirth and new beginnings.

Two things often considered are, either to work for money or to choose something that we love. Well, if you can have both, that would be the ideal career. For most people, this is not the case and that is why it is important to learn what we do best and perhaps from there, we can uncover what fits and which skills can be transferred into a long-term career.

Discover your strengths

Early this week, one of our administrative assistants approached me about her recent job interview for a human resources position. She said she felt like she did not meet the expectations of the hiring manager. There was one question where she was asked regarding a particular ability and she indicated to the hiring manager that she did not have any experience in that regard. However, she did state that she does possess transferrable skills that she can apply.

To give you some background, this employee has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Degree and has been in a clerical role for about a year. For someone with long-term career aspirations, it is quite normal to seek out new opportunities and new experience. It is not always easy to find the right job or career, but a job change or career change requires hard work and patience; and above all, it requires taking charge.

The key to establishing a successful career is discovering who you are and what you want in life. It’s really important to know yourself when it comes to choosing the right career. Some people may change careers several times before finding the right one, but always remember, it is not always about what the job brings to you, but what you bring to the job. It is not always about the salary, but about being happy and loving what you do five days a week every single day of your career.

“It’s whom you know, not what you know”

We’ve heard this phrase many times before. In today’s world, it is becoming more obvious that it’s not only whom you know but also who knows you and your work. One of the things the administrative assistant and I chatted about were some of the things that she could do in case she is not successful in her job interview. Considering she is a new university graduate and she is keen on building her experience, we talked about job shadowing one of the human resources folks and building her network from there. This is one way to get other colleagues familiar with her skills and talents. The key is to “know” and “be known.” Stay connected and keep your network active.

Take action!

Opportunities will not magically appear on your desk. If you want career change, it is up to you to make it happen. If you know the career path that you want, actively seek it out. Your career is in your hands, so owning your career is the way to go, as nobody else will help you except yourself.

Don’t be too complacent

Envision yourself three years from now and ask yourself, “What kind of job you will I be doing by then? Can I see myself doing the same job for more than three years?” If the answer is no, think of ways to work on developing yourself to get to where you want to be three years from now. It may mean taking up some courses to upgrade credentials. In order to move forward, it is important to think forward.

The reality is we cannot always have both money and a job that we enjoy. Sometimes we do things that we do not necessarily want to do and other times, we may be lucky enough to land something that we actually like to do and make good money out of it. It does not really matter whether we like our job or not, the reality is we have to work as hard as we can regardless of the job that we have. Good or bad income, we still have to work hard. The important thing is that our job meets our needs and maintains a good balance between work and family.

This article is intended for information purposes only and not to be considered as professional advice.


Michele Majul-Ibarra, IPMA-ACP is an Advanced Certified HR Professional with the International Personnel Management Association. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and a Certificate in Human Resource Management. She also holds the C.I.M. professional designation (Certified in Management).  E-mail her at

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