Career choices aren’t about ’What do I love the most?’ but ‘What life do I want?’

We're really looking forward to presenting at Doncaster's Opportunities LIVE on Thursday 13 February.

Co-created by Doncaster Chamber and Doncaster Council, Opportunities Live will bring education and business together to inspire our future workforce and local talented young people

In advance of this, our Head of Marketing and Communications, Sian Booth talks about her career experiences. 

I have in a frame at home a magazine clipping from 2008. Back then I’d stuck it over a Polaroid of my husband and I, which we’d also taken that year. It’s one of the first pictures of us together, we have terrible hair, and the clipping reads “Career choices aren’t about ’What do I love the most?’ but ‘What life do I want?’”

All my friends wanted to become actors (and most of them are!) and coming from a 19-year-old Drama student, I think it was quite a statement.

I often come back to the picture of us as giddy students in love and reflect; especially when I’m thinking over life and work decisions. Because ’What life do I want?’ is easier to answer than ‘What do I want to be’ or ‘What should I do when I grow up?’. 

It may sound a bit unambitious at first, but for me its really helped over the years to direct my talent into what will make me the happiest. And those that know me can confirm - I’m still very ambitious. 

Yes you may love theatre or sports or maths or coding. But what life do you want? 

The great thing about theatre and performance is that there’s so much diversity of opportunity. Want every night to be different? Want to see the world? Want to change lives for the most vulnerable? Want to make children smile? Want to transform your home town? We’ve got a job for that. 

I’ve always been of the belief that taking opportunities is one of the best ways in discovering your potential. Even if they don’t always seem that relevant or directly related. You might have a career goal in mind, but in my experience the most value has been found on the indirect journey.

So go to the event, sign up to the thing, take part, join in and get involved in stuff. 

Finally, time is precious, but career choices aren’t a race. There’s no start and finish. Someone once told me that it’s like a vine growing up a wall, sometimes climbing one way or another or branching off in different directions - but always going up eventually. And when you stand back and look, only then can you appreciate the growth and journey.

 A much more sentimental person than me, but I think the analogy has always given me confidence to not feel guilty if I try something new or indeed keep going towards the next opportunity.