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The One Thing You Cannot Base Your Career On

by Alison on November 27, 2012

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One of my core messages is that there are many, many more career paths in the world than you likely realize.

However, today I want to tell you about the one career path that will fail you.

Painting your own toenails. (Fingernails are a different story.)

So, of course, this is a metaphor. By painting your own toenails I mean doing something that is 100 percent self-serving.

It’s pretty hard to pick a pursuit that falls into this category. (I suppose even painting your own toenails could work out ok professionally if you were a foot model.)

But I think this caveat is a good thing to keep in mind because it points to where success lies.

Any successful career path will involve being of service to other people. This can take lots of different forms. You could be helping out a boss, a client, or an ad campaign for ‘I Think In Pink’ nail polish.

You might be adding something cool to a person’s life, like a painting, or taking away something icky, like career angst.

No matter what you do your work will always be for others.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot benefit from whatever career path you choose. It just can’t be completely about you.

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