StoryCorps founder and winner of the 2015 TED prize, Dave Isay, provides insightful advice on finding the job that is right for you. He mentions that people don’t find their perfect job, but they fight for it.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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Dave Isay found his passion when he first conducted an interview in 2015, with the objective of preserving the stories of everyday Americans. Since that moment, Isay has done thousands of interviews that have been recorded as part of his Project named StoryCorps, founded in 2013. Its archives are kept at The American Folklife Center and are the largest single collection of recorded voices in history. It is worth remarking that StoryCorps welcomes people to conduct 40 minutes interviews at private recording booths located in Atlanta, Chicago, and San Francisco as well as in other studios in the USA.
When speaking about finding the ideal job, Isay claims that this is not a passive task and that people who claim to have found the right job for them, have one thing in common: They have made tough decisions and sacrifices in order to find the job in which they feel most comfortable. Since he has listened to the experience of several people and how they discovered their calling, he put together their stories into a new book called "Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work." These are some of his most valuable tips from the experience of people to find their dreamed job:
1. Your calling is at the intersection of doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated, and truly believing your work is making someone’s life better: In this point, he highlights that to help people you don’t necessarily have to be a doctor. For instance, a waitress can be nice to customers and make them feel happy.
2. Your calling is likely to emerge from difficult experiences: In this sense, Isay mentions: "Having an experience that really shakes you and reminds you of your mortality can be a very clarifying event in people’s lives. Oftentimes, it leads to changes." He mentions Professor Ogunniyi who was studying to be a doctor when his father was murdered. This episode made him realize he wanted to be a teacher instead.
3. Age is irrelevant: In his project, Isay interviewed people who knew what they wanted to be when they were 15 and others who worked over thirty years in other fields to discover what they really wanted.
4. Your calling doesn’t need to come with a big paycheck: Dave mentions that there are some interviews in which he found that people left big paychecks to follow their true passion.
5. What matters is what comes after identifying your calling: The author highlights that the most important part is not finding your calling but working very hard to achieve it. For example, your dream may require you to change careers or to start a business.
6. Other people nudge you toward your calling: People or mentors can often direct you in ways you would never have imagined or you didn’t take as options. When you find your calling, you will be thankful to all of them.
7. Calling takes courage: Wendell Scott, who turned into the first African-American NASCAR driver in 1952, continued to drive despite threats against his life. Scientist Dorothy Warburton had to face extreme sexism as she worked hard to end the stigma of miscarriage. Isay highlights that following your dreams requires hard work, courage, and love.
The message of the author, after conducting several interviews, is hopeful and strong, and overall it leads people to believe in themselves and to pursue their dreams with courage, hard work, patience, and perseverance.