One piece of advice that comes up again and again, and that I don’t completely agree with, is the idea that you should “follow your bliss.” Advocates of this position suggest that all you have to do is “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius) and that if you “Follow your bliss . . .the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” (Joseph Campbell).
In theory, those are great suggestions. The problem, as I see it, is at least two fold: (1) You may not know exactly what it is that you want to do and (2) that job may not be immediately available to you. The solution to those problems is to gain experience, which brings up the conundrum of how to get experience when most jobs require that you already have experience.
Luckily, there are several good ways to gain experience, and you should take advantage of all of them unless you’re one of those fortunate few who do know exactly what it is they want to do in their career. And even then, the more experience you gain, the better your resume looks, and the more employable you become.
What all of these methods for getting experience have in common is that they will help you figure out what you enjoy doing and, perhaps more importantly, what you really hate doing! When I was in graduate school, I did an internship as a technical writer. I learned two important things from that experience: I’m really good at technical writing, and I hate working in a nine-to-five office environment! My experience as an intern helped me make the decision to stay in graduate school to complete a PhD after finishing my master’s degree so that I could find a job in the academic world. . .which HAS allowed me to “follow my bliss.”