Finding What You Like to Do

5392982007_a9ce71110a_zOver a 40 year period, I, Kathy Berman, have worked in eight different careers including teacher, education specialist, insurance/investment sales, addiction counselor, marketing specialist, manager of parks, manufactured home sales and author. The greatest gift from having had such diverse jobs is the reality that no one knows a job before they begin. We learn jobs on the job.

All the talents you are good at on your present job will be talents that you’ll use on new jobs/careers. List the 10 aspects you feel comfortable with on a job. Don’t be afraid to change or modify your list. Put it in a conspicuous place and check it over every day.
A career shift is easy after you understand the qualities you must have for any job. What are your interests and desires?

Career Questions:

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Where do you see yourself ten years from now.

Is there something in your life that you want and don’t have?

What is stopping your moving forward?

What do you need to change today to make your career move forward?

From Jeff Shinabarger: “How Your Decisions Will Uncover Your Calling”:

Nicaragua was our family’s haven for a two month sabbatical. Twice a week we rented bikes from a social enterprise that was employing men coming out of addiction recovery programs or jail.

We were the first customers at the bike shop to request a child seat. Our daughter was nearly two so we needed a way to include her in our bicycle excursions. They unburied a child seat from storage that someone had donated.

They welded the seat to a bike for us to use.

Jada was tied in with a rope that was interwoven through the seat and double knotted. We learned not all countries are quite as child-safety oriented as the USA.

Our path was a five-mile road that would dead-end at Lake Nicaragua. I resonate with what Ernest Hemingway once shared, “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” Seeing the culture while on two wheels is what allowed us to experience real people and what made us love this place.

Every ride, we passed the Coconut Guy on the way to the dock.

I never knew his name.

Yet he and his coconut stand profoundly shaped the way I think about what I am designed to do in life. He gave me a metaphor for understanding the process of calling.

He had a four-foot square plywood board propped up on top of a paint bucket, balanced just perfectly to not fall off one side or the other. Taped to the front of the bucket was a piece of white computer paper with a sharpie message that simply communicated “$1” with an arrow pointing up. Following the direction of the arrow up, you realized that he was sitting under a coconut tree.

I love simple signs like this.

They require just enough imagination to get your attention. You handed him a dollar and he shimmied up the tree, picked a green coconut from the tree, and brought it back down.

He would then set the coconut on his perfectly balanced plywood and bucket table and with a machete start methodically carving the sides of the green coconut until the white heart of the fruit appeared. It took him only a minute to shape it into a cup-like design, puncture the top, stick a straw inside, and hand it over to the paying customer.


A fresh coconut drink made right in front of your eyes.

What we may visually see on the outside does not always match the intended purpose or design that is within each of us. Every time I saw this process, it made me question my unique design. As I watched the Coconut Guy carve off the edges with each whack of the machete, I thought of all the work I have tried over the years that has not matched my intention or ambitions.

Some work seemed like a good fit but didn’t quite match my abilities and loves. Carve it off. I like doing one thing, but fail miserably when I try something else. Whack.

Each life experience, each decision I make, each time I succeed or fail sheds off another dirty edge and moves me closer to the best part:

My place of true purpose.

Just another step in the process of finding the tasty, milky core – our intended design.

Our bike rides in Nicaragua gave me a lot of time to think about what I needed to shed on my pursuit to discovering life purpose. These decisions that define purpose separate their decision makers from everyone else. If we want clarity in what we are intended to do, we must release and clearly say no to the things that we know are not a match for our calling and say yes to what we are made to do.

What do you need to quit today, so you can pursue what you are created to do tomorrow?

Photo credit.


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