Guest Post: 3 Tips For Finding Your Career Passion And Running With It

3 Tips For Finding Your Career Passion And Running With It

Abby Sutton didn’t know it yet, but her career plans were fated to veer off in a new direction the moment she signed up for a college class in Russian fairy tales.

“It was a random thing,” says Sutton, who is now an account strategist for Google.

She was a pre-med major at the University of Pittsburgh, but the fairy tales course sounded interesting enough to round out her class schedule as an elective. One day in the class fairy tales took a backseat as someone made a presentation about College Works Painting (www.collegeworks.com), an internship program that provides practical business experience for college students.

Sutton was intrigued.

“I realized this could help make my medical school application different from everyone else’s,” she says. “I would have a better chance of getting into med school.”

She signed on and soon the undergraduate student was learning to run her own business, and managing a crew painting houses in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. She learned to sell her services to homeowners, plan a budget, estimate expenses, and hire and manage employees. It was such a life-changing experience that Sutton switched her major to business administration, happily giving up her plans to become a doctor.

“What we try to do is give students a truly entrepreneurial experience,” says Matt Stewart, co-CEO of College Works Painting. “For employers, the most impressive recent college graduates are those who are both ambitious and have a proven track record through hands-on leadership experiences.”

Based on her College Works Painting experience, Sutton offers a few career tips for college students and for young adults just getting started in the workforce:

  • Be open to alternatives. College students often are just 18 years old when they choose a major and begin mapping out their careers.  But those decisions are based on limited life experiences, so students should never close the door to other possibilities, Sutton says.
  • Make the most of every minute. Time management is critical for any job and something many college students and young professionals struggle with. Sutton says she learned to make good use of what others might consider downtime. She even scheduled business phone calls during her 10-minute class changes at college. “You learn not to waste any seconds in a day,” Sutton says.
  • Don’t underestimate yourself. Sutton was 20 when College Works handed her the responsibility of being a district manager overseeing other interns, which meant she would mentor people her own age – or in some cases several years older. That was daunting – but not for long. “I was more worried going into it, but I came to realize their age didn’t matter,” she says. “A lot of times they had more respect for me because of it. I would be talking to a 26-year-old guy who would be blown away that this was a 20-year-old girl doing this. They wanted to figure out what they could be doing differently so they could be in that spot.”

Sutton’s medical school plans and those Russian fairy tales are just memories now, but the College Works Painting experience still influences her every day.

“It was the best decision I’ve made and it changed the course of my life,” Sutton says. “I realized how much I loved sales and business. If I hadn’t done that I would be miserable reading science books right now.”

About College Works Painting

College Works Painting (www.collegeworks.com), founded in 1993, provides real-world business experience for thousands of college students each year. The award-winning internship program also offers high-quality house-painting services for homeowners. The company operates in more than 35 states, hires more than 2,000 students each year, and paints more than 10,000 homes annually.

Available on Amazon.com

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Book Review: 5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich with Purpose by Nik Halik and Garrett B. Gunderson

5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich with Purpose by Nik Halik and Garrett B. Gunderson

This 320 page book is more like a course in life management than any we have seen.

If you take Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, stir in a little of Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking, add a pinch of The Autobiography of Ben Franklin, and then top it with The Millionaire Next Door, you have the recipe for 5 Day Weekend.


5 Day Weekend: Freedom to Make Your Life and Work Rich with Purpose by Nik Halik and Garrett B. Gunderson takes your typical book on money management and stands it on its ear.

In these pages one will find tons of ideas about how to make more money through active methods so that one can then make more money passively. This is one of those books you wish you had read when you were younger.

Nik Halik has an engaging writing style that makes the book very readable and enjoyable and, if you aren’t careful, you just might learn something. We give it all five stars.

You may be thinking that 5 Day Weekend is just another book on finance; you would be wrong. Instead, it is about living the life you want to lead. Readers learn about goal setting, planning, budgeting, and more.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.