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Why Do You Like It?

The question WHY is critical to making the right career choice. You have to know why you like to do something. I like to do XYZ because… Then you have to seriously consider your motivation? If you are not motivated or if you have the wrong motivation, the results can be awful. Also consider the feedback or payback that you will receive.

The question WHY became crystal clear to me several years ago when I posed the following question to a class of high school students:

  • Do you prefer working with other students/people or with machines/computers and why?

I was absolutely floored by the responses. An inordinately high percentage of the students preferred to work with machines/computers as opposed to working with other students/people. In other words they liked computer work over people-to-people work. The reasons they gave (the WHY) were amazing and included the following:

  • There is an impersonal relationship
  • They could be a loner and yet be productive
  • It was a nonthreatening relationship
  • It was a nonjudgmental relationship
  • The student was in control when working with a computer
  • The student had a good deal of independence and freedom when working with a computer

A very low percentage of these same students liked (preferred) to work with other students and people. The reasons included the following:

  • They liked teamwork
  • They liked collaboration
  • They liked groups
  • They didn't like to work alone

So knowing what you like to do is important, but so is why you like to do it. And because we are talking about why you might like a career in IT, think of why you would want to go into IT. Is it one of the reasons my students gave? Or do you have a different reason?

Many go looking for a job in IT for all the wrong reasons. If you decide to pursue a career in IT, please go into it because you have found something you like to do.

Do not go into IT for the following reasons:

  • Simply because you want a job in IT
  • Simply because of what you have heard about IT
  • Simply because of the money

If you do, it will be just a job. Where is the pleasure in that? If you have identified something you like to do in IT, by all means go for it!

There are many options in IT and other sectors. For example there are options

  • For working alone
  • For working in teams
  • For collaboration
  • For making a lot of money
  • For creating something unique
  • For contributing to a large-scale environment

Every sector has these options—not just IT. So if you are interested in another sector, that's great.

List why you like to do XYZ. For example if you are interested in medicine, why do you like to work with patients? Or if you don't like to work with patients, maybe you like to do medical research. Why? Think about it and write it down.

So you not only have to identify what you like to do, but why you like to do it.

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