You folks seemed to enjoy “Your Thrift Habits”, the educational film I posted last week. I liked it too. I’ve found a few more of these to share, and will post them on Saturday mornings. Today’s film is “Finding Your Life Work”, which was produced in 1940 by Vocational Guidance Films, Inc. This movie is twenty minutes long.

“Did you ever go fishing without any bait?” asks the narrator. “Of course you didn’t!” You couldn’t catch anything without some sort of lure. The same holds true when searching for work. “Your personality, training, and experience are your bait.”

The film notes that in choosing your life work, there are many things to be considered:

What do you expect to get out of your life work? Many would answer money. Money is important for the things that it will buy, and a certain amount of it is therefor necessary. As important as money, however, as a return for your work is the satisfaction of doing a interesting job as well as — or better — than others are doing it.

To find suitable work, you must study the occupations available. Make a broad survey of occupations to discover those that might appeal to you. (The film suggests that you research them in the library. I grant you permission to use the internet.) Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each. This will help you narrow your list. Once you have a list of interesting occupations, ask yourself some questions:

  • What does the worker do?
  • Is the occupation overcrowded?
  • What are the starting points and the lines of promotion?
  • What are the future prospects for earnings and advancement?
  • What general and special education is required?
  • Where can it be secured?
  • What will this education cost?
  • What will it cost to get established in this occupation?
  • What are the physical requirements?
  • Is it apt to be detrimental to my health?
  • Would I be happy in this work?

“Finding Your Life Work” emphasizes the importance of taking full advantage of the opportunities afforded you in school. For example, “The home making department, through its courses in cooking, childcare, and home management, trains girls to be good housewives.” (Yikes!)

The film culminates with a list of ten key attributes required to find a successful career. Unfortunately, the writing for this section is l-a-z-y.

Just as a building must be built on a carefully planned foundation, so must your life be built on careful plans.

  • As the first block of your foundation, you must have health. Without health, no-one can be entirely successful.
  • The second block is character. Develop your character.
  • Your general education is the third block of your foundation. Keep your educational record clear.
  • The fourth block is citizenship. Are you a good citizen?
  • Next come your special interests and ability. Are you finding and developing [garbled]?
  • Ambition is the spark plug of the human engine. The force that makes things happen.
  • You may have special abilities and ambition, but are you willing to work hard to succeed? There is no shortcut to success.
  • You should know yourself better than anyone else knows you. Get acquainted with yourself.
  • The bigger the job, the more training required. Are you planning to get that training?
  • On top of this base you can place the stone of success, confident that your foundation is well-laid.

Examine your foundations and never for one moment believe anyone who may try to tell you that you can’t achieve success in this country today.

Some of the advice here is good. But some of it seems, well, outdated. It’s geared toward a slower-moving society, a less fluid society.

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