It’s difficult to remember a time when I haven’t been the kind of person who tries to fix everything. I use the term ‘fix’ loosely because when I was younger I would often take things apart and have absolutely no idea how to put them back together. Usually electronic devices like radios and old computers that had stopped working, or would soon stop working as the screwdriver began twisting in my fingers, and plastic casings were prised apart.
Discovering the inner workings of various machines always excited me but there was frustration in equal measure because I lacked any skill in actually repairing them. It turns out that isn’t actually a bad thing. Feeling stupid is frustrating, but feeling stupid about something that you care about is a perfect recipe for having the motivation to develop your skills.
My score for Mechanical in the ‘Areas of Interest’ section of my hoozyu report is a very high 95. That’s in the territory of an interest that’s pretty critical to my wellbeing if not fulfilled. It also means I look at people like they’re crazy when their car breaks down and they call the garage without even popping the bonnet to take a look, or they drop their phone and just buy a new one without trying to fix the broken screen. “You aren’t even going to try to fix that?!” I scream inside; “Just let me take a look first”, I say politely. These days I’m a lot more likely to know what I’m doing - or at least know where I can learn what I need to know - much to the relief of anyone who has heard those words escape my lips.
The Mechanical interest in your hoozyu report is all about being hands-on - be it with a hammer and chisel constructing furniture; a needle and thread making items of clothing; or a brazing torch building bicycle frames. It’s also about a motivation for problem solving so it doesn’t have to mean hands-on in a strictly physical sense. Sixteen years ago, my father bought me a second-hand ZX Spectrum for about £10 at a school bric-a-brac sale, and while it did eventually go to computer heaven and was subsequently disassembled, in the time it was working it gave me a newfound love of computing and programming. What I loved was the instant feedback you get when you put some instructions in, and either you’ve done a good job and a beautiful piece of software emerges, or the screen fills with error messages and you head back to the drawing board. When you finish a project you look at it proudly and think “Hey, I built that. Awesome.” - much like the furniture maker, the fashion designer or the bicycle frame builder would.
For the next sixteen years programming was always something I did for fun in my spare time, slowly paving the way for software development to become a career for me, even without any official qualifications. To be clear, if you know what you want to do then aim to get qualified in that area, but if you’ve finished school or university and you think you’re going to be stuck doing something you don’t enjoy, think again. Use your passion and show evidence of the effort you’ve put in to develop new skills to impress the right employer. Some won’t see past the lack of qualifications but plenty understand that the motivated candidate with a willingness to learn trumps an unmotivated candidate every time.
So don’t stand still, find your areas of interest and do something that makes you feel stupid. You may find that passion turning into a whole lot of ability, or even an entirely new career path!
Can you identify with being a high-mechanical human, and what do you do to engage with that motivation? Or are you the complete opposite? Let us know in the comments…