The new Quest: find a career to love

kate-winslet-reading-680x476Recently I have been compelled to ask myself how do I find a career I love? As well as, asking anyone who is in a career that they seem to be jumping out of bed for how they found themselves there.

Interesting how priorities have shifted, when I was single, the question used to be – how did you meet your significant other? And BTW, most of the time the answer really was a Christmas party or a wedding- It is not a cliche! Every friend of a friend’s gathering I attended in my 20s I was eyes and heart wide open “hellooo’..? is it you?”

Now being a Mom, I want the hours spent away from my daughter to be deeply meaningful to me.

On Friday Cup of Jo, this renown blog, published a piece on How to Navigate a Career Change. I was in flight on my way to visit my mom in Cape Cod and the article carried me the whole way there. Hundreds of people jumped in to comment and share their stories on how they are in the middle of a career shift or how this article helped to encourage a leap of change. So many of them commenting on the uncanny timing of needing to hear support in this issue. Knowing so many others at ALL ages were doing complete 180s, bravely going back to school, getting out there and making massive shifts in their lives, made me feel a sense of well being. We all deserve to be deeply excited about our work and I am ready to chose something meaningful to me.

Many of the readers also provided additional resources in their comments I wanted to share:

  • Quiz: 16 Personalities, 12m and free.
  • Podcast: “Getting Unstuck”, NPR, Hidden Brain. Design thinking, good for a first step that helps to get unstuck. Prototyping: “Fail early and often”.
  • Book: So good they cant Ignore you– this sounds like my Dad’s take: The importance of “career capital” and Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You love. Haven’t read this yet, but’s it’s in my amazon cart.
  • Book: The Artists Way – a guided workbook to make you dig deep and uncover your blocks. I have made it to week 7, then a break, then on to week 15, now on a break again. The morning pages can only help you and if you have nothing else to try- why not give it a go. I realized my 5th grade teacher did some deep damage on my confidence and those memories needed some TLC. Sometimes it is good to stir up the pot and clean out the bottom.
  • Article: Screw Finding Your Passion – Mark so eloquently provides some clarity: “that’s the whole point—“not knowing” is the whole fucking point”. He yells a lot  about productivity and this part is pretty funny: “Really, what is so wrong with working an OK normal job with some cool people you like, and then pursuing your passion in your free time on the side? Has the world turned upside-down or is this not suddenly a novel idea to people?” – At least that helps me be happy in the contrast, I do work with cool people. I am OK where I am and that always is an easier jumping off point. AND THEN he ends with a salty gem: “If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that….the real truth is that you already enjoy something. You already enjoy many things. You’re just choosing to ignore them.”

The comment that I shared on Cup of Jo’s article received a reply: suggesting perhaps I ‘ask myself what I can do for work that I think is valuable, rather than what I love.’ Maybe that is an easier question to answer. ‘The idea being that fulfillment will come from knowing your work is valuable.”

Thank you dear reader. This does feel lighter.

If you feel compelled to comment or share where you are on in this journey, a success story,  I’d love to hear it. Hope the resources here inspire some accidental happiness.  LET’S BE BRAVE!

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2 Comments

  1. No eighteen year old in her right mind says that she wants to spend her life cleaning teeth. It was 1974 and this eighteen year old wanted a profession where she could support herself as soon as possible. Independence was the goal. My parents had limited funds and could only offer to pay for two years of college, I was in charge of paying for my room and board and any education beyond an associate’s degree. Well, here I am, forty one years later loving every minute of being a dental hygienist and, believe it or not, dreading the concept of retiring. Yes, doing something that benefits others is my goal and the key for my personal fulfillment. Having a profession where you attend conferences and seminars is a large part of the attraction for me. It is good to always have to stay on top of things, pay attention to the newest concepts in your field and develop a discerning eye for any new products or techniques. I also absolutely love working with people, appreciating on a daily basis the trust they place in me.
    I love what your Dad says about being extraordinarily good in your field. That’s important.
    Good luck on this journey!

    Like

    1. Dear Lori,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! You have so many hobbies I actually had no idea you worked with your husband. is that how you met? It is inspiring when someone deeply loves their work. Thank you Lori. I send you the biggest hug! Love, M

      Like

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