Finding a compass for your career choices
These ideas below might sometimes appear paradoxical, because life is like that. There are no clear cut, guaranteed ways to find happiness or success. Anyone who pretends they have all the answers is bluffing. Instead, please view the below insights as an invitation to explore your motivations. In the end, every decision we make involves some sort of compromise, so the important skill to have is learning how to make smart decisions that are right for you.
Follow your curiosity
You may not know yet what gifts you have to offer the world because the education system, your family and/or culture may not have given you space to find out
Your chances of finding what you love to do increase if you follow your curiosity
We can never know what career options or jobs will be available, or relevant, ten or twenty years from now. Rather than guess, follow your interests, because they will serve you more reliably in future
Your career path never makes complete sense, especially to those around you, don’t waste time justifying it to others
Careers are not necessarily forever, it’s ok to change more than once
You don’t have to choose just one thing (though for practical reasons you might need to do one thing at a time)
Human beings are multidimensional. We move through many stages in life, we constantly learn, grow and evolve. It’s natural that our careers paths should also evolve with us
Goals are not as important as knowing your own values and direction
Spend time discovering who you really are. If you define yourself only by your job title or career, you can expect an identity crisis every time you start a new chapter
Change gets easier to navigate the more we choose it
Ask yourself regularly what you would regret not doing in life – then prioritise it
Envy is the tell tale sign of unfulfilled longings – listen to what it tells you
You can have several careers, projects or hobbies that fulfil you in life, sometimes even at the same time. There is no such thing as being too interested in things
Being good at something, that others admire or approve of you for, isn’t enough of a reason to keep doing it
Sometimes hobbies turn into careers.
Sometimes hobbies are best left as hobbies.
Having a talent is only a small part of the journey. It takes hard work and discipline to master anything
Discipline and hard work won’t make you love something and it won’t guarantee success, it will just make you better at working hard
Every success involves some level of luck
Life – and careers – have tides. If the timing isn’t on your side now, it may turn later
The dream job may not be the best paid one
If you are chasing money in order to have more time to do the things that nourish you, you will have more immediate results if you start by ring fencing time to do the things that nourish you – now
Create a healthy relationship with money and material things. When we earn more, it’s often easy to simply find more ways to spend it all
Value your time and design your life to optimise for it. It is the true luxury in life and we waste it in so many ways
At some point every job will stop being as exciting as it once was, unless you keep developing and nourishing yourself in some way. Sometimes the way to keep growing is to move on
Having multiple careers and/or interests encourages the cross-pollination of ideas and makes you one hell of an interesting person
Sometimes you have to do the jobs that don’t fulfil you to enable you to do the ones that do
If you are in a situation that isn’t fulfilling, make the most of any opportunities available to you in your current role to improve your skills, your CV or to open other doors in future
There is no shame in dropping down the ladder to take a junior job in order to pivot careers
Going back to study in midlife – or later – is awesome. We never need reasons to keep learning and it is also great for our mental health
Losing interest in a job can be because of burnout, not because it’s the wrong career for you.
Having a burnout could also be a sign that this is not the right career path for you.
Reflect on the difference.
Build a life around your wellbeing. Burnout is not healthy and you don’t just “bounce back” from it
Work is not everything in life. Make time for other things, like sunsets, stillness and your loved ones
Midlife crises happen when we need to let go of an identity — personal or professional — that we’ve outgrown. Embrace them for what they really are, which is an invitation to a new chapter in our lives
The people who support and encourage you through your decisions to change and grow are the ones to cherish
Many relationships established in the workplace may dissolve when you move on. You will learn how many were based on purely professional interests, or only nurtured because of time spent in the same arena. Don’t take it personally
Don’t hold yourself back for others. Some people will not support your choices because their association with you is based on your current identity, and the status and meaning it extends to them. Or it may simply remind them of how stuck they feel in their own lives
If you keep developing yourself through life, you will end up having a rich and valuable experience. In the end it will all make beautiful sense
Being true to yourself gives other people permission to be true to themselves also
You are never too old to start something new
Neuroplasticity is real. Our brains are always developing; they can be trained and re-wired with practice and repetition. You can choose new habits and to change how you think, feel and act at any age
Make time and space for play and creativity, we need it to feel the flow state and to thrive as human beings
Making mistakes is how we learn. Keep making them
Most people don’t have a clue what they’re doing with their lives, so don’t worry about messing things up. You can always start again, just don’t be the one who sticks with something that makes you miserable for fear of change
Sometimes life has other plans for us, and when we feel blown off course we are actually being blown onto the right one
Stop rushing. Your career path and life, like a fine wine, is fuller when allowed to mature
Never ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, it will train them to believe they have to choose one career and one identity. This will torment and confuse them through life until they have to read a blog post like this one to help them clear their head. Equally don’t plant ideas, let them figure it out for themselves
Avoid comparing yourself to others.
Just be you
Don’t follow other people’s advice. It’s great to gather information and inspiration from others and if it sounds good just try it on for size. But advice is only one person’s reality and won’t necessarily work for you
Always follow your integrity
Recommended Resources :
Sir Ken Robinson was the author of “Finding Your Element”, one of the most watched TED speakers of all time and an expert on education and creativity. This talk helps to shine a light on finding your true talents & passions.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt about life and career? Please share your comments below, I’d love to hear.