It is that time of year, where one is either in the doldrums of unignited passion or perhaps you are fortunate enough to be fluttering with anticipation at what awaits your awakened desire. Are you with your perfect match or are you still in search for that certain fulfilment?
I am not about to launch into dating advice, but careers essentially follow the same patterns. Those who are following their passion are on cloud nine – they have a lightness in their step, work long hours, have set a pace that is hard to keep up with – are they crazy or just in love? Those who do not love their jobs call it stress, those who do call it passion. Passionate people do not dread waking up in the morning and going to work they wake up and seize the day.
How do you find that job that becomes the love of your life?
1. Try things
Before getting into executive search I sold financial information services, hardware, software and then tried my hand at project management. I liked my jobs a lot, but I always felt like something was missing. Until that fateful day I was laid off. I had never been fired or laid off, that does not happen in sales. You meet or exceed numbers – easy right? Not really, but I found a way. When I tried project management and it ended, I found myself out of work. Fortunately, a family member took pity on me and I helped him with a search he was working on. I fell in love, not with the family member but with search. I could not believe how much I loved it. I could not wait to get up every day and work on the assignment. All the different industries, the brilliant people I connected with, the learning and knowledge, I felt like a kid in the candy store. I found my perfect match.
2. Embrace each obstacle as an opportunity
If you get laid off, yes you can wallow in self pity but do not stay there. When one door closes 5 open. Dust yourself off and try something you have always wanted to do. I worked for two thirds less then what I was making when I made my career shift. I was given an opportunity to work at a search firm in a junior role, but I took it and embraced it and within two years I was back to my old compensation range. Within three years I had surpassed it and never looked back.
3. Take a risk
Do not be afraid to try things. The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. I have always believed in calculated risks. I made my career change pre children and received a package, so the timing worked well. If there is no chance you will ever be laid off from your well-paying, boring job, well then you will have to have more gumption to take your risk. Perhaps you can get a leave of absence or extended vacation BUT where there is a will there is a way. Try it! Even if you fail, it leads you to something else.
This seems to be a dreaded word in society today. We do not let our kids fail and have been teaching them to be afraid of failure. I grew up with a congenital hip defect and I was addicted to sports. I tried out for every sports team and made it to the final cut and then BOOM the dreaded list was posted and I was never on it. What did I gain from all this failure – resilience. I did not give up, though I changed my strategy. I played intramural and met my best friends. Life can get sour, but you can make lemonade. I tell my children you cannot succeed without failure. You do not learn without failure and you cannot appreciate success without failure. Instead of avoiding failure have gratitude that you took risks, tried something, and expanded your world. Failure does lead to success even if does not feel like it at the time.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone – I hope you start your journey to find your passion. There is no better feeling then waking of up for work and it is just part of how you love to start your day.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or
even touched. They must be felt with the heart."