September 28, 2009 § 4 Comments
There can be several reasons: Family. Commitments. Security. Good Pay. Benefits. Stability.
But what about: Passion? Fun? Self-fulfillment?
I believe that the majority of us have been brought up thinking that we cannot have both. We look at the kind of life we want to have, and think that it’s not possible if we also want something else. For instance, can a woman really have a career and be the heart of the family? Many think no. But what about the career you are passionate about?
Find that passion, that fun, that self-fulfillment and soon it doesn’t take any work at all to have both. Because when you love what you do, you’ll always find a reason to do it.
I am in an area I love. Everything I do has to do with the web. From web design, social media and marketing to shopping, connecting and sharing. By day I support corporate websites and their initiatives. I love the challenge there is across a multitude of industries and finding ways to make a company website work while supporting a variety of goals.
By night, I do the same thing, only for individuals and small businesses because I believe there is a world full of people out there I can help. It’s not work to me. It’s where two of my passions meet: web and helping people. And it’s something I can make a good living at. I have time for family, for my commitments. I have security, stability and benefits. I’m living by example. I think I can have it all. And so far I do.
I haven’t always thought that way. I used to think in terms of sacrifices. I had to sacrifice something that I wanted in order to get something else that I wanted. And sometimes, to prove how much I wanted it, it had to be a big sacrifice.
There was value in what I gave up to get what I wanted. I slip back into those shoes every now and again, and they feel foreign and uncomfortable. For me it’s been about taking a long hard look at the obstacles I think I face. And figuring out who put them there. Most of them I put there myself. I have set my own limits and my own ceilings. I took a different stance, the sky became the limit… and all of a sudden it’s attainable.
So, what if we each chose to live our lives from a standpoint of passion? What if we chose not to settle for any less than work we are passionate about doing and that supports our families AND provides stability and security? It’s out there.
And because we’re each passionate about different areas, there’s plenty to go around.
September 21, 2009 § 10 Comments
“Find a job that you love and you will never work another day in your life.” – Confucius
I guess that quote from the great Chinese philosopher makes me the biggest slacker in the world because I love what I do. I always have. And I always will.
Oh sure, there have been days where I have not wanted to deal with a certain issue. And there were times when I knew an individual was going to be bothersome. But I can say, without a doubt, I have found enjoyment in every position I’ve ever held.
And there have been a few along the way.
I think this lifetime passion has happened for a few reasons.
I see what I do as a continuum of skill building and experiences. While I have had several positions, and operated my own business in the communications field, everything I’ve done has been a clear stepping stone to the next stage in my employment.
I’ve found variation in what I’ve done and have never allowed myself to get bored or stuck in a rut – common phrases from people who need a change but are doing nothing towards it.
New opportunities, creating greater challenges have always arrived for me long before complacency has had a chance to set in. You can always return to what you were doing before, but if you don’t examine the possibilities, you will likely be saying, “what if” some day.
You will notice I haven’t used the word “job” yet. I see what I do to be more of a calling or a vocation – to distribute information and to tell the stories that need to be told.
In my current role, that means promoting the City of Grande Prairie. When I began my career, my duty was to tell readers about the exploits of the St. Paul Jr. Canadiens. And profiling the local daycare director in the St. Paul Journal would also land me a future wife.
Perhaps my Dad rubbed off on me. It’s always been instinctive to challenge myself to do my best, and then some every day. I have never lost that thirst, that motivation. It was his attitude of striving to always come home having a job well done that inspired me.
Now no one will ever say I am the life of the party. But I do seek to find fun in what I do. And I figure, if you are going to spend most of your waking hours doing something, enjoy it.
I am also not one for setting one-, two- or five-year goals, but I do encourage readers to take action when they know it is time to move on or to move up in the organization.
Don’t wait for your supervisor to recognize you want to do more or that you are seeking new opportunities. As a manager, I try to be in tune with my employees, but I am not a mind reader. A good supervisor will be only too willing to listen to your career aspirations.
And if you really are in a poor work environment, don’t allow yourself to be mired in drudgery. As the words from a popular Trooper song remind us:
If you don’t like what you got, why don’t you change it?
If your world is all screwed up, then rearrange it.
Raise a little hell, raise a little hell, raise a little hell!
I am not recommending you go postal … just be the master of your own destiny so you can find satisfaction in your own career.