I’ve been invited to give a talk at North Metropolitan TAFE (formerly Central TAFE) next month.
This is the message I received along with the invitation:
I am really looking forward to your talk and I know that my students will find it very useful, especially at this stage of their journey. They are halfway through the course and most of them are thinking:
Where to next?
What’s interesting is that the question can be almost universal no matter what stage of a journey you are in, whether you’re finishing a study or a project or you’re considering a pivot from one job to another.
The question is often overwhelming when faced with a myriad of options in front of us. The anxiety of the what-ifs:
- What if this isn’t it?
- What if it’s heading me the wrong direction?
- And God forbid, what if I fail at this?
These all stem largely from wanting to be right and not fail. And perhaps also with not wanting to fall behind (of whatever the group you feel you belong).
What I know for certain is the fact that it’s pointless to think you have to have some long term career goal.
Does this surprise you?
Take my own career, for example. Personal Branding Coach was not a job that was ‘advertised’ and I could ‘apply’ to become 20 years ago. The photography I do now wasn’t a genre as such 10 years ago. The mix of the two that I’ve settled on to pursue was not even imaginable a mere five years ago.
There have been times when I was desperate to find that one thing to spend my 10,000 hours on. I ended up doing exactly that with my photographic work but without actually realising it. What I must say though is the fact that 10,000 hours alone didn’t get me where I am now. What made it possible was the very circuitous nature of my career path to date.
I have previously been asked to give talks a few times on this very aspect of my career at Edith Cowan University. At the time, it was very much a case of sharing my personal story that resonated with a bunch of people. It’s different now. David Epstein, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, has written a book on the very topic. And it’s so thoroughly researched that I no longer have to convince anyone of the validity of my opinion on the subject.
It’s time to free yourself of the shackles of finding the right career for some unknown future. Whatever you have now may well be the perfect thing that you will need 10 years from now.
When you are meandering (and happen to have fun while you’re at it) there is no one in front of you or behind you. This, I hope, could really free you from the worries of not getting it right and getting ahead.
What matters most to us is doing whatever we’re doing now with the best of our ability. Whether it’s flipping burgers at McDonald’s, being a cog in a large organisation, or running our own business.