Careers Do Not Belong in a Box
The best ideas are those that lie ‘outside the box’. The top thinkers, innovators, and visionairies have all been considered ‘out of the box’. Similarly, those that have the appearingly ‘best’ careers are the ones who have taken the concept of ‘career’ OUT of the box.
Don’t wrap your career in a box. Don’t look at your career in a vacuum. It’s not static and if your idea of a career is static, you will become static as well.
Here’s the truth; if you’re looking for a career, you’re looking for the wrong thing.
What you should be looking for is something that makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning.
What you should be looking for is a way to continuously better yourself, continuously learn, continuously grow.
What you should always be seeking out – is your next adventure.
Certainly, that may take the form of something that turns into a career; or it may not.
Maybe what you’re looking for is to start your own business, maybe what you’re looking for is a contract – for a project that excites you, maybe you are good at several functional areas and it’s time to CHANGE what you thought was your ‘career’ path because all of the sudden, you’ve realized you’re a General Manager, but CERTAINLY you do not want to FORCE a career.
If you ignore this advice and continue to seek out a career, you will become part of the statistic that has changed so dramatically over the past decade. You will become one of the people who changes jobs an average of every year and a half, without promotion, but more importantly, without being happy.
By tying yourself into a career, you’re missing out on the most important part of your learnings; the different journey you take. The people you meet along that journey. Most importantly, your closing your mind to opportunities that may arise.
There’s probably a lot of people who will read this and think, “sounds good in theory, but I need to bring in some cash!” Of course you do – we all do. But bringing in cash and tying yourself to ONE career is NOT the same thing. Get a day job if you need the cash; but look for a day job that at least ties into something you love OR one that gives you enough free time at that “job” to work on your REAL passion – whatever that may be. A great example is Gary Vaynerchuck. He worked 12 hours / day at his retail wine shop and then built his own business at night – he worked almost every night from 8 PM – midnight. It took 2 years – but he did it. He launched his own business.
Another example is how I’ve designed my life. People ask why I consult and own my own businesses; and the reasons are very simple: 1) I don’t believe in a “career” as currently described in the marketplace 2) I haven’t yet found a job or group of individuals that meet the criteria set above; So, I take on projects and clients – I actually turn down more than I take on…and then I work on my own projects for free a couple hours / day. I have not “settled” for a job. I have figured out how to use my current skill set to continue making money. And I’ve ensured everyday is an adventure, every project is a learning opportunity, I only work for people who intrigue me, and most importantly, I enjoy my journey.
Your “career” can be anything you want it to be. Throw out the preconceived definition that so many cling to as a security blanket (definition of career) and define what a career is TO YOU!