Are you doing what you love?
When you get up everyday to go to work, are you doing something you love? I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately about the gaps in my employment. I’m guessing some people think I had no choice when in fact, most were a result of specific and intentional choice.
I have always enjoyed this quote:
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” Marc Anthony.
Since 2008 after a very wise mentor, entrepreneur and manager encouraged me I decided to resign from a job that while yes, I loved it very much was changing. I had taken the team and company to the point that I wanted it to be, he would be leaving and he had founded the company. I had the distinct honor and pleasure of reporting directly to him at that point and I had a succession plan firmly in place. I had accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish and it was time to do something different. It was a difficult decision but he was supportive and encouraged me to go embark on a new adventure. What was the adventure? I wasn’t sure. I was stepping out into the unknown with a potential opportunity but nothing firm. The economy went BOOM! The opportunity went away and the job market went dry. Still, I had never felt so energized and free! I was in pursuit of doing what I loved doing and I was being encouraged by one of the very best leaders I ever had the pleasure of working for. As far as I was concerned, leaving a secure position to the great unknown was not unwise, it was the only thing to do. There was no looking back! This is how I got to where I am today and I have no regrets despite the downturn in the economy and despite the sometime gaps in employment.
I love what I do for a profession and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I get to get up in the morning and help people do what they do and find ways to do it better and have fun doing it. I enjoy solving complex problems, teaching others how to do the same and watching while they learn and duplicate the process. I most enjoy watching individuals and organizations become what we’ve come to know as “learning” organizations and knowing that maybe, I had some part of that. I am a life long learner, I enjoy observing and seeing what I can learn, and some of the most valuable lessons have come from people who have worked for me.
I am a coach/servant manager in the software industry. I have spent decades specializing in the Software Quality Assurance area but have also spent considerable time delivering projects, teaching/training individuals, teams and organizations on different ways to deliver software that have aided in their ability to become more efficient/effective. I’ve done some time teaching Customer Service and being in the role of Customer Service when the companies were small enough and we all had more than one job. I’ve performed in pre-sales consultative process roles assisting companies in understanding their process or developing a process before they spent time, money or energy on tools that were likely not going to solve any problems. At one time I developed and delivered software and a long time ago and today on a limited basis recruiting. I enjoy finding talented people and helping them find great companies. I’m a people person. If I can help you, I will. If I can make your job easier, I’m here to help you figure out how to do that. I’m pretty certain there hasn’t been a problem I’ve turned down or have not at some point figured out how to solve if given a real chance. I solve problems for a living and set direction and strategy. I can cut through the noise quickly and see the path and I can show others how to do the same. I listen and collaborate and realize that the solution developed collectively might be better than the one I have found. There is power in crowd-solutions.
It has not always been easy, there has not always been a job and I have chosen to not settle for just any job and hence, employment has sometimes been hard to find. I could have “settled” but instead of doing something less than, I would go back to studying, researching and seeking continued education until the “right” opportunity arose not just any opportunity. I’d help others in their career paths, perhaps teach a little but everything was inline with what I ultimately wanted to continue to do.
Some might question this decision while those who also do what they love understand it. Either way, this is a conscious choice. I have rejected many opportunities to stay on this one dedicated path and to not be distracted for the sake of eliminating gaps in employment or to make a piece of paper look good. I study constantly and I’m always open to learning new things. I can’t afford to be distracted by doing something completely different. I take risks, I try new things and fearlessly move about the country but I stay in my lane as far as my career goes. I know what I love and because of this certainty, it keeps me on track able to identify those near perfect opportunities.
I have occasionally taken a role or two that was not always perfect because yes, the reality is that there are bills to be paid but I never get fully distracted or make full time commitments to solve temporary problems.
Are you in a situation where you are not able to find a job in your field and people are trying to persuade you to take a different job, perhaps even give up altogether and switch fields? Ask yourself, are they doing what they love? Are they happy when they go to work every day? Listen to what matters to you and decide what will work in your situation. Get a career coach you can trust and find people who can assist you into getting back to doing what it is you do love to do.
If it’s something you’ve never done before but want to try, find people who are doing it and who are doing well. Most people want to help. It is a great joy to coach and help others and successful people will want to do that so seek out successful people in your field and ask if they will help you get started.
Sometimes you have to do something for a short period of time for financial reasons and that is understandable. Sometimes you can weather the economic storm and hold out. Whatever your decisions are if you can manage to take money out of the equation and focus on doing what you love, chances are you’ll be fine economically because you will become so good at it, the rewards will follow. You might have to cut back on lifestyle but the reward will be a lifestyle of outrageous happiness with your choices instead of compromises.
I recommend that you choose outrageous happiness!