Finding your dream job should be a lifelong quest. You cant expect to find it in your early years, most certainly if it???s something you???d failed to prepare for and if you???re still young and inexperienced. Some do however, and that???s great. When you find work you enjoy doing, it ceases to be work. Someone posted on LinkedIn recently about why one should work on weekends and where the positivity was in that. It got me thinking.
A few years ago, I was in a job, where over time, I ceased to find my goal being met. I found the work tedious, I found the gap between the organisational goals and the organisational output very large and more than anything else, I ceased to able to trust and work with my manager. At that point, working on weekends was definitely the last thing on my mind. Now that I run a magazine, I find the autonomy liberating. It???s liberating to enjoy the chance to succeed and even the chance to fail. It???s liberating to be able to work without a lot of bureaucracy and to be nimble.
In a previous job where I couldn???t get along with my manager, I devised my own set of goals. It may have coincided with the organisation???s goal but that was incidental. I took on work outside my domain, I stretched myself, at all times, keeping firmly before me, the idea that I was master of my own fate. I saw setting my own goals, about the work I took on, as beneficial to me. It was a benefit to the organisation as well but of far more benefit to me. Whatever I learnt along the way, were lessons I would keep for a lifetime.
I developed an interest in so many things and embraced the uncertainty and fear that comes with trying new things. As a result of all this, the fear that comes with new endeavours feels real and recognisable and sometimes, I would say, welcome. I know that I am pushing the boundaries.
Sometimes I wonder whether people feel that they have choice. There are times I see people make choices based on what they see are the options before them. But it???s all a question of perspective. At times, it feels like you are turning a sharp corner. One minute you think you have three choices. You go around the corner, a different vista opens up and then you see things from a completely different perspective. Suddenly, you???re wondering about options you never dreamed you had.
If you feel that you don???t have choice, then you don???t. It???s what you believe that matters most. And what you believe has the uncanny ability to take you far or cut you off. If you see your life as an exercise in growth and embrace the uncertainty and fear that comes from making difficult or new choices, life can seem pretty good because no matter what results, your perspective of things keeps you in good stead. But if you don???t see your life in this way, even good outcomes can be seen as a matter of luck and you can easily feel out of control.
The thing to keep in mind is that no matter where you are, you need to assess how you feel about where you are at that point. You need to be honest only with yourself so that you can proceed to make good decisions about your own career. It???s hard work thinking about your future, making calls on where you???d like to be. I didn???t say it would be easy. Easy is ignoring what your mind is telling you and just focusing on the daily activities of getting to work, getting through meals and catching up with friends. In short, just rolling with it. Easy is saying that its too hard and it will take too long, so why bother. Easy is thinking that you never had a shot at it anyway so what makes you think, that dreaming about it now would change things. Easy is thinking that others have all the luck. Easy is thinking that it can happen in the blink of an eye.
But as I said, if you don???t feel you have choice, then you don???t.
What I do know is that when you find work that you are completely and 100% engaged in, it ceases to feel like work. You don???t see your work as completed in a set of hours or days, living your life so compartmentalised. When you find work that has meaning, that has impact, it ceases to be work. When it ceases to be work, that???s when the real game begins. Have you begun your game yet and if not, what???s holding you back?