Words, Ideas, Stuff
Some ideas and thoughts, captured with the view to help you.
A good friend of mine who also happens to be a creative and respected marketer Mark Godenho posted on LinkedIn recently - a link to this HBR article The Art of Blooming Late, along with the words “it's been an interesting journey for me ... what's your journey been like?” and his career pathway.
I replied (to help his LinkedIn algorithm and just to see what mine looked like). It’s a little unpredictable! But as the late and great Steve Jobs said:
“You can't connect the dots looking forward;
Mine goes a little something like this …
Nanny - trade based Mechanical Engineer – Account Manager - Product Manager - Project Manager - Strategic Sales – Area Retail Manager - Head of Marketing – Tech Business Manager – Head of Strategy and Marketing – (mid life crisis phase: Volunteer – Traveller – Founder) back into it - GM Attraction Economic Development - COO Tech Startup - Founder x 2 - Strategy and Marketing Consultant - Governance/Independent Director - and now a Founder again and aiming for published Author.
It’s been an unpredictable, winding and super interesting road for a farm girl from Southbridge, who got suspended from Boarding School I tell ya! There’s no way I could have ever even dreamed of some of the responsibilities I’ve had, the travel and places I’ve been and the incredible people I’ve met.
If I had to unpick it, there was a theme of having a ‘north star’, some far off goal of how I wanted to work and what impact I wanted to have, and a promise to myself to say ‘yes’ to cool shxt that came my way that in some way might align with that north star.
A few of those yeses, with hindsight, should have been a no, but I don’t really believe in regret as each one either …
Sounds magnanimous now, but I assure you, the three roles I’m thinking of, as I was living them there was a lot of stress and swearing! Time and perspective do wonders. If anything though the thing I would have done sooner was leave as soon as I realised I was really off track.
“If you’re not working toward reaching your unique potential—as Mozart did—it’s normal to feel dissatisfied”
Reading that HBR article this part also stood out “The philosopher John Kaag, author of Hiking with Nietzsche, agrees. “The self does not lie passively in wait for us to discover it,” he writes. “Selfhood is made in the active, ongoing process, in the German verb werden, ‘to become.’” So taking those chances, saying yes, being bold and spending a little time outside the comfort zone is important.
Many of you reading this might be starting out on your path or figure out where the hell the path even is, and that’s a great place to be while reading this as hopefully your expectations will be shaped now that it’s rare to ‘know’ with certainty what your calling exactly is and how to achieve it. For many of us, it’s about trial and error, learning about and trusting ourselves and being brave. This article and the story of Joanne at the end sum up perfectly why this book and community called Careering. We often have this idea that a career path, or the path to finding meaningful ‘work’ is like walking along the footpath – clearly marked, enter however you like, stay on it till you get where you want to go. Reality is much more like a snow covered mountain track, slippery, on an angle, some sun blindness and in many places, absolutely no control over what happens next!
There’s no easy way to know what’s right, all you can do is know yourself, trust in your ‘north star’ or try things until you find that, and back yourself. Life is for living, be intentional with how you spend your time and energy ... most importantly, enjoy yourself!