I spent my early years as a human trying to understand what I wanted to be. That was fun. I also spent a few years trying to find my calling, that thing that would make those early dreams into a career through which I would reach a destination I didn’t know but I figured was out there. I studied and got my University Diploma.
I’ve worked for 20 years now and things look absolutely different now: I discovered I never had a vocation. That calling never came and regardless of my years spent imagining, studying and learning….I still don’t know what that destination, nor how to get there.
Some people do have a calling though, a vocation, a devotion. I think there is a time in life when we all want to have one. Some actually do get one and it’s really visible like with Doctors, who spend so many years studying (even after college) and have really hard times until things start going great for them but even so they never falter. I always wanted to be one of those who knew what they wanted to do and where life would take them.
Then one day I began working in something I never thought of as a career: I got a job in a sales department of a big IT Company. I wasn’t a sales rep right from the start, and I didn’t want to. I was still going through my University years and had decided I needed a job that paid better than the one I had before then, as studying can be expensive. I didn’t like Corporations back then but my mind operated with a very simple logic: the bigger the Company, the more they’ll pay me, so I was happy I got the job. Little did I know that money was just a small part of it.
Years passed by and I did a lot of things. I finished my studies. We bought our first car, then got married. We moved to a bigger apartment once, twice and finally a third time. I went from “invisible” to “rising star”, got fired, made some money and built teams. I learnt.
I realize now I spent more time learning the job (the multiple ones I had as years passed by) than actually studying for the job. What I studied didn’t quite build a career for me, but actually what I’ve worked for has: I became a sales person, something you’re not educated to be in College but rather learn as a trade or as craft.
What I studied didn’t become the golden path I thought I would walk towards my very own Valhalla, and that what I’ve been working on for the last decade and half has provided me with the insights of the Trade, but it hasn’t thrust me into a path of success either.
I understand now, not too late in my life, that a Career (learnt or studied) is nothing more than one way of getting to that Destination. It is not set in stone, not even for Doctors. It can’t be planned until you realize that it is a journey. Yours actually. You can change it a bit or even entirely if you want. You can make it happen only after you see it clearly: the path you’re walking is the path you imposed on yourself and like so, if it’s not working out for you, you have the ability to change it. As many times as you want in fact.
Take the advice from a failed musician, certified broadcaster and script writer with a Major in Communications…that works in sales in the IT industry and just discovered a passion for helping people achieve their potential and writing about it.
It is after all, your Career and yours alone.
Also published on Medium.