Mark Albion writes in More Than Money, “It’s easy to slide into a career that matches your skills but not your deepest desires. When you get good at something you don’t want to do, you feel as if you’re dying a little bit each day – that your soul is being sucked out of you. Worse yet it takes time to realize what’s going on.” Goodness, I resembled that remark.
Even after I had the epiphany Mark describes, I resisted change for a long time. I felt trapped by my finances, but I also had a deep loyalty to my leadership, my team, and the company as a whole. I did not want to let them down, even while I was wilting inside.
That said, I am here to encourage any of you who are wilting at work. I was scared and felt guilty about giving my notice. I felt ungrateful, for turning away from a solid career and during a pandemic no less. But now, just three months later, I am motivated and excited. I’m serving people in a way that inspires and gives them hope for a better future. I thank God every day for giving me the desire to serve in this way, and (more importantly) the courage to do it!
Fear is understandable, but you must know that your purpose is waiting for you. Some of you may be working out your purpose with your current employer – good for you! Likely your job is secure, because you are a wellspring of energy and creativity. These are the natural results of somebody aligned with a personal passion.
However, if that’s not you today, I say again, your purpose is waiting for you. Marcus Buckingham said in Now, Discover Your Strengths, “Perhaps because of your genes, or your early experiences, as a child you found yourself drawn to some activities and repelled by others. While your brother was chasing his friends around the yard, you settled down to tinker with the sprinkler head, pulling it apart so that you could figure out how it worked.”
While I wasn’t building financial spreadsheets at the age of 11, I distinctly recall a desire to support friends and family financially. While that was never necessary, I am helping others in a comparable way. What did you yearn to do when you were 11 or 12?
For that matter, what do you yearn to do now? I had a neighbor who disliked his job, but he loved mountain biking. I mean, LOVED it. Once, he announced that he wanted to quit his job but woudn’t because he didn’t know what else to do. He said, “I just don’t know what I’m passionate about.” It stunned me that he was oblivious to his own passion!
Is this you? Do you want a new career, but you can’t figure out what? If yes, consider:
- What content fills your bookshelves and playlists?
- What are you itching to do with your alone time?
- What invigorates you?
- If money didn’t matter, how would you spend your time?
Now more than ever you can make money from your passions. You can make podcasts, YouTube videos, eBooks, sell associated products via an online store – the sky’s the limit!
Joseph Campbell said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” Exploring caves requires us to step out of the lighted path, the visible future. We won’t know what they contain until we delve in – and that is an adventure! So again, I encourage you to release fear and remember that your purpose is waiting for you.