It’s 2017 (almost 2018) and it has become an acceptable norm that the pursuing creating career success and pursuing one’s passion should be of paramount importance, and if you ask me – as someone who has placed their work above all else for as long as I can remember – I mostly agree with this phenomenon. And while it’s a remarkable feat that we are a generation that wants more for themselves – success, career fulfilment, travel, financial freedom etc; I believe no-one is addressing the major elephant in the room: the difficulty that is acquiring that very career fulfilment.
Let me clarify what I am trying to say as simply as possible: not everyone has the ability or privilege of following their dreams, and this can occur for a variety reasons:
- You studied a certain degree, went into the workforce and pursued a career in line with said degree and years later you find that it is not fulfilling. However, leaving your career path is difficult as making a career change would essentially gravely disrupt the standard of living you’ve built for yourself.
- You know where your passion lies but due to family commitments (supporting your mother or siblings financially, being a single mother whose salary pays your child’s schooling and healthcare, or not having the support of a spouse or partner) pursuing your dream career is difficult at this point in time.
- You simply aren’t sure of how to pursue your dreams and what steps to take.
You see, the world has romanticised the idea of “following your dreams”, “being fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” or being a career chameleon, yet nobody has addressed the difficulties that this type or pressure may cause. Nobody wants to admit that following your dreams is, in fact, a privilege.
Do not get me wrong, I believe sacrifice is a very important aspect in attaining career success and making your ambitions a reality, and I do not have all the answers on how to best go about this conundrum myself; but should you find yourself in any of the above scenarios, yet truly wish to start that business or follow that passion and turn it into a career – I believe you should take the following steps to assist you:
Do Some Coursework
In the event that you already know your passion or what direction you want your career to take, but aren’t in a position to take drastic measures such as leave your full time job as yet, I highly suggest you find a course that is in line with your said passion, which will deepen your knowledge on the subject matter, expose you to the realities of what the career entails and catapult you towards truly investing and even practising the career you wish to follow. Do your research and find courses best suitable for you, not forgetting that online courses are a great option too (and often either cheaper or free).
Find An Example
Success breeds success. That is, if you surround yourself with someone who has the level of success that you desire to attain, soon enough you will begin to emulate their behaviour, and ultimately become a person who attains great success yourself. Find someone who has what you want in regards to career success within the field you wish to follow and endeavour to spend as much time with them as you can – this can be through scheduling coffees where you can have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can; finding hubs, incubators and clubs that specialise in the particular field and even being bold enough to ask someone who you admire to mentor you. It’s important to ensure that the individual is successful in the field themselves. In the event that the individual is someone who is not accessible, do as much reading on the individual as possible and spend time familiarising yourself with their work.
Read, read, read
Life can get tough, more so when you are in a position where you wish to fulfil your dreams and career ambitions but are struggling to do so. However, the gift of literacy is one that we all tend to overlook and underappreciate, not realising the world of opportunity that it opens for us. Increase your confidence, broaden your mind and deepen your knowledge by reading as many great books as you can find – some great reads that will give you the courage to pursue your calling include Ask & It is Given (Ester Hicks & Jerry Hicks); Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway (Susan Jeffers) and The Law of Success in 16 Lessons (Napoleon Hill).
Remember that everybody’s circumstances are different, and that success looks different to everybody. Not everybody can afford to take the risk that is wholeheartedly a passion, but there are certainly many ways you can live a purpose-driven life while working on a separate career.
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