Is that actually possible? In a real world. Made of steel. Made of stone.
I would have said no – until recently.
Most of my career I was very proud that I’m the master of my own career. I was in most cases the one who made a change and, almost every time, I had a new job before I left the previous one. I was also very proud that I got promoted without pushing for it too hard. Working hard and doing a fair share of self-promotion was always more than enough. Although I can accept that some people might disagree with the last one.
But recently I started thinking that there are two ways to achieve your perfect career: to buy it or to let it find you.
How you can buy your career? And I’m not talking about paying to be hired in a public sector. A frequent situation in the eastern bloc.
Well, you should pay for schools that will give you access to best possible jobs. There is a threshold of knowledge that you need. In business environment, it is not set too high (I’m not talking about experts and specialists in IT or biotechnology for example). You can achieve this threshold by attending many universities, courses, schools… Not every single one, but many of them do offer this path. But, then you have to land a good job. If you have graduated from one of the best rated schools – special doors of big sexy companies will be open for you while others will spam their CV’s without too much success. If you are coming from a school of lower rating you will have to start from lower levels and prove yourself much harder. This is not some big revelation. Quite simple and obvious. And logical in today’s world.
But what if you don’t have enough money… And most of us are not as privileged to study in best schools in the world. Actually, I think I was studying in one of the best schools in the world but I studied arts not business. And I’m from Serbia.
The other option is to expose yourself to many different business experiences and to let your perfect career finds you. This might also be expensive if you look at it from a point of view where you are missing on some earnings while you are experimenting. But if at the end you match good money with something that is a perfect job for you – you are the king of the world!
In the paid career version, it’s dangerous if you figure out that your investment was put into something that you absolutely hate. And you can’t do anything else because you were completely focused at making the most of your big investment.
My first perfect career found me when I was 16. I wrote my first theater play and a year later I started studying drama and script writing. Then I left it after graduating, for more than 15 years.
My second perfect career is fighting its way to find me. After working in the ad agency, media, sales, corporate affairs… I started writing this blog about career and personal development. And spontaneously people that I know, but also people that I don’t know started asking me for career advice.
A couple of closer friends call me to ask for very specific advice about issues they have in their working environment or choices they have to make when it comes to new jobs or development of their current careers. People that I don’t know well contact me via LinkedIn to express their opinion and ask about my opinion on certain challenges they have.
Is my first perfect career leading me toward my second perfect career? Well, that one we will see in time, but I enjoy giving advice to people – if I feel competent and if I feel that I can help. Sometimes they just need some support or confirmation for their own thoughts. I feel privileged that they pick me as their advisor. That means that they trust me and they trust my expertise. But I also feel privileged that I will have a chance to let my perfect career find me.
Give yourself a chance as well! It requires sacrificing time money and formal career progress but it might bring fantastic end results. Try different things, make a break in your current career and do something totally different. If you got fired – consider that as an opportunity to become something else. I’m aware that this is not easy and that’s why I will give you some tips in my post When to Leave and How to Live.
I will keep you posted about my developments. Movie for tonight is Flashdance (1983). Cheers!