Passion, Life & Your Career

26 06 2012

“Being alive is a creative process.” – Sir Ken Robinson

I had the opportunity to hear Sir Ken Robinson speak at the NACE (National Association of Colleges & Employers) Annual Conference this year.  He was quite the entertainer.  After the announcer finished introducing him by reading his bio, he came on stage and said, “I do sound quite impressive, don’t I?”  After the jokes, he brought up three points that I’d like to share with you as they relate to life and your career.  I hope you find the information as useful and inspiring as I did.

You create your life through the choices you make.

In doing this, your resume creates itself, not the other way around.  It’s up to you to build your resume throughout your life.  Just because it’s not a typical job doesn’t mean it’s not experience.  Don’t let your resume define you – you define your resume.  Seek out the knowledge required to advance your career, find a mentor, and learn all you can in your field of interest.  Step outside of your field as well.  Approach it from an enterprise-wide perspective.  Learn about other areas of business and how they work together, not just your immediate job function.

Life is not linear. 

Be ready for curveballs.  Just because you completed Step 1, doesn’t mean Step 2 is next.  This is what’s so great about life.  It gives you challenges along the way.  Nothing is perfect, nor is it predetermined.  When asked about his background and accomplishments, Sir Ken Robinson said he never planned to do any of it.  Life threw him good pitches, some curveballs, and a few wild ones.  Those little curveballs gave him the experience.  Henry Ford is credited with saying, “Error is only the opportunity to begin again, intelligently.”  Now you know what to do and what not to do, based on your experiences.

Finding your passion changes everything.

Many people never discover their true talents.  Sure, they get their jobs done, but they’re not happy.  It’s just a “job.”  Finding your passion may seem cliche’, but I can tell you this – he’s right.  It changes everything.  It’s a beautiful thing with a career and passion come together.  Work is no longer work.  You get to do what you love, and in turn, you love what you do.  Passion keeps us engaged in the workplace.  It helps us succeed.  It sparks creativity and inspires those around us who aren’t as engaged or passionate about their jobs.  Passion is something that can’t be taught.  It’s something that you find through life’s many experiences.  When you find it, you’ll know.

Lastly, he reminded us all that imagination is everything.  We need a career vision.  If we know what we want to achieve, make a few adjustments for curveballs along the way, and invest in our passion and talent, our lives emerge, evolve, making our resume look like it was planned.

What’s your career vision?

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