adventure, creativity, decision-making, determination, integrity, work

Leap: Caution – Once You Find Your Path, You Must Take It

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“Happiness is a choice… sometimes, a contagious one.” ~ Milkshake

On Thursday I had an interview for a wonderful job. A dream job for many. A year ago, maybe even just 6 months ago, I would have worked my tail off to land it and then willingly packed my bags to move myself 3,000 miles to take it. That was before I clarified that my dream work involves doing very cool trend and innovation research and then using that research to build things that are useful for the world.

This job is purely the research side, and I’ve been there before. It’s a great job; it’s just not a great job for me. I need tangible results that I can point to. I need contact with end-users. I need to know that I am spending my days in service to others.

Clarity is a beautiful and rare thing when it comes to our path in our careers. It takes years and years to get there. We long for it. We chase it down. We think that all of our problems will go away once we find it. I have not found that to be the case.

Finding our path can prove to be a giant pain in the ass because once we know it, way deep down in our gut, we can’t do anything else. We have to take it. All the other shining, beautiful opportunities of what we could do pale in comparison to what we know is our reason for being.

This job carried an incredibly handsome compensation package at a company with a great culture, working for a wonderful boss whom I respect and admire. But it’s not my work to do so I turned it down on the spot. I didn’t even have to think about it. I didn’t even hesitate to say it wasn’t for me. All the perks didn’t matter because I need to do the work I’m meant to do. That’s the only option.

If I took this job, I would have to put my teaching, writing, and consulting for good causes on hold. My personal life would disappear. It’s that kind of job – 24/7, nonstop, “jump this high now” type of work. I’ve grown too used to doing what I love, too used to finding complete joy in work. There’s no turning back now.