There are a lot of us who work because we HAVE TO. We HAVE TO pay the bills. We HAVE TO eat. We HAVE TO wear clothes--you get the idea. So many times we can feel trapped in a job, not a career. How can you LIVE FREE when you feel trapped?!
Do What You Can - If you are at a place in your life that you really can't build a lifelong career or you are only at the beginning stages of stairway to your career, then you need to do what you can to move ahead. Don't get all upset about how far you have to go, just keep working a little at a time to be better at what you are doing, to learn more and to challenge yourself with new tasks at work or new things to do to move toward your career goals. Sometimes moving ahead is jumping to a new job opportunity. Sometimes it's staying exactly where you are, but perfecting what you are doing. If you don't have the skill set of someone else--and have really tried to learn it but can't seem to--then work with YOUR strengths. Do the things you CAN do to keep learning and growing. If you are always doing your best, you won't have regrets no matter what job you are in.
Do What You Love - If there is any way to apply something you love to a career, chances are you will be very successful at it. If you love watching TV and eating popcorn, well, there aren't many jobs that pay you to do just those things, but, there are people who write food and movie reviews for papers, websites and some have even taken it upon themselves to do it on the side and then it became a career! If you love people, all sorts of jobs no matter how simple, can involve dealing with people. I was one of those people who loved my family and raising my kids (most of the time!) but never had any thoughts of what I would do if I had a "career". I have always loved houses--and things about the home--and when I was shopping for a house I got sort of addicted to looking at homes online! Even after I finally had moved, I still kept looking. I enjoyed talking about them with my son, and eventually he gave me the opportunity to do some simple, part time work for him. (I started with folding fliers and filling envelopes). Before I knew it, I found myself being more and more involved until one day I decided I wanted my real estate license. I totally and completely feel so happy with my job! Since I started later in life, sometimes I don't let myself dream about the future, but, a lot of times, I constantly think of new things I would like to learn to do and be involved in. Sometimes what we love can be applied in so many ways we never thought of, we just have to let our hearts help guide us!
Let Go of Other's Issues - If you want to be free in your career, you have to not care what others think. Granted, you want your boss to be happy with the work you do, but, if someone looks down on your because of your occupation, but you are happy, you have to ignore what they think! They don't live your life and walk in your shoes. As a parent, we want what is best for our kids and usually our mentality is to push them to be "better than we were" in everything. They are their own people, and what you feel like you missed out on, may not be a big deal to them at all! Everyone needs to find their own way in this life and to be truly happy they need to do what is best for them. You also need to let go of the self talk you may have that whatever job you are doing is "less than" someone else's. Everyone has their part to do, and we all need to do our best. We all touch each other in different ways with the types of jobs we do and if some of those jobs were missing, we all could be in a world of hurt with some of the comforts and needs in our lives. There will always be someone who doesn't approve of you or what you do. It's not your problem, it's theirs.
There IS More to Life - Even though for some of us, our jobs take up most of our waking time, there is still more to life than our careers--even if it is our passion. Honestly, to be better at your career, having other interests and hobbies or things you want to do will help keep you learning and growing in other areas of your life and that will, in turn, help your career in the long run anyway! A lot of jobs stop at a certain age and if you don't have anything else in your life that you love just as much, you will be in a horrible situation come retirement time. I have read statistics that a lot of people's lives end shortly after retirement if they haven't kept active in other things. They are devastated when they retire and it truly just kills their will to keep going. So, make sure you keep up with other things you love, too.
Keep your family relationships a priority always, so that when you are around more than a few hours a day, you will have others you are close to, to spend the rest of your life with. These are truly the important things in our lives...the rest is just the icing on the cake!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Broker and Mother of Managing Broker Photo Credit: Ian Schneider