I used to be envious of people who’d pick one profession and stick to it their entire career.
I longed to be like the musical prodigy, who, from the age of two, knew she was going to play in the symphony. Everything she did, every choice she made fostered the skills she needed to master her craft.
For me, it’s never been that simple.
I’ve always had many interests and passions and my career reflects it with a resume resembling a zigzag pattern — musical prodigy I am not!
It used to bug me to begin a new role with passion and zest only to gain the skills and have my interest fizzle out and start looking for something new.
I’d lose my drive and feel like there was something wrong with me — why can’t I figure this out? Why can’t I be like the musical prodigy and stick to one thing?
After some serious soul searching I realized it wasn’t mastery that I craved, because I love to expand my horizons and try new things. It would be boring as hell for me to stick to one thing.
What I really wanted was to know that my work had greater meaning and that I was on a path — building towards something bigger.
I wanted purpose and direction.
It wasn’t until I figured out why I was driven to do the work I do and took inventory of everything I had learned with each role that I was able to put the pieces together.
I realized there’s been a common thread through my career, with each job giving me skills and experience that are essential to what I’m doing right now.
When I saw the connection between my choices and roles and their relationships to the work I do now — it all made sense.
And with this a-ha moment came a new appreciation for myself. I stopped beating myself up for being a misfit.
I had been apprenticing for the role I am leading right now — my entire career!
This exploration has become a key driver for my work and I now see the importance of uncovering why we are motivated to do the things we do—because it helps us see the big picture!
When we make everyday decisions that tie back to what we truly believe in — values, principles and motivators–that’s when our lives take on greater meaning and direction and ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and appreciation for our work and ourselves.