As a teenager, I had my heart set on studying medicine. My mother had other ideas, and after many conversations I decided she had to be right.
For a long time, I wished that I had done things differently because being in HR gave me an overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t in the right job. It just didn’t seem to fit. It felt hollow each day, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave. The pay was great and it meant that I could lead the lifestyle I was used to.
Looking back (being older and wiser of course :)), I don’t regret any of it and am glad for all the bad times, for I wouldn’t be where I am now if they hadn’t existed.
Once I realised that no amount of money was enough to keep me in a role that didn’t fulfil me, combined with the realisation that fulfilment I had to create for myself, my career started to take real shape.
I now have a job in a business that I LOVE, which combines my skills, abilities and my passions into one handy little package.
Here’s some advice I wish someone had given me when I was younger.
Listen To Advice, But Don’t Let It Dictate What You Do.
Everyone has an opinion. From the clothes that you wear, to what you eat and especially to what job you should be in. I was told MANY times, that I’d be crazy to leave HR.
Opinion isn’t truth. Each person’s opinion is based largely on the events that have happened to them, their interpretation of those events, what they’ve been conditioned to believe and their own ‘rule-books’ and ideas of right and wrong.
Many people see their beliefs as truth which is problematic when they start giving you advice, because their opinions are based on the life experiences *they’ve* had. Their hardships, their struggles, their success is not your own. You create your own life and what may be right for them, won’t necessarily be right for you.
Although it’s scary to make your own decisions, and people might judget you for them, I’d rather be judged for who I am, than live a life pleasing everyone but yourself!
Things Always Work Out In The End.
This reminds me of Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address where he says “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
And in my case, this really applied. For many years, I questioned my choice of jobs. It didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t figure out why, and it consumed me at times.
Fast forward to today, and I am building a business that has me not wanting to sleep at night, because I enjoy being awake so much more.
I could never have seen it 5 years ago when I was working in HR, wondering what I was supposed to do. Now, looking back at it all, connecting those dots seems so obvious!
I’m able to combine all I’ve learnt over the years with my passion and my knowledge in HR, making a meaningful contribution to other’s lives. It not only adds to my life but theirs too and it’s only by looking backwards at it now, that I can make sense of it all.
If only I had worried less about it all those years.
Live Your Truth.
I used to be preoccupied with people’s opinions of what I did and what decisions I made. When I changed jobs, I worried whether it was ‘respectable’ by other’s standards. I wondered whether my parents would be proud. I wondered what others would say.
I cannot believe that this ruled my life – it stopped me from doing things too often. And it’s only since I stopped living for everybody else and started living for myself, that my life began to prosper, my career flourished and took on a life of it’s own.
Tuning in to what it is that had me ‘in the zone’ rather than the expectations placed on me, not only has me fulfilled, but makes everything just flow!
Once you start to live this way, you’ll wonder how you could have ever been any different!
I believe that this single-handedly is the most valuable skill I’ve learnt. It’s helped me achieve so much in a short space of time, in business, personal life, and my passions.
When you know what you want, are focused on achieving it, and align all your actions with this purpose, reaching your goals becomes much easier.
Ask yourself this question when you’re not sure which path to take: “Will taking this action bring me closer to or further away from my goal?”
Your answer to this question (and your actions) will directly correlate with how quickly you reach your goal.