One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat “it doesn’t matter.” ~ Lewis Carroll
How many times have people let their career just “happen,” instead of planning on where they want to go? It is easy to become complacent, letting those dream jobs stay exactly that – dreams. The difference between a dreamer and a doer are not necessarily the goals, but the decision on which path to follow.
Many times in my professional life I have been told that my career aspirations were unreasonable, unattainable or just too rare to be feasible. Yet in spite of this, I have met my goals. Among this was becoming a radio morning show producer – while also being a single mother of three children. The key for me has been embracing those paths that might have a touch of Wonderland madness to them.
My first step was always making the decision to pursue the dream. Then I reverse-engineered the path to get there. In case of the radio job, I started in the mail room. That seems normal. But in order to support the family while chasing the dream, I actually worked my way up through the accounting office for three years. Then the opportunity rose to work overnights on the weekend, running the board for the AM station. The year after that I was producing a morning show.
Both the AM and FM stations General Managers said it was the most unusual career switch they had seen in 15 years.
But rare does not mean impossible.
How about you?
What career do you really want, but have heard that it just isn’t possible? Or maybe it is a matter or not even knowing where to start?
Whatever it is, make the decision to allow yourself to research the possibilities. Maybe there is a perfect path in front of you, even if it looks like madness to the rest of the world. After all, great works are rarely achieved by playing it safe.