“When I went to school, I was asked what I want to be when I grow up. I wrote "happy." They said to me: "You did not understand the task," I told them: "You did not understand life."
© John Lennon
Since childhood, we have been trained to give correct answers to the questions asked without a hitch. We are encouraged for fives, a certificate without triples and successfully passed exams. Our education system from the very beginning recommends that we solve any example according to the rules and find the only correct answer. If we take this simple route and go where we need it, we will receive universal recognition, stickers in a notebook, fridge magnets or a tasty bone.
True, when we grow up, things get a little more complicated. Life and career do not add up according to the approved rules and do not put you five in the diary. Some still live according to generally accepted standards - to finish school, get a higher education, get a job in a large company, and sit in an office chair from nine to six. In general, it is not difficult - because there is no need to solve anything. However, some think about the “correctness” of such a life at the initial stage: an applicant who chooses a specialization (not the one that parents incline to), graduates when choosing a job (not the most prestigious). On the one hand, they want their loved ones to be proud of them, but on the other hand, they want to do what they like, and not what they "need."
At such moments, torn between several answers, in the depths of their hearts, people always hope that someone will tell them what to do. The only thing that needs to be understood in such a situation is that there are no “right” answers for everyone in the world. You need to find the answer that is right only for you.
What would you do if you were not afraid?
Answer yourself some questions. Sometimes the search for answers may be delayed, because they do not lie on the surface. Moreover, your opinion may change over time depending on your life circumstances. Good advice and support never hurts, but first of all you need to understand what is important for you.
- What is the most important thing for me in life?
- Why do I want to become famous?
- What is success for me?
- What do I like to do?
- What do I do best?
- What would I do if I wasn't afraid?
- What unfulfilled dream will I regret in 50 years?
- What can I do today to get closer to my goal (even if I still can not articulate it accurately)?
This way of asking questions will help you find the answer that is right for yourself and not for others. Those who are supposedly looking for the "right" answer usually ask themselves such questions:
- What would my parents want?
- What will make me successful in the eyes of others?
- What education or position will allow me to feel like a complete person?
- What can be obtained from this where I work now?
However, you are much more likely to become and feel successful on your own terms if you understand yourself and do not begin to do what you have to (by someone's opinion). If you prefer to "go with the flow," then be prepared for unpleasant surprises, in which you will have to blame yourself, and not others.
Do not drive yourself into another's framework
As soon as you get your first position in the office, an invisible capsule of corporate politics and other nonsense forms around you, noticeably narrowing your picture of the world and the choice that you could make. You begin to search for answers that fit into the organizational structure of your company and satisfy its main criteria. In other words, you make a choice not for yourself, but for a person who is sitting at your workplace, even if personally he is not very happy with you.
If you are just a manager, then the question "Who would you like to become?" you should not answer "senior manager" or "most important manager" - is that really the limit of your dreams? We must think wider - who would you be in fact wanted to be? President? Movie actor? Computer genius? An astronaut? A person who will find a source of eternal energy? No? ... Still a manager? ...
Answering this question, you do not think that it is possible to step over the framework into which your current position in the world drives you. Even if you are quite happy at this stage in your life, nothing should stop you from wanting more. And if you continue to answer "senior manager", it is only because it is the "right" and most expected answer. Only here you need not such an answer, but one that you can give, based on your talents, skills, dreams and interests.
What happens when you live according to generally accepted rules
I have another story about Vasily. Vasya became an engineer, because he loved to solve complex problems and to understand his business well. He began his career at SuperPuper from a full-time process engineer and the management liked him so much that he was offered to transfer to production and become a technical consultant there. Vasya wanted to be the right boy and make the right decisions, so he reluctantly agreed to transfer. After the restructuring "SuperPuper" he was offered to transfer to the sales department and raise the level of technical literacy there. And Vasya again agreed, because he wanted to climb the career ladder in the prestigious "SuperPuper".
In general, after a couple of years, "SuperPuper" was swallowed up by another company ("SuperPuperDruper") and the Vasin department was disbanded. Vasya was left without work and with a couple of questions: "How did it happen, because I did everything right?" and "How can I find a normal job in my specialty now, if my resume shows that for the last two years I have been doing something incomprehensible?" This is how a career of a person who dreams of working in a prestigious company, and not of a job that he really will like, can end.
Let's admit: we all have to compromise from time to time in order to climb the career ladder and guarantee our stability and security - after all, the labor market is now experiencing the same crisis as the financial market. The main thing - do not get caught on a very common fishing rod from the series "We need to be patient a little, and then everything will be fine" - No, guys, everything may not work out. Small concessions to yourself will begin to grow like a snowball, and as a result you will find yourself in the chair of a sales manager for facade materials, although you started as a bartender and hate construction.
Such stories as Vasin - a million. Many people allow someone else to make the "right" decisions for them instead of honestly admitting to themselves what they want in this life.
Find your right solution.
People who successfully do what they like are those who have the courage to look into themselves and find answers to all questions instead of entrusting their fate to the generally accepted opinion and expectations of others.
Real success and enjoyment of work does not begin with the search for the only right answer, but with an honest internal dialogue and the first step towards your goal. So what can you do today to do what you really like?