The big questions.
What do you do with your life?
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
These answers are easy when you’re young.
You want to be your super hero.
And for me that wasn’t complicated at the age of 7.
It was Batman or Superman.
But when you are a little older it gets more complicated.
The wonderful distracted dreaming is replaced by reality.
And many of us struggle.
I was 27. Despising my job.
My chosen career that I had devoted a decade of my life training and working on was boring.
And I hated it.
So….going to the classroom.
It was drudgery.
Another 40 years was not possible.
In fact one more day was too much.
I looked around at the burnt out teachers who were decades in.
Many were just hanging in there.
But there was also the teachers that loved their careers.
I should have been happy but I wasn’t.
My parents were proud.
It is supposed to be a noble profession.
But it wasn’t what I should have been doing.
It was time to do something.
I decided to trial an experiment.
It was based on experience.
And a quiet personal observation.
So I avoided.
Suggestions from friends.
Listening to other people’s advice.
I also decided to ignore any parental guidance.
Instead I made a choice to test out something that is often done at high school.
Try some work experience.
Where you spend 2 weeks sitting in a corner watching adults work.
My experiment was to test drive multiple jobs.
Not just one.
But my career sampling didn’t come out of a vacuum.
It was based on some part time work I had been doing at night after teaching class.
Selling $49 subliminal suggestion tape programs to help people quit smoking.
It was one of the strangest jobs I ever had and I think ever will.
But I learnt something.
I could sell.
The funny thing?
Some weeks I was making more money part time selling and moonlighting than my teachers salary.
Sales was maybe an option?
But it was just an emerging idea at the time.
The career sampling
But as the dissonance and pain of a career that was creating so much angst grew I decided I needed to do something.
It was time for action.
So in my long summer holidays, I called on some of the contacts I had and lined up to test three potential career changing options.
Just a few days here and a few days there.
This was based on my moonlighting experience.
So as the first option I set up a few days working alongside a realestate sales person who was working for a friend of mine in a seedy part of the city.
But he spent more time at the pub and trying to flog photo copiers because he sucked at real estate.
So that was crossed off the list.
Then I moved onto doing some training for selling life insurance.
That was a very tough gig.
That didn’t make the list either.
The last experiment?
I spent a few days at an ex-college friends business who was just starting a software company for personal computers.
The tech industry felt right.
I enjoyed the excitement and the industry.
So I decided to throw in a teaching career after a 10 year investment of time and money.
It wasn’t an easy decision.
And the parents weren’t happy.
It was time to discover my passionate purpose.
It was time to give myself the permission to be happy.
I ended up spending the next 3 plus decades embedded and enjoying the PC revolution and the rise of the Internet.
But this discovery wasn’t a destination.
Then social media showed up and I started a blog about this new wave of tech.
The intersection of humanity and technology.
I started out in a new direction.
Tested and trialed writing and marketing,
On reflection this was the evolution of my past experiences.
Some innate abilities.
But it gave me a platform.
I learned more about myself than at any other time in my life.
The career sampling had been a roaring success.
But there are more experiments and sampling to come.
Is it time to run an experiment?
Many of us start out and step down a path that can appear to be a dead end.
We beat ourselves up.
For seemingly getting it wrong.
These aren’t mistakes.
They are just tests and experiments.
Everything from a distance can look good.
When you get closer it can often be a seen as mistake.
But there are no mistakes.
It is an adventure.