Living the dream

When I was a teenager in the early 80ies we were recommended to educate ourselves towards jobs where there was a demand – something that would secure you a job. I didn’t hear “what are your interests” or “where do you excel at school?” Still, we had more choice than the previous generation, as I grew up in a time where everyone had the possibility to extend their education beyond the obligatory 9 years. Today, I hear many people advice the young to follow their passion, or to aim for an area where they can use their strengths. I also think there is more openness towards following an artistic carrier in music, movies, writing, etc. Probably because there are many role models of people who are successful in these areas.

I wonder how the economical situation in Southern Europe will impact choices young people take these days?

As a coach I see that people in their early 40ies (some early 30ies) would like to do something else professionally. They feel they have been sidetracked, or they have not followed their interests and passion. Looking ahead, they cannot imagine staying in the same job or field. But changing path is scary, and it means hard work, possibly also going back to school. The upside is that with experience, one quickly adds value even if it is a new profession.

I come across a fair number of people who “jump off” the traditional career path and follow their dreams; working as a clairvoyant, building a retreat in an exotic area of the world, opening a refuge for badly treated animals, doing voluntary work, becoming a coach, teacher, etc etc. What I see that they have in common, is that they are drawn towards “jobs with a meaning”, which could be a reaction to having worked in the cold and cynical business world (pardon the cliché).

Living the dream doesn’t necessarily mean that you have found your dream job, it can also mean that you have the possibility to spend time on your favourite hobby and you have created a life around you that you dreamed of as a child. Taking this a step further, living the dream is also to realize and notice all the riches you have in your life; for example good health, good husband/wife, a nice place to live, good friends, good colleagues, good relations with family, a beautiful view …  – and being aware that having food on the table, a roof over your head, a job, and absence of war and violence are luxuries for a large majority on this planet.

I would argue that, young and not so young, we are better off following our interests and passion. I believe we do a better job at work, and are of more joy to people around us. A win-win at work and home. It may not be easy to do, but in my opinion, worth the price!

Go for it, get a coach!