Be A Pioneer

By Satu Kreula

I bet you can come up with loads of reasons why your dream job is not possible or realistic, right? I’ve heard quite a few of these just in the past week alone. Yes, but it doesn’t pay anything. Yes, but I’m too old. Yes, but it’s not a proper conventional job. Yes, but what would my friends think of me. Yes, but (fill in the blanks).

It’s fascinating to see that as we get closer to actually possibly even exploring our dream job a little bit, a wall of resistance pops up. It’s not even always around the dream job, it could be about just doing something differently from other people in the organisation you are in or amongst your friends/peers.

The one issue that seems to pop up quite a bit with my clients these days is working part-time. None of these people I’m thinking about are parents. They just want to work less than the 40 hours/5 days routine that most of us are used to. But if they work in an organisation where there isn’t a prescedent, they are scared stiff of asking for the possibility. The assumption is that management wouldn’t let me, because nobody else is doing it, nobody else has asked for it. This attitude of „I can’t because nobody else is“ could really inhibit you from leading your dream life. Why would you let it? Why can’t you be a pioneer? Someone always has to be the first one. Why not you?

So it’s no wonder then that when bigger issues are at stake, such as the type of job that you might be doing, that the resistance is even higher. It’s scary. It’s ‘not safe‘. It’s ‘too different‘. So we tend to stay in what we deem ‘safer paths‘ even though our passion might not be located anywhere near this path. I’ve come across several people in these past few weeks who would fit this bill. Either it’s the investment banker who feels that even though her passion is in a more creative industry, that this would not be ‘real work‘, because it’s something she enjoys. Or it’s the IT manager who loves adventure and the rush of adrenaline but wants a safe office environment, because that’s what a proper job is. Or it’s the accountant who doesn’t like numbers but is fearful of a world that could allow him to work with food and wine, his passions in life.

What to do? Where do these preconceptions come from of what ‘real work‘ is? And why do we allow ourselves to be limited by them? I meet so many people who have clear dreams, but who keep them at a distance, because ‘dreams aren’t reality‘. Why not? Who says? And why on earth would you choose to believe them?

I rant on (or it feels like ranting to me) about the limitations we set for ourselves, and I’m more and more convinced that we not only need stories of people who’ve done ‘amazing‘ things but we need to believe that we could be one of those stories. We need to believe that we could be a pioneer in our peer group or even in the world. Why not?

That’s the bulk of my work these days – helping people to accept their dreams and realise that they can be ‘real‘ if they choose to make them so. Most clients come to me saying they have no idea what they want to do, but I’m beginning to believe more and more what a mentor of mine said years ago – internally you do know what you want, but it’ll only surface when you start to believe that you deserve it and that it actually could be possible for you.

What are you keeping hidden inside? Where might you be afraid of being a pioneer in?

Real life stories from people who made the leap. Discover how they did it: Careershifters

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