‘It is never too late to be what you might have been’. – George Elliot
I was inspired to write this piece just a few pages into reading Deborah Reber’sIn Their Shoes. It is not a book I would have bought to read ordinarily, but the title captured my interest and as I read the blurb standing at the bookseller’s on top of the pedestrian bridge on my way to work, I was piqued.
Obviously, it was a career guide but written in a very interesting and engaging way that it did not sound like a career guide at all. As I flipped through it, I wondered why I was bothering with the book;I already knew what I wanted with my life even though I am still a traveller to that ultimate destination. On second thoughts however, I was like, ‘no harm in peepinginto the lives of theseglamorous great women written about here’. I bought the book eventually and from the little I have read so far, no regrets whatsoever.
The book was targeted at youngsters yet to make career choices, but I found it essential for everyone. In my course of interactions with people, I have come to realize that many people do not have passion for their jobs, they are stuck at a job they dislike. Some do not know how to earn a living at what they love, some do not have what it takes to get to the career of their choice, most think that with their age and education, there is nothing they can do to change the careers. Therefore, many of us desire career switch but do not know how. We ended up where we are because of parents/peer pressure, we joined the bandwagon while in school. People like me attended special science schools because it was the in thing for the intelligent as at that time and hated every science class attended. Some were not fortunate enough to choose a course in the discipline they loved as they went on to higher institutions. They then got stuck at jobs they would rather not do. For some, good paying job in a sphere they dislike or lack of job in their desired discipline landed them where they’d rather not be.
Is it feasible to switch to your dream career at this point? Absolutely, thank God. You just need to make some basic changes and alterations to achieve your dream. I have wanted to be a journalist/writer for a long time, I read a course in that field, graduated, but no media house would have me. What do I do to live my dreams? I began freelancing, writing short stories to online publishers and blogging. Where does your passion dwell? Pursue it. Julia Cameron said that ‘when your dreams turn to dust, then vacuum them’. It could be that you read a course in the opposite direction of your dream career, you could start the change by enrolling for a part time course in your desired field, online or physical or find a mentor in that field to mentor you and show you the ropes. If you read your dream course but found no employment there, you may think of volunteering or striking out on your own in that field. If what you need are the skills to become who you want to be, nothing stops you from learning those skills you know? You might need to do odd jobs you do not really love in the meantime if that is what it will take to make your dreams come through.
In Deborah’s book, some lady had to carve a new name to encompass all her passions since there was no existing name for them. She calls herself an ‘Actionist’ which encompasses everything from motivating and speaking to writing and performing. That is the extent people can go to live their dreams.
I realized that it is fear that keeps us bound often times, fear of failing. But there is nothing wrong with failing, you can fall a thousand times, what makes you a winner is rising a thousand and one times. On the other hand, it is action that drives the fear away, action that catapults you to your promised land. Without positive action, we can remain in the same dungeon for ages. So why not make the move right now and act out your dreams, go on, stand up and make that switch you need.
I leave you with the words of B. Gita, ‘It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection’