“Variety is the spice of life.” A saying, which—for the most part—is worth its weight in gold. Take your pick from White Gold; Rose, Pink, Red Gold; Green Gold, known as electrum ; Blue Gold; Purple Gold; or Black Gold. And let’s not even get started on carat options. But then, this is neither a piece on metallurgy nor is it one on precious metals, so let’s get on with it.
Variety is key to spicing most everything up: Food, friendships, marriage (as long as variety doesn’t mean different partners!), hobbies, entertainment; just about anything!
Except your résumé, that is.
Sadly, most employers don’t usually look favorably upon a person who jumps around from job to job in a short-ish span of time.
I have a résumé that reads like a glossy variety magazine, with a little bit of everything and then some. To give you a glimpse into what I mean, I have done everything from professional modeling, to pastoring a youth group and teaching at a local Bible school; from working at a hotel concierge, to training at the stock market; from twice holding a marketing position with a top retailer in Manila, to holding a post at a travel agency; and from hosting children’s parties (which I STILL do), to—of late—managing a rock band and freelance writing for travel, features, news, and photography publications.
Whew. No rest for the wicked, or for the semi-struggling freelancer.
Although there are days when I wish I HAD eked out a stable career path in banking—usually on days when my wallet grumbles loudly from starvation— for the most part I wouldn’t trade the experiences I have had in this whole gamut of jobs for a suit and loads of money. Well, maybe for the loads of money…maybe. *Wink, wink.*
You see, in my case, my varied résumé does not indicate a lack of stickitoitivity (longest jobs I’ve held lasted 17 and 15 years, modeling and pastoring, respectively; with the hosting coming in third at 13 years) or a lack of commitment. Neither does it indicate a lack of skill or smarts. In fact, and to ever-so-slightly pat myself on the back—I graduated from University with Summa Cum Laude honours. Au contraire, this variety reflects my many, extremely varied, passions and skills.
I am a variety show, all rolled into one. Now all I need are some big-time backers. Or some employers to change the way they think, and break out of that stuffy, constrictive corporate box.
Believe in yourself
No matter what you choose to do in life, the very first step to success is believing in yourself. This is the platform from which you will spring forth into all that life has in store for you. This is the catapult that will launch you into your destiny. This is also the foundation upon which others will build-up their belief in you; although maybe not right away.
Like the Little Red Caboose whose “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” mantra enabled him save the train from rolling down a mountain, and finally become as respected as his admired steam engine at the front of the train, we, too, should convince ourselves that WE CAN.
Oh, and quit comparing yourself to others—it is good to admire others, but never to the point that you let this comparison bring you down. Take a look at those you admire, and believe YOU CAN achieve that which is worthy of admiration, too.
Do what you love, and love what you do
Ok, so no now you believe you can, but can WHAT??? Well, what is it about which you are passionate? What stirs you and moves your heart? What brings you joy? What do you love to do? Because chances are, that is what you were born to do; and that is what you should do.
Find what you love, and do it. This is the only way to do great work, and one of the only ways to live a truly happy and fulfilled life.
Will the money follow automatically? Not necessarily; and probably not for a while after. I am STILL working my rear-end off to live a slightly better than “just-getting-by” life.
Will the net be there when you take a leap? Truth is, you may very well fall flat on your face, the first time you set out to do what you love. But set out anyway. And wear your crash helmet. Do not fear failure, for failure is a great teacher.
Will it be smooth sailing doing what you love? Oh no. Remember, we live in this world; and it rarely ever offers us calm seas. Problems and challenges will come; but your love for what you do will help you overcome these.
Will you have to work hard, doing what you love? A resounding “MOST DEFINITELY.” Especially if you want to be excellent at what you love. I hold many jobs, as I have varied passions. And I strive to become better and better at each of these. Mastery is one step towards greatness.
Can I just quit my job today to do what I love? Don’t be foolish—plan your path. Money won’t buy you happiness, but it will put food on your table and pay your rent or mortgage. Figure out what you love to do, and plan how to make this profitable. Put money aside as savings for the lean times that may come. THEN leap out in faith.
Steve Jobs gave a speech at a Stanford University graduation in 2005. I absolutely adore that speech, for it contains many valuable nuggets of wisdom and inspiration. One such nugget is this:
“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”
It’s never too late to begin again
Don’t settle for anything less than that for which you were created and born to do. Don’t settle for a job that makes you unhappy and frustrated. It’s never too late to begin again; to start over with your career. It may be a tad harder, but anything worth having is worth the sacrifice. I started writing professionally later in life—in 2007, to be exact—and although I may not be as far down the path as my friends who started way earlier, I am happy I am ON THE PATH.
Let this be the year you find your path and get on it. You’ll be glad you did.
And when—like mine—your résumé reads like a glossy variety magazine, then perhaps you’ll know you’re truly LIVING.