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  Jane Miller


Articles -- A career worth living

Many people view work as a way of earning money so they can do the things they enjoy. They don't have any real interest in their job, but it gets them what they want indirectly.

My own view is that if I'm going to spend eight hours a day at a job, I want some enjoyment out of it directly, AND I want it to provide me with a sense of meaning and fulfillment. I have seen people who are passionate about their jobs, so I know it's possible and that's what I want!

Now, there are people who get into a job they love and truly enjoy it for the rest of their lives. But for me, it is a constant evolution. No matter how much I love a job initially, I eventually get bored with it and then I look for something new. I?ve changed careers and companies all my life. I thrive on new learning, challenging myself, and change.

How difficult was it to change careers? Each career change was a slow process that sometimes involved a few redirects along the way as I homed in on what I really wanted. But I never minded changing direction because I learned so much along the way. The joy was not so much in the destination, but in the journey itself.

Were there sacrifices? Not really, because it was always my choice. At one point, I chose to leave a secure high-paying job and go back to school to study for a lower-paying profession. I wouldn't call that a sacrifice. I weighed things out, decided what's important to me and moved forward. There was sometimes sadness at leaving some aspects of a former career. When I left my job at a university, I was sad to leave the close ties I had with students, but I knew I would not be able to serve them as I had in the past and so I embraced the sadness and moved on.

Isn't there some risk? I think if you plan carefully, you can minimize risk. And, to me, the reward of being in a career I love makes it all worthwhile.

What do I say when someone asks what I do? I used to hand them five different business cards. That was fun. Now I just smile quietly to myself and hand them my current card.

What will I do when I retire? If your job is your passion, the concept of retirement doesn't make sense. For me, at 'retirement age', I started a new career - as a Life Coach. Will this be my last career? I have no idea, but judging from past trends, probably not.

What about you? What are your thoughts about 'work'? Is your job your passion? If not, are you pursuing something new? If not, why not?

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