It was my daughter’s first day at high school today (Eeeek!). Anticipating some first day nerves, I wanted her to know that everything would be OK. I bought her a good luck card from the family, gave her my best, reassuring pep talk by telling her she’d have a great day, would make new friends and that there was absolutely nothing to worry about.
As it turns out, that was all a bit unnecessary .….
“I know mum, it’s really no big deal. It’s high school – I’m excited!”
Well that told me.
What I forgot in my old age, was that having something completely new ahead of you is actually really exciting. Us grown ups get lost in the routine of our lives and often make too many assumptions about any new challenge we might face. We focus on all the things that could go wrong rather than how exhilarating the new experience might be.
Perhaps, as adults we should make more effort to seek out exciting new opportunities and actively remove ourselves from the mundane.
Perhaps this is one reason why so many of us get stuck in jobs that no longer stimulate us.
Perhaps we’ve forgotten the feelings we had on the very first day we started school or work. I certainly remember a few nerves, but excitement was the overriding emotion. I couldn’t wait to get started!
When you think about your next career move and what this might look like, which of your options leaves you feeling most excited? It’s probably not the one that offers the simplest way forward or indeed the most sensible or realistic option at the time. But seriously, if any of your potential future job choices leaves you feeling flat and uninspired, there’s really no point in you taking them any further??!
This quote from Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube, neatly summarises things for me:
“If something excites you – go for it!”
So next time you’re thinking about what else you can do with your career and where it might take you – remember, the easiest route might not be the one that leads to career happiness. Instead, think through what you love doing in your daily life – both in and outside of work.
How would it feel to be doing that every day?
If you get those excitement butterflies consider this: What first small step will you take today to explore that possibility further?