For the remainder of 2009 I’m making a pact with my readers (that means you and your friends) to regularly blog about real life stories of people who have looked for and found career Nirvana.
Out of this commitment to you, was born the series:
A New Kind of Hero for a New Kind of World
My main intention when committing to this project was to empower you to find your own career Nirvana.
In the real life stories that follow you’ll have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of remarkable professionals who carved out working lives that are in line with their values. You’ll learn about career paths of people who have different qualifications and experiences, and come from different cultural backgrounds, genders and age groups. Each person followed a different path and was guided by different philosophies. As you’ll soon discover, they each value different things. In light of their differences, they share a common achievement. They all arrived at a point in their career where they feel excited about going to work every day.
Their differences prove that there aren’t any hard and fast formulas to achieving fulfilment at work. That means that your uniqueness is your strength. In other words, it is by being true to yourself and genuine that you stand a greater chance of reaching career Nirvana. It also means that no one but you can take you there; it is your responsibility and something you must aspire to. Otherwise you risk waking up one day, wondering how you got there – feeling lost and miserable.
These individuals are 21st century heroes. (Not heroes in the traditional sense, although one of them saved lives as an Oncologist) What makes them heroes is the fact that they had the courage to save their own lives. They achieved that by recognizing that they could not afford to waste time in meaningless work. Then they took corrective action. By doing so they serve as examples to us all.
What is career Nirvana? (and who came up with that term)
My husband, a bowl of oatmeal and my kitchen in Sydney (without the dryer running in the background) provided the inspiration. Hoping to stroke my ego, I then Googled ‘career nirvana’ to find out if anyone had made any claims on it. Although there are some entries, I’ve decided to keep the term because I believe it describes well what most people I’ve interviewed are looking for.
Here’s the deal. Both career stamina and job staying power are passé. In this new world, being self-aware and open to change are the traits that will lead employees and business owners to career Nirvana, the point where people feel fulfilled in their work lives.
Career Nirvana is a journey – guided by an attitude – it’s not a destination.
These individuals, although some are multi-millionaires, did not set out to become rich. While some are quite successful in their fields, they did not start their journey looking for success or recognition. Granted that each individual is fulfilled by different things, each one set on their journey looking for a more meaningful existence.
These people have had the courage to make changes. Something along the way got them to change perspective, to flip the switch. Whether change happened almost in an instant after an intense experience – like the loss of a loved one – or whether it took years to materialize, these people changed how they view the world around them. Yet it’s not possible to describe all of them as extreme risk takers. Even so, they all had the courage to look inside and to be, by most standards, brutally self-honest. In large part this is what allowed them to surpass their own status quo.
All admitted to have worked past their fears. Some, as natural risk takers, tended to take immediate action, others read books, others recurred to professional help, while others counted on the support of loved ones. Whatever it took, these people took action – in spite of their fears. This is not a cliché – it’s how it worked in real life. I won’t give away more. Read for your self to find out.
How do I decide which people to feature?
Qualifications? Experience? Looks? Not really.
Indeed, some of the people I have interviewed to date hold degrees from prestigious institutions (and there’s a Dr in the group). Some have been in the work force for more than twenty years. And most have sex appeal. Even so, the main criteria I follow is:
Among the stories that I receive, I choose to feature the ones I find are real and human. Although I’ve chosen to label these people ‘heroes’, they are not super human. They are people, like you and I – with fears, dreams and needs.
On that note, if you feel that my blog is worthy of your story, I’d love to hear about it. If you’re not sure, please let me be the judge – I’d love to hear from you. To save you time (and typing) I suggest that you don’t go ahead and write out your story. Instead contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org I’ll send you a list of questions which hopefully will focus your thoughts and as a result reduce your writing time. In advance, thank you for contributing to my community of readers. Namaste.
Stay tuned for Victor’s story, career hero numero uno.