Articles & White Papers
The serendipitous career
Serendipity may be defined as "Pure
luck in discovering things you were not looking for".
Is it possible to apply this to your career? Read this article
to find out.
I'm always fascinated when people
tell me about a career change that - sometimes literally -
falls into their laps.
Recently I've even seen research suggesting
that change happens without conscious planning, more often
than we know.
My neighbor "Ed" found his
career, he says, when he literally fell from the choir loft
into the church organ. He was so fascinated by the repairs
that the specialist invited him to work in his shop.
Through high school, Ed did small chores
and later graduated to apprentice repair. Now he owns a firm
that repairs church organs all over the region.
According to a story from long ago,
the California Highway Patrol stopped a man for speeding.
Noting that he handled the car exceptionally well at high
speeds, they suggested he apply to the CHP. Now he can drive
ninety miles an hour all day long.
In her book Fighting Fire, Caroline
Paul recalls the man who came up to her in the gym, complimented
her strength, and handed her a Fire Department recruiting
Caroline, a Stanford graduate who had
majored in fine arts, went on to become one of the first women
fire fighters in San Francisco.
Three Dog Bakery was formed when a
dog refused to eat. The vet suggested, "Why don't you
cook for her?" The dog's owner had no idea where to begin.
He modified a cookie recipe and the dog wolfed it down. That
was the beginning of an empire.
I'm trying to collect more serendipity
stories, but people who fall into careers they love do not
read self-help books or call career coaches.
I suspect we all hear many messages.
A professor says to a student, "You have a knack for
this subject and you should major in it." A neighbor
says, "You ought to consider making a career out of your
talent." And the conversation is forgotten half an hour
Messages are rarely presented as advice.
They are invitations. If you say "no" or don't open
the envelope, they'll just go away quietly.
Meanwhile, you struggle with a career
you've outgrown, or you try to live up to someone else's dream.
I urge clients to be open to
invitations - not advice. As you open your intuition and become
focused on what you want, you'll find yourself attracting
Stuck? Stop pounding on the door
of career change, ring the bell gently and wait to see what
Goodwin, Ph.D. coaches and writes for midlife, midcareer professionals
who have been on the fast track to success - and now want
to get on the fast track to career freedom.
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