Steve Jobs once said:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forwards, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
It’s always interesting talking to someone who loves what they do in their career and tracing back to see what got them into that space. So it shouldn’t have come as a huge surprise to me why I’ve moved my career into coaching people in their careers, however it did.
I thought it was because ever since I started in the workforce, friends would talk to me about the issues they were having at work, with their boss or a colleague. However recently I realised that once again good old family dynamics were at play.
I had 3 key influencers in my childhood: my dad, my grandad and my mum.
- My parents moved to Australia when my brothers and I were aged 1, 2, and 3. Dad had been quite high up in the police force in England and had to start his career again in a new field (an office job) when they moved. It couldn’t have been further away from the action of being on the beat, plus it was an entry level role. Looking back I can now understand why dad would come home frustrated and angry. What you suppress you express, so as dad was having to pretend to be happy at work he would come home and express that part of him that wasn’t happy. Sounding familiar to anyone? Lesson 1: You need to be happy in your career, no matter what you’re doing, otherwise it has a negative impact on your relationships, your family, your health and your self worth.
- My grandfather had grown up an orphan in England and that had given him an attitude of gratitude. He was grateful for any opportunity in life and he had a strong work ethic. One of his many pearls of wisdom to me growing up was “don’t leave a bad smell wherever you go.” Once again looking back I can see that I’ve taken his advice, several times. Lesson 2: Choose your thinking and focus on what makes you grateful.
- Then there was my mum. She had shelved her career while raising the family, but family was obviously a high value for her at the time, having gone out of her way to adopt 3 children. When the three of us were independent, mum’s values shifted and connection became a high priority so mum re-entered the workforce. Mum had also been in the police force so she followed her interest in social justice and aligned her career with a related industry, security in retail, enabling her to work flexible hours. As time went by mum pursued another passion, lawn bowls, which she loved. She loved it so much she ended up becoming the SA President for Women’s Bowling for a number of years. Lesson 3: When you do what you love, you do well at it and you can align your values with your career.
Hence Creating Healthy Careers: helping people align their passion with their profession so that they live a life of purpose, and so that their career adds to their health not detracts from it. Dots joined!