Kent Blumberg has an outstanding post that is a call for action:
April 2006. I was 51. I had no job. I had no team to sustain me. Having lost three jobs in four years, I felt like a pariah. I was frightened no one would hire this fat, middle-aged ex-CEO, scared I would not be able to put food on the table, and wondering who I was.
My identity, you see, had been wrapped up in my title. I was my role, and little else. Without a role, I felt erased.
For months I wandered in that wilderness, chasing after jobs and searching for my mission. I scored a few interviews, and went to them full of hope. Every time, though, I returned with my tail between my legs. Either I didn’t like them; they didn’t like me, or both. Usually both. Most of the time, I was secretly glad it had not worked out.
As summer faded into fall, my hopes of returning to the corporate world withered and browned. Inside me, the lights of my manufacturing career dimmed toward dark.
But as the nights lengthened toward winter, and the lights in our house came on a bit earlier every day, new lights began to glow within me. I began to see that I was not a senior vice president, a COO or even a CEO. I was not a title. I was something much more unique. I was, and am, Kent M. Blumberg. My struggles to present a clear picture in my cover letters, my resumes and my interviews had forced me to cut away all the fluff and expose my core.
Don’t wait until you are 51 to follow your dreams. Don’t wait for someone else to force a change on you. Start right now to figure out what your gift is and to take charge of your career. Start now to explore your passions, values and beliefs. Start now to inventory your skills, talents and experience. Start now to discover the behavioral style that fits you best.
At the intersection of those three, pitch your tent and get to know the territory. Get to know yourself and get to know the callings that fit you. You might find that what you are doing now is perfect for you. Super! On the other hand, you might find something entirely different is waiting for your embrace and passion. That’s super, too.
Whatever you find there, take the next step today. Take another step tomorrow. And a third on Saturday. Each day, from now on, take a small step closer toward your dreams.
Your life’s work awaits you. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Go out and find it.
In life, you don’t get to rollover your unused minutes. Ya gotta use each one as it comes. Use yours wisely.
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