I have worked since I was 13 (I am now 46). I won’t regale you with all the jobs I have done – there have been many. But, without exception, up until the last few years, all have been a means to an end: career progression, money or the work itself.
Many people have career goals, but they are nearly always framed in the personal – what’s in it for me? A few people have goals that are impersonal – how can I help others? Some, a tiny few, see work as something with a higher purpose.
Whatever your reason for work (not just the money, please), given how long more and more of us will be working beyond 70 or possibly 80, it pays to think carefully how work can be used to develop you as a person.
This isn’t about going on a course or acquiring a bushel of letters after your name. No, work should be seen through the lens of working on your life and becoming the best version of you. Too many people see work as something other than them – they close the door to another self when they leave work – rather than a way of getting better as a person.
For me, the last few years have been the most inspiring, liberating and exciting of my life, largely because I have had my eyes opened to the unlimited possibilities that the Web has to offer. Oh, that and my passion for my art.
Right now, work may be the furthest thing from your mind; but just imagine if you saw it as the best self-development programme in the world. All time would be seen as ‘me’ investment time, and not just another day at the office.
Note: I know few ‘jobs’ offer that sort of opportunity, but even more reason to think how, even with limited time, you can turn that nascent idea into a viable alternative to the day job. Kitchen businesses don’t always stay that way.