My dream career: Message in a bottle to my younger self

My early career was a follow-the-crowd formula with a Bachelors degree onto a well-paid tech job onto changing for a higher pay in 5 years. While I have nothing against pursuing a fatter paycheck, it just that it kept me off-track. As a result, I had trouble finding my true north – a dream career I’d love.

Today I’m well on my dream career path and here’s my 3-point simple “message in a bottle” parceled via time machine, addressed to you, my younger self (YS).

My dream career: Message in a bottle to my younger self
My dream career: Message in a bottle to my younger self

1. You define your dream career, don’t outsource it

14 years ago, just into my first job, I painfully chewed every critical feedback with a fixed mindset that I was limited by my inborn talents.

I was enthralled, as I read a neuroscience revelation on growth mindset that I can acquire as many skills as I wish if I worked on them.

So my dear YS, Take charge of your personal identity. Don’t undermine the valuable feedback that helps refine your individuality but never let your bosses, colleagues and community judge their way to your sense of self.

2. Work to build your dream career, not your resume

Few years ago I sat on my appraisal discussion with an amazing boss. I presented a carefully scouted list of annual accomplishments and personally solicited appreciation letters from customers. I anxiously waited for him to reveal his hopefully big plans for me. This first question he asked still remains etched in my memory: Does what you do, excite you?. Although I did not have a succinct answer, it was an aha moment for what was missing in my career.

My beloved YS, Realize that career path is a journey that you’re excited to embark on, to narrate stories of, having used your innate and acquired talents to make a difference to your company, daring to solve big problems, losing your sense of self to a purpose much higher.

3. Make money work for you, don’t work for money

A year back, I went on an unpaid leave of absence from work to pursue my dream of getting back to college to learn what I wanted to. That helped change my trajectory.
It was an opportunity cost, but it paved way for a meaningful path that I’d always wanted.

Now dearest YS, What would you do if you were not afraid?. Listen to your soft inner voice. Do what you love; love what you do. Experiment, get better and be awesome at what you love doing. By law of karma, money will follow.

Here’s the benefit of my experience handed to you on a silver plate but as the paradox of experiential wisdom would have it, you will get wiser from your experience than from this advice.

So, all the very best, believing in yourself!

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Career advice to my younger self
Career advice to my younger self

Now, it is your turn to let your younger self, know what you’ve learned. Let the world know what you’ve been through to become the person you are, today!

1. What major event do you consider a turning point in your career?
2. Which conversation was an ‘aha’ moment to your career?
3. What are some of the fears you’ve overcome to be where you are today?

23 Comments

  1. For me, the shift came when I realized that I could work for a cause higher than just my need to pay bills. It was important that what I did for money didn’t make me a slave or end up in soul sucking situations. I wanted to do the things that did not feel like a chore and set my soul alive, each and every day. So I stepped back for a while, looked at my strenghts and the thngs I loved and crafted a businesss around thesei Those early days were not easy but I learned so much about myself and to date, I feel it was the best learning experience I’ve had.

  2. “Make money work for you…”

    I totally agree with this statement. I left a good paying job (without a new job) to pursue blogging full time. Out of that came a baby and a now successful blogging career. It’s always great to follow your dreams and don’t feel ashamed about doing it.

    Shatreka
    Chicstylez360.com

  3. Oh the messages I would send myself in a bottle… the most important would be that no one will ever be able to pay you what your worth except you. so continue to work diligently on your passions and write your own paycheck. The payoff will be more than any money you can spend.

  4. I love these! One of the things I would note is to follow the strengths and not get stuck on weaknesses. I also love the quote “What would you do if you weren’t afraid.” I would own rental properties. I’m not quite to the point where I can do this but hopefully one day I will conquer the fear!

  5. I especially agree with working to build your dreams. I never in a million years saw myself leaving the corporate world to be a stay at home mom, but raising my children is something that is so important to my husband and I. It was a dream, although a difficult on, that I went after for my family. THanks for sharing

  6. carolinecocker15

    I always thought I’d end up doing something corporate/office-y (I’m very bossy and I love stationary), so it came as quite the surprise when I realised one day that I wanted to work at home. I’m still working towards that, but it took me envisioning the life I wanted, not merely the career, that decided my path

  7. So much incredible advice in one blog post <3 Thank you so much for sharing this. I made a lot of mistakes early in my career, but I think they were all necessary for my own personal development. But this? This is good stuffs right here 🙂

    "Work to build your dreams, not your resume"< Thank you for following me so I could come back here and discover your wonderful online home 🙂

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