I recently read a great book called The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant To Do, by Jeff Goins. If you feel like you are stuck professionally or not following your true authentic path this is a very timely read. For years I had found myself in dead end jobs that I could not be passionate about. I kept applying for new jobs in the same field expecting a different return but nothing changing…the sheer definition of a lunatic.
At the end of my rope, I said out loud that I would find my dream job in the next month (this was last December) and I actually firmly believed it. I was interested in a bunch of different things…art, marketing, public speaking, training…but didn’t quite know what my niche was. That is, until I typed in Event Management and the first job to pop up was for an Executive Producer role for Character Day! An independent film company wanted someone to hold a global film premiere showing their films around social and emotional learning. It was a day to stop and ask ourselves as a collective what makes us human and connected. This could not be more up my alley!
So how was I going to get this job?! I sat down at my computer completely stumped. I did not have any non-profit experience nor did I have a lot of event management on my resume. It also looked like it was an old post so they had probably already brought someone on board. What did I have to lose? I began writing my formal cover letter, but kept back spacing. This is not what I really wanted to say! This person I was exuding was not showing them why I was different and capable. Why was this role the exact right position for me? In the end I started the email with…
Dear Hiring Manager,
THIS IS MY FREAKIN DREAM JOB!!!!!!!!!!!
….and the rest was history 🙂 They called me the very next day and told me that they had been on their last round of interviewing candidates for months but wanted to bring me in. By the next day I was hired! When I asked why the reason was that they hired me, my new boss told me he knew from the moment he opened his email that I was the candidate they had been looking for. I had cut through all the interviewing bullshit and had shown my sincere passion…all any hiring manager wants to see really.
This was such an important lesson in my professional career. I had always been trained to fit the cookie cutter mold and what I kept finding was cookie cutter positions. This moment taught me that if you lead with your authenticity and truly believe that you are the exact perfect fit, good things will come to you. If I had led with this email and did not get the position, I would know that culturally it would not have been the right fit. Don’t try and force a square peg into a round hole was the lesson I had learned here.
Jeff Hoins book The Art of Work was greatly themed around finding your passions, not wasting time, and going full speed ahead after them. But like myself, a lot of people struggle with what their passion is or have many passions and don’t know how to choose just one. He urges us to take a closer look and to see if there have been any major themes of your life. He also urges us to look at our childhood and see what we greatly enjoyed when we were younger. Nine times out of ten when we revisit those childhood activities we are deeply engrossed once more.
I began thinking of the themes of my childhood and came up with this list so far:
- Caretaker to my family and friends
- Pensive through writing and art
- Connector of people
- Open to many different groups and ideas…seeing the world through various lenses
- Love for exploration and travel
- Passion for personal growth
- Passion for the unknown and spirituality.
- Soft spot for the under dog
Taking a close look at this list solidified my current position as Character Day Producer…bringing many of these themes into play.
What would the themes of your childhood be? What were your daily childhood activities that you would revisit? Are you truly living up to your true calling and potential? My sister keeps saying that this is the year we should all share our gifts with the world. With a world that is so divided in hate right now, what would happen if we all led with our passions and gifts?
Tags: career, character, passion