I’d like to use every single bit of my persuasion to direct you to this post by Chad Fowler called ” Dead-End Jobs: Are You Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome?”. I will ask that you read it before 2011. This is the perfect time to do it, as it gives you over 24hours regardless of where you are in the world. You only need about 5 minutes out of those 24+ hours, however. Go read that article.
Here’s why I’d like you to read it:
Regardless of whether I deserve it or not, a lot of people email me asking for advice on their professional lives. In fact, there’s quite a few of you waiting for a response right now (which I promise I’ll deliver also before 2011 - it’ll be a long day). Most people who email me (or who I talk to because they’re personal friends, maybe even family) do so in search of something I can’t quite describe. I don’t know if it’s advice, or just a push in the right direction. Like one “you can do it” will change their lives (sometimes it does).
It’s now been years since the first person approached me to talk about their job, their life or their goals. I don’t think conversations have deviated much from what I have said the first time - something certainly along the lines of “I have always believed that anyone can do anything; that I am not special or better, but just try harder and risk more than the average person”. I see myself saying something similar often - and have for so long now.
There are things I have never understood about people who are unhappy about what they do (whether it is their job, or the degree they are majoring in, or something else entirely). Being flawed myself (and trust me, flawed here is an euphemism), there’s one thing I never really got about people, which is: if you’re really, truly, unhappy about what you do and have the benefit of actually knowing what would make you a happier person, why the (obvious expletive here) are you still doing it?
Perhaps Stockholm Sindrome is indeed what it is. Perhaps people’s visions of their future and goals do start to fade by being “stuck” somewhere. Heck, have my own? Ask yourself (like I certainly have in the last few weeks) and figure this out. And remember one thing - you’re never getting any younger, or getting second chances, or (and this is just my own personal belief) a new life to do it all over again. So before 2011, in the next 24 hours, think about this stuff - and if you are still not doing something you’re truly passionate about, at least consider changing.
Have a great 2011.