I wake up every morning at around 5am. I check my emails, respond to any urgent matters, put on my running shoes and head out the door for the most invigorating part of my day. I meet up with our Founder, Sheri Tomchick, and for the next 45 minutes (aka 4kms) we make our way around the A-Dot. We walk, we talk, we strategize and we pump each other up for the day ahead.
I can honestly say that I can’t remember the last time that I woke up and thought to myself: “I don’t want to go in to work today”. Today, for example, is Friday and of course I’m excited for the weekend but I’m even more excited about the upcoming week!
I could not have said the same thing 10 years ago. I spent a decade working at a job that I surrendered myself to. I went in to work every day thinking about a million different places I would rather be. I looked forward to my vacation days because I wanted to get away from the dreaded ‘day to day’. Despite the fact that I loved the people I worked with and even though my work had value in our community, it just didn’t fit. I worked hard and tried to convince myself that I was where I was meant to be. I talked myself into believing that I was satisfied. I thought; wherever you work, there’s bound to be good days and bad days.
I spent that entire time helping others find meaningful work and failed to see that I deserved the very same thing. I thought that I if I just kept going, made more money, was entrusted with more tasks and could survive, that was enough. I. Was. Wrong. The thing is; if you’re going to spend 7,800 working days in your life doing something, shouldn’t it be something you love? And shouldn’t you get excited every single day about what it is you do? Aren’t you entitled to moments where thinking about work makes you smile?
I can’t state that I’m an HR expert but I’m sure that anyone who is an expert in the field would agree that everyone wins when you find ‘that place’ that makes you:
- feel worthy;
- feel appreciated;
- pushes you;
- gives you balance;
- provides a sense of purpose.
But how do you find the right fit for you and how do you know that it’s worth the risk to leave something ‘cushy’ for something right? Do you leave it to fate? Do you seek it out? I don’t have the answer for everyone but what I can say is this: it’s worth figuring out! Here are the 8 questions that I can immediately and assuredly answer ‘yes’ to that confirm for me that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be:
- Do I believe in the product, organization, or service?
- How does this job make me feel? Good, Accomplished, Satisfied?
- Am I challenged to be my best?
- Am I growing and learning?
- Am I meeting or surrounding myself with good people doing interesting things?
- Are people in this organization open to new ideas and receptive to each other?
- Is this the best use of my skills and talents?
- Are there people I can learn from and look up to? Do I have good mentors or advisers?
There’s something pretty special about how I came to be where I am. A lot of factors came into play but the short version is that a conversation between Sheri and a friend of mine led to what would allow me to follow my passion every day. However, that doesn’t mean you can leave it all up to fate. I’ve had to work hard and prove myself to earn the trust that’s now put me in charge of one of her two companies. I’ve had to learn to pivot, to have hard conversations, to make tough decisions and to ultimately lead our startup to success. The challenge wasn’t the work… I’m a fan of working hard. Rather, it was following my gut and having unwavering faith that regardless of the risk or timing, I would end up on the path that was meant for me.
If you’re reading this and you can say that you’re genuinely happy where you are (wherever that may be), then here’s a virtual high five. If you’re not there yet, know that you will undoubtedly make your way. Give yourself a little push and know that you’re worth the risk when the time comes to open the door to the career that was meant for you. Then, all that’s left, is to take the leap!