When the mists fall and the hearth side calls for tales of myth and legend you huddle up and shiver in your shawl or glaze over with awed wonderment. There is a fabulous beast of legend that has us shaking our heads in disbelief and yearning and a desire to surrender to the enchantment of such a bewitching creature.
They are rarer than mermaid’s shoes and you are about as easy to find as a needle in Simon Cowell’s chest hair than meet one of these legendary creations of lore. These are beings so rare yet they walk among us and reduce our sense of selves with their purpose, passion and certainty.They are the Career Unicorns; folk blessed by a good witch at birth to know and follow their career path as soon as they could chow down on solids leaving the rest of us floundering around like the clueless crazed.
“I wish I knew what I wanted to do in my career like every one does” cry my clients. “If only I’d know what path to take from childhood, life would’ve been so much easier” they sigh. But how many people do you know who, while potty training, googoo gaga-ed “I’m going to be a corporate lawyer” or preferred “Conveyancing Times” to Dr Seuss?
Now here’s my theory. Those who knew which career path to take when the rest of us were hanging around bus stops and shoplifting eyeliner from Woolworths/Superdrug (come on, it wasn’t just me was it?) are usually those who had pushy and cautious parents. Ma and Pa probably strongly urged them into a path they considered safe and secure and one they had personal experience of even if said profession acted as a vampire to the soul. All parents want their children to be safe, happy and catered for and their own narrow view of what was a “good” career dictated their offspring’s life path.
The other theory I have is that these rare breeds had passions and pastimes thrust upon them by being dragged to sporting events, being exposed to certain cultural extremes or choosing to live out by proxy a sad parent’s lost life of opportunity for them. “Don’t be like me stuck at home with the children. Fly, fly fly as a retail manager!!”
On Desert Island Discs recently a composer and conductor said her parent’s bought her a conductor’s baton before her years reached double figures. I rest my case. Like she could’ve ever said she wanted to tend sheep or tease hair?
But here’s the deal; the rest of us blunder around in rank frustration that we are not Career Unicorns and if only we had just the merest hint of why we are here and what we are supposed to do for a living our life would be complete.
Career Unicorns and the Wishing Well of Self Discovery
Here are some thoughts on life purpose and career destiny worth considering:
- There are but a mere handful of Career Unicorns out there. They are the minority. Not all of them are happy with the railway track life they had mapped out for themselves (I’ve coached legions of unhappy lawyers, GP’s, shrinks and actors) and many have no idea how to turn it around after years of (expensive) study and parental expectation.
- Most us don’t have a clue what we are here for and what will give us meaning and purpose. You are not alone.
- The good news is that coaches believe that deep down inside you DO know what your passion and purpose is but you haven’t listened, don’t take it seriously enough and have squashed it down. It’s all in there like jigsaw pieces. You’ve just misplaced the lid with the picture on it.
- Knowing what you are here to do is all about knowing yourself. Simple. If you have the confidence to trust yourself and believe in yourself and eschew doubt and fear you will begin to see the path you were meant to follow.
- It may not be ONE career path and trying to find the ONE thing could be limiting your chances of connection. It’s entirely possible to have a portfolio career of different interests.
- You wont be 100% sure ever. Stop waiting for certainty or the perfect thing. Take a risk on 65 or 75% of it being OK and take the leap.
- Start your own business. You will LOVE it.
- Nothing is ever perfect and there is never a “right” time to jump.
- It is entirely possible to find a profession or pursuit that gives you meaning and purpose.
- My favourite quote right now is “if you have clarity you don’t need therapy”.
- Coaches can help with all above.