Follow Your Dreams When Choosing a Career
By Alison Doyle

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Something to Think About

A visitor to the Job Searching site sent me this quote – to give me something to think about…

I thought about the people I know who followed their dreams. Like my husband who gave up a lucrative job as a union electrician to go back to school for a degree in Labor Policy that eventually led to a position with the NYS Assembly. He then went full circle to work for the union again, this time as an organizer/representative. More of a big deal than you would think when you consider he did it in his late 40’s.

Then there is the college bus driver who drives a bus so he has time to think and write poetry in his head while following his route.  Or my brother, the carpenter, who takes pride in building and restoring homes and who has turned down jobs with big companies for a guaranteed salary because he wants to work his way.

Remembering Sam

Most of all, I remember the elderly man I hired to clean our offices many years ago. His wife filled out his application because Sam couldn’t write too well. He showed up for the interview in a suit complete with vest and jaunty cap. Of course, we hired him and the pride Sam took in his work went unmatched. He never missed a day from work and he was thrilled when he came up with ideas to save a few dollars for the company. Dreams don’t always involve making millions of dollars or being the CEO of a large corporation.

Changing Careers

Then there are the famous career changers that Author Dale Dauton mentions in his book The Max Strategy  like Joan Rivers who was a department store manager and Rush Limbaugh who was a PR person for a baseball team.

Stuck in a Rut

And I thought about the people I know who due to fate, or circumstances, or just plain life, weren’t able to follow their dreams. Like the mailman I know who with four small children at home wasn’t able to risk giving up a secure job for one with more creativity and flexibility. Or my ex-father-in-law who worked in state government for 30 years and couldn’t afford to give up the benefits that went along with what he considered a dead-end job.

Following Your Dreams

The first, and most important, step to take in starting to follow your dream involves deciding what it is you really want to do with your life. There are those of us who would love an opportunity to work on Wall Street, and there are those of us who would prefer working for a non-profit organization. And still others who do take pride in sweeping streets or cleaning offices, as well they should.

I suppose a lot of it comes down to being able or willing to take risks. Once you discover what would make you happy, then to follow your dreams as best you can…