"The surprise move to career
We all know people who were going about their own business not seeking new direction
Guidance came, unasked, from sources outside themselves.
It's not enough to receive a message: You have to know how to listen and interpret
Harles found his career
in junior high school, when he literally fell from the choir loft into the
church organ. He was so fascinated by the repairs that the specialist invited
him to work in his shop.
Through high school, Charles did small chores and later graduated to apprentice
repair. He never bothered with college. Now his firm repairs church organs all
over the region
According to a story
from long ago, the California Highway Patrol stopped a man for speeding. Noting
that he handled the car exceptionally well at high speeds, they suggested he
apply to the CHP. Now he can drive ninety miles an hour all day long.
In her book Fighting Fire; Caroline Paul describes
the birth of her career. During one of her workouts in a gym, a man greeted
her, complimented her strength, and handed her a Fire Department recruiting
pamphlet. Caroline, a Stanford graduate who had planned graduate study in fine
arts, went on to become one of the first women fire fighters in San Francisco.
A particularly good
story comes from the owners of Three Dog Bakery. When their dog refused to eat,
the vet suggested, "Why don't you cook for her?"
The owner had no idea
where to begin. He modified a cookie recipe and the dog wolfed it down. That was
the beginning of an empire.
In an audio tape about
work (I can't find the source), author Thomas Moore says he had just decided to
stop teaching psychology when someone asked him, "Will you be my
therapist?" That question gave him a new career.
Do the rest
of us ignore those messages?
I'm trying to collect
more serendipity stories, but people who fall into work they love do not read
self-help books or call career coaches. I suspect the rest of us also receive
messages, but we ignore them.
A professor says to a
student, "You have a knack for this subject and you should major in
it." A neighbor says, "You ought to consider making a career out of
your talent." And the conversation is forgotten half an hour later.
Sometimes the message
should be heard as, "Keep this talent somewhere in your life, not
necessarily as a profit center." Nina gives pottery as Christmas presents,
but she will not give up her lucrative day job in advertising. She realizes the
need to market her wares would overwhelm her love of the clay.
True messages leave you
feeling as if you've been hit on the head by a flying two-by-four. They reach
your heart. They feel "right." You hear them as invitations, not
As you open your
intuition and become focused on what you want, you'll find yourself attracting
more invitations. And one of them might take you to worlds you never dreamed