Having studied fine arts in college, I had very limited job options once I graduated. I had been working in the family business for money and had gotten caught up in a 9 to 5 meaningless routine that paid my bills. Once I was married and with kids, it just got harder and harder to focus on anything else than having a monthly pay-check to support my family. I painted every now and then but the inspiration wasn’t always there… I should have listened to my mom, fine arts really wasn’t going to get me anywhere unless I wanted to live as a starving artist.
At some point after many years of working for my family, I began helping a friend of mine with a photography project. He had started a “Party” website and needed help with some night time bar hopping taking photos of random people and posting them on his website. It was extra cash and a few months later I was in charge of the website and this is where it all started. Bit by bit I began to get more involved in the company’s digital projects and once the main website was #1 in all of the country, I was offered a full time job to help them manage it all.

I had never been a computer person, being an artist I was all about the fancy handwriting, the drawing, the creativity; computers were certainly a frustrating topic. Although I was not an ace at computers I had some interesting advantages, I was extremely organized, I learned easily and I had a knack for catching onto things very quickly.

After a couple of years of being involved in this company I moved on to manage the web design and development team, this is where I began to learn all the important basics of the digital business. This is probably the moment that marked my life forever, it was the one opportunity that set the pace for all my future career decisions. In the years after this I moved on and on, up and up until I got the job of my dreams, General Manager of the digital office for the top Ad Agency in my country.

Opportunity, hard work and determination, that’s what got me there. Of course it would have been easier if I had some formal education or even a degree, but somehow my knowledge and experience were more important, not to mention my determination.

See, the thing is, sometimes you may not even know what you want in your life. My 18 year old son graduated from high school last year and so far he still has no idea what he wants to study. He has a steady job and makes good money, he’s very dedicated at what he does and that is good enough for me. Eventually, in time, he’ll figure things out and get back on track with his education, that is, once he finds his passion, the career that makes him happy.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula or road map to choosing a career, picking something that you’re passionate about can take time, sometimes years. Some of us start a career and then realize that it’s just not for us, I’ve even heard stories such as a high paid lawyer who became a cook. You have to give yourself permission to make wrong turns in your life because you are the only who will know for sure when you’re actually there, you know, that place you want to be, the happy place.

All in all, if you’re stressed about wanting a change in your career, you do need to take some important things into consideration. Explore your options, listen to your head and not your heart, think about the economic implications, etc. Once you’ve done this, think about your life purpose, what are your strengths? What do you love to do?

Remember that feeling fulfilled in your career is the kind of feeling that money will never equal, if you have found your passion and you’re ready to make the change, go for it!

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