It is so easy to let the momentum with which you begin your career carry you to the end. What seems to be happenstance and chance calcifies over time into an identity. An unintentional choice becomes an inescapable fate.
I fell into my career. After graduating with an English degree, I found my first job selling copiers to law firms. I never loved it, but I was able to grind it out and climb to the top of the board. My success perpetuated and fed my salesperson identity.
13 years later, I wanted a change in direction. I decided to earn an MBA to create an inflection point in my career. Night school is transformative. It’s a sprint, a stretch, a sacrifice, and a struggle. I learned what it means to earn your sleep. The process changed who I am, how I see myself, and how I see the world.
I graduated in December, and now I need to decide what is next.
The exercise of will to depart from the path and choose with intention what’s next requires overcoming the forces of complacency and fear of the devil unknown. Some fail to make this choice and retire after 40 years having accomplished much, but never having intended to do any of it.
The first half of my career was chosen without intention. Before rushing into a decision about the second half, I need a little perspective. I am going to spend some time breathing before I decide what to say.
I’m taking a sabbatical. My family and I are going on the road for the summer. We’ll see eight thousand miles of pavement, a dozen national parks, twenty states, and two countries. I’m going to remove myself from work and be immersed in family and my thoughts.
In the fall, I’ll begin again
I don’t yet know where this will end or what I will do next. That’s in part the purpose of the Sabbatical. I do know I am ready to do the most important work of my career. I want unbridled success, and I want a life I’ve chosen.