I had my review at work the other day and I was asked where I saw myself headed…what did I want to work towards…?
And you know what I told them? "I really don’t know."
Yeah, probably not the best professional answer, but I was in an honest sort of mood.
I like what I do now. I’m good at it. I’m content with it. But I’m sure I don’t want to do it forever.
That got me thinking this week. What the heck do I want to do?
I like marketing. But I’m feeling a lack of passion in it lately.
The real underlying truth is maybe I’m having trouble finding meaning in my career. Am I helping make a difference in this world by the work that I do?
Wierd thing is, I’m thinking about grad school now for marketing. Because, well…it just seems like the thing to do. Bigger promotions. Bigger paychecks….
Trouble is, the part I least liked about undergrad were theories and papers and thesis statements…I’m horrible with standardized tests, so any hope of a good score on the GRE would be a good laugh…and finally, grad credits are unbelieveably costly.
But, I’ve found a couple of good M.A. marketing or advertising programs online that are for working professionals. They also happen to be through state universities AND some of them even offer the option of not having to take the GRE or having to write thesis papers.
Now if only I had about $2,000 lying around in change every semester for one freaking class…
Then again, why the heck am I considering grad school when I really don’t even know what I want?
After I typed the above post, I came across a very smack-you-in-the-forehead moment on a friends blog.
I couldn’t come across this below excerpt a better time. Here it is for you. Maybe it will mean something to you, too?
—Moving Beyond Success to Significance
Most people I know strive for success. For some it’s achieving high position, for others it’s wealth, and for still others it’s achieving some long-held goal. As the final definition of success is personal, success may be no more than "getting what you want."
Success can be sweet or disappointing; durable or short-lived. But either way, it’s not an adequate destination. Management guru Peter Drucker writes about the need of many highly successful people to move beyond their success to "significance."
Success is about achievements; significance is about impact. Significance is having a meaningful positive and durable impact on the lives of others.
According to legend, Alfred Nobel discovered the difference when he read his own obituary mistakenly printed by a newspaper that thought he had died. It was a flattering profile of the brilliant chemist who made a fortune as the inventor of dynamite, but it depressed Mr. Nobel, who felt certain that these achievements would not be long remembered. Determined to leave a more significant legacy, he established the Nobel Prizes for human achievements.
Mr. Nobel realized that there’s a kind of immortality in significance. Sure, a life devoted to accomplishing personal goals can be worthy and satisfying, but it can be enormously enriched when we consciously use our talents and time to improve the lives of others.
In Living a Life That Matters, Harold Kushner writes, "Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it."
This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.