If you find what you are truly passionate about, then finding your career will not be too far away. It’s a lesson I have learned from my years creating businesses. I’ve never had what I would call a job, but I’ve worked every day for five decades.
It’s all about finding a balance between work and play – it’s all living. This is something Wade Davis, the renowned professor and anthropologist, knows well. We were fortunate to hear his thoughts on Necker recently at a Virgin Unite Leadership Gathering, and he also sent on some inspiring words from his daughter's college graduation speech.
Among some fascinating advice to young people, he had some views on the nature of work. “A career is not something that you put on like a coat. It is something that grows organically around you, step-by-step, choice-by-choice, and experience-by-experience. Everything adds up. No work is beneath you. Nothing is a waste of time unless you make it so. An elderly cab driver in New York may well have as much to teach you as a wandering saint in India, a madman in the Sahara, certainly a university professor.”
He also highlighted the difference between work and jobs, pointing out the word job comes from the 16th century French word, gober, meaning, “to devour”. Work, meanwhile, comes from the old English, meaning action and deed. That sounds more like it to me.
As Wade said: "If you place yourself in the way of opportunities, in situations where there is no choice but to move forward, no option but success, you create a momentum that in the end propels you to new levels of experience and engagement that would have seemed beyond reach only months before.
“And you’ll find that the work you do is just a lens through which to view and experience the world, and only for a time. The goal is to make living itself, the act of being alive, one’s vocation, knowing full well that nothing ultimately can be planned or anticipated, no blueprint found to predict the outcome of something as complex as a human life.”
Whether you are a new graduate, a new pensioner, or anywhere in between, or before or after, then you have the opportunity to think about what you want you do with your life. If you can find your passion, it means you will never have a job. Now, I’m heading back to work.