authentic careers

My brother just landed home in California today. He’s been working in China since last fall.

I remember when he was in college, working hard and studying business administration. It seemed incongruous to me, why would he study business? He said he had to be practical and study something that would make money.

That’s the bottom-line reason to go to college, right? To invest in skills that will get you a career that will feed and shelter you.

I remember having the kind of job with a pension, after my daughter was born, and feeling the ticking of the clock counting down to retirement. It was heavy and suffocating.

There are other ways to be. I’ve written before  about careers being the expression of one’s intrinsic superpower.

I made some friends last year who are my superheroes. Craig and Amanda live the impossible life, professional performers that travel the world to get to gigs. Two little kids and they do it! Not only that, they are collaborating with friends to write a movie musical. They are using kickstarter to fund it, go check it out. They are doing what they were born to do.

My friend Rocky has a more common job, he’s a pastor. He loves it, and will talk forever about it whenever we get the time. He hosts a podcast, inviting other pastors to talk about all the ways people can pastor and do pastor-y things. He refers to his career as a calling.

I refuse to believe that these are the lucky ones. It is not only a few of us who get to do work that comes from our heart and soul. It might not be clear at first what that work is, yet I believe that we all have something we can do with our gifts that is a service to the world and a joy to ourselves.

My brother did finish he college degree in business. And he worked in various corporate offices for years.

He wasn’t happy for long. He sifted and explored other possibilities. Last year he took a leap. He went to China to teach English and talk about the gospel to college students across the world.

This is what he wanted. This was the cry of his deep self, finding expression.

It’s not enough to watch the sands of the hourglass fall, waiting. I don’t blame him for his college study. We all start somewhere and learn as we go. Some things are perfect for the moment and then get outgrown.

I don’t want the sands to settle and bury me. I can be like my brother and take risks to let my career come from my essence.