Monday, October 8, 2007

Counterpoint: Creating your professional nightmare

Got this reply from a reader I only know virtually. A guest post.

To AE on the Verge:
My take on the recent blog is quite the opposite. I rewrote your post:

Creating your professional nightmare

At his imaginary retirement party (there was none), "Joe Smith" noted he had originally dreamed of being a CEO, innovator, or entrepreneur; but one day many years ago accepted an offer to be an "Executive Vice President” of an association. Hired by "very kind" association members, who said that was exactly what they wanted. He was at times a CEO, at times an innovator, and at times an entrepreneur but gradually they all were taken away. Now at the end of his career he kicked himself in the ass for not recognizing long ago that the members had changed, the promise had changed, and he had not. He still wanted to be what he wanted to be. He thanked "kind and supportive" peers (not members) who encouraged him to be what he "always wanted to be: CEO, innovator, or entrepreneur." He found he could become what he wanted to be only by leaving.

It instantly struck me that we actually can create within our own careers whatever the dream is, because the position just might provide opportunities for such a vast range of activities. If we want to write, we can write. If we want to teach, we can teach. And much more. But if we cannot – then get the hell out immediately.
1. What's your professional dream, and are you being encouraged to get there? If not it is a nightmare, not a dream. Wake up.

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