Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creating your own career

Last week a Facebook friend challenged me by stating that not everyone can choose the job they like and can do best. Sometimes people just have to take whatever job they find, to make enough money to live.

This is, of course, quite true. When I first went to Norway to live in the 60's and couldn't speak the language, I got a job unloading bananas at the docks to earn some money. I later found a better job as a dishwasher.

But I had higher ambitions than washing dishes. I kept my eyes and ears open as I learned Norwegian, met new people with whom I could talk, and became more familiar with the culture around me. I practiced these elements of career development:

1. develop new skills that will help you advance your career.
2. talk with people about their lives, to find out what gaps there might be in the society that could become a job for you.
3. think entrepreneurially, as a job creator, creating the perfect job for the person you know best--yourself.

In a matter of months I was coaching volleyball with the Norwegian national volleyball team and was enrolled at the University of Oslo, on my way to building myself a wonderful life in Norway. All it took was putting some principles into practice and believing that I could succeed.

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