We all know people who were going about their
own business not seeking new direction. Guidance came, unasked,
from sources outside themselves.
It's not enough to receive a message: you have to know how to
listen and interpret what comes.
rarely provides serendipitous
guidance, but can help you listen and interpret more effectively.
Charles found his career
in junior high school, when he literally fell from the choir
loft into the church organ. He was so fascinated by the repairs
that the specialist invited him to work in his shop.
Through high school, Charles did small chores and later graduated
to apprentice repair. He never bothered with college. Now his
firm repairs church organs all over the region
According to a story from
long ago, the California Highway Patrol stopped a man for speeding.
Noting that he handled the car exceptionally well at high speeds,
they suggested he apply to the CHP. Now he can drive ninety miles
an hour all day long.
In her book Fighting Fire,
Caroline Paul describes the birth of her career. During one of
her workouts in a gym, a man greeted her, complimented her strength,
and handed her a Fire Department recruiting pamphlet. Caroline,
a Stanford graduate who had planned graduate study in fine arts,
went on to become one of the first women fire fighters in San
A particularly good story
comes from the owners of Three Dog Bakery. When their dog refused
to eat, the vet suggested, "Why don't you cook for her?"
The owner had no idea where
to begin. He modified a cookie recipe and the dog wolfed it down.
That was the beginning of an empire.
In an audiotape about work
(I can't find the source), author Thomas Moore says he had just
decided to stop teaching psychology when someone asked him, "Will
you be my therapist?" That question gave him a new career.
the rest of us ignore those messages?
I'm trying to collect more
serendipity stories, but people who fall into work they love
do not read self-help books or call career coaches. I suspect
the rest of us also receive messages, but we ignore them.
A professor says to a student,
"You have a knack for this subject and you should major
in it." A neighbor says, "You ought to consider making
a career out of your talent." And the conversation is forgotten
half an hour later.
Sometimes the message should
be heard as, "Keep this talent somewhere in your life, not
necessarily as a profit center." Nina gives pottery as Christmas
presents, but she will not give up her lucrative day job in advertising.
She realizes the need to market her wares would overwhelm her
love of the clay.
True messages leave you feeling
as if you've been hit on the head by a flying two-by-four. They
reach your heart. They feel "right." You hear them
as invitations, not advice.
As you open your intuition
and become focused on what you want, you'll find yourself attracting
more invitations. And one of them might take you to worlds you
never dreamed of.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*