Your Work is to Discover Your Work

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

I came across this great quote yesterday and think it really relates to a lot of us who are still trying to figure out what career path to get on (or off of). 

I ventured out to Michigan Avenue yesterday after work to use some gift cards that I had been hanging on to since last Christmas.  I was excited that the same very sweet sales associate was helping me as last time I went to White House Black Market.  I remembered that she was from Ohio and that she was working part-time at WHBM after her day job.  We discovered that we both studied Finance at Miami of Ohio-small world!  She also started telling me about her financial analyst job at a huge well known company, life 6 months after graduating college, along with her constant questioning of her career path and future.

It was great to talk to someone who was fresh out of school going and through the same stuff that most recent grads go through.  Common side effects of being 22 include: lack of money, confusion, busy work with a fancy job title, holding 2 jobs and constant questioning.  It seems that many of us spend so much time worrying about the present and the future that we can’t enjoy being 22 (or 24, or 26…). 

It was easy for me to tell my new friend that she was doing GREAT and not to worry for the time being.  At the same time, most of us are questioning what we really want to do with our career. 

And that’s where Buddha comes in:  “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

Why not make our twenties simple and just accept that this age is about discovering what work we want to do?  Accepting the uncertainty is much easier than fighting it every day.  Once we can accept this “discovery period” and stop worrying about it, our brains will actually have time to think about what career is best for us.  From there, you can spend the next several decades pursuing what you love. 

The problem lies in those who worry their way through life and never stop to discover their work.  Without the discovery period you will not be able to fully give yourself to your work.

3 responses to “Your Work is to Discover Your Work

  1. I think it’s important to become lost once in a while. That is the only way you’ll discover new paths.

  2. Nicole you have hit on a very important idea here. Long gone are the days where a fresh-faced 20-something “works their way up” from the mailroom to the boardroom.

    My advice to anyone dealing with these questions is to have the courage to be creative in whatever job you are in. A good boss recognizes good talent, and opportunities will open to create the job you want to do.

    And above all, don’t be afraid to get out and start over! [easier said than done in this economy, but still]

  3. Pingback: A Gen Yer with Great Insight - it was Bound to Happen « Work Exposed the Blog

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