Baby Boomers – Does your career have meaning? Part II

Does-Your-Career-Have-MeaningDoes your career have meaning?

In my last post, I introduced the idea that a lot of us are looking for meaning in our careers.

It is not just about being happy in your career, but also about having meaning. Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning,  describes happiness without meaning.

Viktor Frankl wrote:

“Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desire are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided,”

I spent much of my career developing skills determined by my employer. All of the positions I held appeared on my radar screen. In other words, I made changes when opportunities appeared and I did not create my own opportunities. I was happy at times but it never felt meaningful. I was creating what other people wanted me to create.

Positions I held included:

  • Software programmer (word processors)
  • Software tester (word processors)
  • Support programmer for mechanical design tools (Computer Aided Design)
  • Vendor support programer supporting vendors port their software to the new IBM platform
  • Systems and sales training
  • Customer Briefing Center Presenter – I did confidential product presentations to major IBM customers
  • Training manager for High Tech startup

You may notice that I spent much of my career helping people. However, even though I was quite good at it, it did not fill me up. I still felt quite empty.

It was only when I had a moment of clarity, a near fatal bicycle accident that I realized that even though I was very well paid and I was very good at what I did it still left me quite empty.

After the accident, I volunteered for a layoff and received my Texas High School Math teaching certificate and taught high math at an inner city high school for two years. It was a tough two years and I left exhausted and drained.

When I left, I felt I was abandoning my kids. It was probably the most rewarding but difficult job I have ever had. I still tell stories about my kids.  It was the first time where my career had meaning.

In late 2007, I returned to high tech to launch yet another high tech training program.

Why did I go back to high tech? An opportunity appeared. I slipped back into an old habit.

I worked in a highly political organization that left me empty again. I wondered what is my purpose in this world. I left in January 2011, exhausted, frustrated and demoralized.

I am coming up on the first anniversary of the Career Pivot Brand. This last year has been more meaningful than anything I ever did in the world of high tech. I am creating my own opportunities. I am creating what I want to create!

Are you ready to put meaning into your career?

Are you ready to create your own opportunities?

What is your next step?

When you are ready to make that next step get my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers”.

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You can also download my whitepaperDon’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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