Chris Roberts describes the lightbulb moment that changed his career, and advises you to ‘do everything you can to pursue what you love.’
“One of the most memorable and defining moments in my career was something that was actually very simple in many respects.
A number of years ago I was working in advertising. I walked in one morning to one of the director’s offices – a relatively young guy but senior guy. I looked at him and I just thought, ‘You are one of the most miserable people I’ve ever met! You hate what you do but you can’t leave because you’re paid too well. And you don’t know where else to go because you are at this point in life. You’ve got a whole bunch of debts that you need to pay off and you don’t know where else to run.’ It was a pivotal moment. I was in my early 20s so I still had time to do something about it and I thought, I don’t want to be that person. I need to pursue what I actually enjoy doing.
Within two weeks I had all sorts of conversations with my, now, wife about this. We did a very simple exercise writing down on a piece of paper, What do I like? What do I not like? Just going from the specifics regarding jobs to the very general.
Within those two weeks I signed up to go back to university, to study a Masters in International Relations, because that was what I actually loved doing, but had always thought it a bit silly to pursue.
I ended up getting a job that was a hybrid between the marketing work I had done in the past and the international work that I wanted to do in the future. And from then on I progressed and pursued purely things that interested me but also paid the bills.
I’d say the overarching lesson is to do things you’re interested in, ideally that you’re passionate about – obviously accepting that there’s sometimes a reality that you can’t have everything.
But if you don’t do something that you love – or at least like a lot – you probably won’t do it that well and you will almost certainly be miserable.
So do everything you can to pursue what you love.”
This is an edited version of this Clear Lesson – watch the video for the full story!