Stepping Stones

I love the different trajectories our careers can take throughout an entire lifetime. Usually it starts right after college when we enter the workforce. We may find ourselves starting out in an admin position of a big company before working our way up to larger roles. We may make lateral moves within a company believing that each role will give us the experience and qualifications necessary to bring us closer to our dream job. The same can be true in pursuing a career in the arts. We can easily find ourselves working as a waitress until we make our big break as an actress.  Or someone who is an aspiring photographer can find themselves working as an assistant or shooting small unpaid gigs before they can have their dream job. Sometimes on the journey of becoming who we want to be and doing the work we love, there are some necessary steps we must take in order to get to the next level. It’s all part of our grand career plan. And these stepping stones help us create the career we most desire. 

Stepping stone jobs can be vital to the evolution of your career. They provide the platform to spearhead your career and provide you with real world experience to better prepare you for the next level.

However, what happens when we become stuck in a pattern of jobs that are simply stepping stones for our career? When we spend a little bit more time than necessary before embarking on our dream career because we have convinced ourselves that we are still not ready for a larger role and more responsibility?  How do we know when to take the leap and plunge into our dream career and soak up the pleasures of the unknown?

Stepping Stones of Memory - by nwwes, DeviantArt

Thoughts of  “I’m not experienced enough. I don’t know enough in that area to be good at it. This job is just a stepping stone but what I really want to do is …”. The litany of excuses are ongoing and can often keep us trapped in dead-end careers with the belief that we’re not yet equipped to have what we really want. The danger of stepping stone jobs are that they can tend to make us feel complacent and deceive us into thinking that we are moving closer to our dreams, when in actuality we are just standing still.

Pause for a moment and reflect on the last few jobs you’ve held. What about that job supported your dream career? How has that job led you closer to where you want to be? How ready do you feel to go to the next level? 

Chances are you are more ready to leave that stepping stone job than you think.

Let your stepping stone job support you for as long as it needs to but not a minute more. The moment you feel stagnant and disengaged from your role it may be time to reevaluate and finally move onto the career you’ve been saving yourself for. Your dream job is waiting for you.

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

 

 

The Value of Rock Bottom

When we hit rock bottom, we feel like it’s quite possibly the worst thing that could ever happen to us. For instance, we lose our job and money is in short supply. The bills are rolling in and companies are not hiring. Rock bottom brings with it feelings of being powerless and imprisoned to your circumstances. Along with it comes shame, embarrassment, and vulnerability like you’ve never felt before.

It’s like the earth swallowed us whole and spit us back out battered and bruised without the slightest understanding of why it’s happening and where to go from here. 

We have two choices when we hit rock bottom: Stay there or climb out.

 

What happens when we’re in pain? We find ways to remove it. And what happens when we remove the pain? We transform. Not only do we transform ourselves, but we transform the situation as well.

Your Eyes Make Me Dance Photo Credit: Chris is masiva

Something happens when we hit rock bottom. We decide that the pain is enough and we decide to do something about it. Actions that we have been avoiding suddenly become priority and almost by force, we start to confront our fears and do something about it. Maybe we start to realize that job we’ve just lost was the best thing to happen to us. Maybe we start to take a look at the numbers of our financial situation a little closer because we were scared to do so before. We start to take risks and explore other career paths that are more interesting to us that we were too afraid to even consider in the past. And maybe we even start to re-evaluate what is important to us in our lives. Maybe it really wasn’t that job in Accounting.

Think about a rock bottom experience that you or someone you know had. Perhaps you're feel like you're at rock bottom right now. How could you turn it around? If this experience was a miracle sent from the Universe, what could it be showing you?

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

 

 

The Greatest Act of Fulfillment

Sharing.

One of the greatest things that happens when you connect with your calling and do personally fulfilling work, is being able to share it with others. Think about it. What is the first thing we do when we have a great idea, receive good news, or create something new? We tell somebody and we share it with the world.

This goes for whether you have a gift or an idea worthy of sharing or even when you experience a bad day. Something happens when you share with others. You open yourself up, you form a connection, and you shift from ‘me’ to ‘we’. There is tremendous power in sharing what we know and what we can do that shapes the world in a transformative way.  You, as a result also experience deep transformation as you realize the power you have to impact positive change through who you are and the work you do.

We are no good to anybody or to ourselves when we hold it in and hold ourselves back.  Suppose Thomas Edison never told the world about the light bulb and kept it to himself.  What if Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl shot by the Taliban, kept her experience to herself and never decided to speak out about her campaign for girls education in Pakistan? Or how about the guy pictured below who travels around the world with his piano simply to share his message to do something remarkable with your life.

 

Think about something in your life that you love to share.  Vegan Baking recipes, your knowledge of food nutrition, business consulting for eco-friendly companies. How can you bring your gifts to more people? How can you begin sharing your work with others that helps them improve their lives? This marks the beginning of connecting with your calling and doing fulfilling work that can shape your career in a meaningful way. Spend some time this week reflecting on what you’d like to share more of in the world.

Keep me posted on how it goes ariane@arianehunter.com.

9 Reasons Why Creativity Matters

A lot of us think of creativity as a leisurely pastime that only a few of us with a lot of time on our hands get to indulge in. Cook a full course meal from scratch, write a poem, go out on a photo walk, or even build your own faux fireplace on a weekend rather than actually buying one. If we can do these things then we must have been blessed by the creativity fairy. But as for the rest of us with full time jobs, businesses to run, children to raise, and a laundry list of chores that won’t do itself, we default to spending our time on more practical matters.

I’d like to offer you a different spin on how we use creativity.  If you don’t create, you die. If you think you’re not creative, you are severely limiting yourself.

Creativity courses through our veins just like the blood vessels that nourish our bodies. It’s our breath and naturally a part of who we are.

Creativity is…

  1. One of our highest gifts that any of us could ever receive…
  2. A portal to knowing one’s self…
  3. A guide fueled by a constant source of inspiration…
  4. Problem solving…
  5. Being an innovator…
  6. Seeing the world in an 180 degree perspective from others
  7. Expressing oneself uniquely…
  8. Gives rise to your talents…
  9. Your authenticity…

We are creators and we use our creativity everyday whether we know it or not. Try going one full day without rationalizing something or finding every excuse in the book to stay at a job that is deeply unfulfilling. You’re exercising your creativity! For better or worse, we are creative beings.

Imagine what could happen if we used our creative juices to execute the masterpiece of our life’s work instead of using them to support our fears. You could find more meaning in your work, couldn’t you? The blinders could fall to the wayside and reveal the answer you’ve been looking for.

What could happen if you let even the smallest amount of creativity into your day?