Talent Tip #70: Choose a Job You Love…Maybe Confucius Was Right
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I remember hearing people say this when I was just embarking on life after college. To be frank, I thought it was a bunch of malarkey. It was something that belonged on one of those really cheesy motivational posters from Successories. Ug. (No offense, Confucius.)
But after an unfulfilling stint in the private sector, I got into the liberty movement and haven’t looked back. Believe it or not, the quote is actually true.
But don’t take it from me. Take it from my friend, James Abernathy, the General Counsel at Freedom Foundation. Here is his story about doing what you love.
Passionate belief will make you do seemingly funny things. It will make you do things like move 2400 miles away from everyone and everything you know. You don’t do that without passion, especially if you are perfectly content where you are.
I had a good job as in-house counsel for a small to mid-sized company in Southwest Ohio. I liked those with whom I worked. In fact, my boss had become a very close friend. I lived ten minutes away from my family, who I love dearly. I had great friends as well.
But I had an itch.
I wanted to be “in the game,” so to speak. I wanted to get in the ring against those individuals and groups who stand against the ideas which produce freedom and prosperity. After all, a job “in the game” was why I went to law school in the first place.
My company fell on some rough times and my boss told me I should get my resume out there just in case the cash flow could no longer support the team of in-house attorneys. So I submitted my resume to several places over a number of months, but I never wanted to move, especially considering my job at the time was still somewhat secure. Throw in the fact that moving presents challenges to me over and above the normal challenges of moving because of a physical disability caused by a spinal cord injury in high school. Uprooting my life and planting me in a new place is a formidable task. Besides, why rock the boat of a content life? There certainly was no need to move away from a home I loved.
A contact on LinkedIn recommended I contact Talent Market. I sent in my resume and figured I might get lucky with a job “in the game” somewhere in Ohio. I didn’t really think it would pan out the way it did. Jobs at nonprofit interest groups are few, and it is very difficult to get that first job without knowing someone. But I sent my resume to Talent Market anyway.
Lo and behold, Claire contacted me shortly thereafter about a litigation role at a nonprofit think and action tank in Olympia, Washington. I shrugged it off at first because there was simply no way I was moving to Western Washington. I hate the rain and I love the sun, which is the exact opposite of western Washington nine months of the year.
But I had an itch.
Claire interviewed me and then forwarded my resume to the Freedom Foundation. Two phone interviews and a Skype interview later, the Freedom Foundation offered me the job. Not only did they want to hire me, they wanted to hire a second attorney just out of law school and make me General Counsel.
I had told myself I can always turn down the job if it were offered to me. But it’s not that easy when someone offers you a dream job.
In the end, my passion and faith led me to take the plunge. I took the job and it has been everything I hoped it would be. And I’m not a martyr. I’m not dying for the cause. I’m living for the cause…and we are winning. Lives are changing because of my work, as are the laws and, most importantly, people’s hearts. My vocational passion is being fulfilled and my faith has been strengthened. I had no idea the opportunities that await when willing to take a few steps of faith. I miss home a great deal, yes, but my family supports me, as do my friends. They know I’m fulfilling my calling.
It started with the simple act of submitting a resume to Talent Market. Or at least I thought that’s when it started. In reality, it started years ago when the seeds of belief were planted.
You never know where your beliefs will take you.