A recent article in Forbes on how millennials see their careers talked about the difference between how my parents’ generation saw work and how the millennial generation has taken a new perspective.
I’m not a millennial, but it doesn’t matter. It was me.
Au revoir, Paris
I’m an attorney by training and started off like everyone else in my profession. I finished college and used great connections to land a job in Paris.
It was interesting and a tremendous learning experience, but when offered the opportunity to pack it all up and move to Southern California to be with my husband, it was easy. My education in Napoleonic Code wasn’t going to be nearly as useful there, but that was OK.
I never looked back. I didn’t define myself as a French attorney. And I still don’t when people often ask what I do.
And it wasn’t a bad choice. Within a short time, I was offered an opportunity to work for a Silicon Valley startup doing sales operations. It didn’t have much to do with law, but it didn’t really matter. I was given a chance to learn and expand my experience. The chaos of something new beat the structure of something old.
I realize that not everyone has this opportunity, but I’d bet many more do than realize. If work is about creating value, we have the skills inside us to do that in many ways. Many creative, less structured, more interesting ways.
I believe I can be most successful when I’m doing what I love. Loving what you do means you pour your energy into it. That energy can be as valuable as experience. It certainly creates value.
My favorite saying when people ask what I do:”I’m in life for the experience.”