Yesterday I interviewed a woman I admire (and can’t wait to share her story) and with whom I’ve shared some thoughtful conversations. Her “new” venture is actually a return full-time to her original career. She is so passionate about what she is doing, that is doesn’t feel like work. Her work comes naturally to her and is an area where her gifts and talents are probably the strongest.
Her return to a job that feels intrinsic to her personality is similar to how I feel about editing this site. There is nothing more rewarding than meeting new women and sharing their stories. I love every minute of it.
Our conversation yesterday made me think. Both my interview subject and I had ventured off our original career paths to try our hands at design (mine jewelry, hers I am saving until her story). Both of us had reasonable success but ultimately made the decision to go back to doing jobs that seemed ingrained in our DNA. Why did we veer off into new career paths in the first place? Is it an entrepreneurial spirit that compels some people to dive into new challenges, because mastering the unknown can be so rewarding? (I do love a challenge.) Is it part of being American and being obsessed with the next instead of the status quo?
One thing I have learned from my interviews is that many women have rich and varied careers. Perhaps more than men. And that going off on tangents, trying one’s hand at something new, can add yet another layer of knowledge. But I do feel that sometimes we are so busy looking forward we miss what’s been there all along. In a way, we take advantage of our talents by ignoring what seems obvious instead of nurturing those gifts even more. Maybe it’s worth taking time to slow down and assess where we have been and what that meant to us. Maybe looking back can propel you into the future.