Career Coach: Simon Says Love Life

This month, Career Coach, Pamela Kleibrink Thompson, provides helpful hints about life lessons that can advance your career too.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson.

Last month I soared through an old growth ponderosa forest in Colorado, (http://soaringcolorado.com/) guided by a Sky Ranger named Simon Richardson. Besides learning to let go of my fear of heights, I also learned some other valuable insights from Simon. He shared his approach to life with me. He lives each day to the fullest, with a real sense of adventure and fun in everything he does. He does what he loves and loves what he does. Soaring is an all day adventure where guests soar through the trees and over the river on a mile of steel cable zip line. Soaring guests embrace Simon's exuberance and let their spirits soar for a few hours along with his.

Simon doesn't view work the way many people do. As a Sky Ranger at Soaring Colorado, Simon helps guests conquer their fears and explore the trees like young kids, whether they are 5-years-old or 95. His enthusiasm and energy are contagious. Simon reminded me that we may not be around tomorrow so we should enjoy every day as much as possible.

But can someone who is not in the tourism business enjoy every day as if he or she is on vacation? The answer lies in discovering what you really love doing and giving yourself permission to pursue that passion. If you are working just to get cash to pay your bills, it's time to examine your alternatives. You can work at something you enjoy and pay bills too.

One of my former students from Gnomon (www.gnomonschool.com) recently called and told me times were tough and he was thinking about getting out of motion graphics to pursue something else. I cautioned him against trying to find work just to pay the bills, as there is competition for all jobs. You might think that the alternative job won't be hard to get, but you'll discover you'll work just as hard to get a job doing something you don't like as you will to get a job you love.

People who love what they do -- whether it is a Sky Ranger, a policeman, a housekeeper or teacher -- have a joie de vivre. They are fun to be around, even when they are not working.

Last May, director Donald Petrie came to Boise to speak to the Idaho Media Professionals (www.idahomediapro.org) and others about his film My Life in Ruins, which is about a tourist guide in Greece who finally finds love. Ushers were given blue show T-shirts emblazoned with "Got Kefi?" on them. Kefi refers to the spirit of joy, passion, enthusiasm, high spirits. The main character finally allows herself to enjoy her life and finds Kefi. If you don't have Kefi, perhaps it's time to find it.

Simon says, "We don't know how long we have here or whether today will be our last. So make the most of it." Enjoy every minute of your life. Remember what got you interested in your career in the first place. Keep that sense of excitement to fuel your enthusiasm. Do your job well and contribute. Simon's job is not all fun and games, but he treats it all like an adventure. Maintain that attitude and you'll excel at your job.

Simon is going to be guiding tourists through the Himalayas early next year. For him, work is an adventure.

Maybe you think you can't possibly be a tour guide in the Himalayas. You don't know anything about the Himalayas. Neither does Simon. But he found a way to use his skills (speaks English, experienced traveler, good with people) to pave his way. Your skills can likewise be your ticket to the job you love.

Adventures await you if you are willing to explore opportunities and put your skills to work.

Sounds like an action plan to me. Are you ready to soar?

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach. She is a member of Idaho Media Professionals and Reel Women of the West. Contact her for speaking engagements, recruiting or career coaching by emailing her at PamRecruit@q.com.

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