A Recent Career Milestone
One of the most defining moments in my career just happened.
And no, it’s not the fact that I stumbled into a brief torrent of T-shirt design. Some of you might relate to the experience I’m about to describe. The reason I wanna share this is not to show off how cool I am, but to show you how I still run into inner struggles with a journey that I’ve intended to create for myself. I also think there’s a lesson or two to be learned, and I’d like to pass those on.
Last week I was given the opportunity to test my chops as the full-time nutritionist of the Los Angeles Kings. During a lengthy discussion with Jeff Solomon, the team’s director of operations, we came to an agreement that my distance-based model of working with clients didn’t line up with his vision of having a full-time staffer who traveled with the team. I could have decided to fulfill this more traditional position, but instead I chose to stick with my current trajectory.
Could I have been open to actually driving to work? Yes – I do it every Monday for my in-person counseling practice. Could I have been open to allowing myself to become part of a team of coaches building better professional athletes? Yes – I do it right now, although on a distance basis. Could I have decided to, if even temporarily, set my career path in another direction with different challenges & benefits? Yes - any sane person would, says my wife. The fact that Jeff was such a personable & straight-shooting guy didn’t make letting this chance to join his team slip by any easier.
I essentially was chosen for the opportunity to do what most nutrition students & professionals would give their left kidney for. But I chose to stick with what I’m doing now…and this was an awakening moment for me. I discovered a few things that I haven’t yet taken completely to heart: 1) I love what do, apparently to an insane degree. 2) I’m very persistent about disallowing the most attractive offers to distract me from following through with the personal vision I’ve set out to accomplish – and am currently accomplishing. 3) If point #2 wasn’t in place, then point #1 might not be the case.
Now, I have to qualify & somewhat disclaim what I just said by emphasizing that most people should be open to various paths within a given career – especially when you’re just starting out, or if you’re not completely stoked about your current position. It’s not like I was offered a position in a completely unrelated field. It’s just that in a large sense, I’ve been there & done that. Now I place a super-high premium on working from my home computer and being geographically close to my wife & kids year-round. This is what makes me happy, and this is what I’ve worked endlessly to achieve over the last 18 years.
I believe that the best of my career is yet to come, and every day is its own adventure as I graduate to each new level of self-actualization. I want to encourage any of you who’s been in a similar position to not harbor any regrets about walking away from incredible opportunities that don’t fit your original vision.
Oh yeah, happy Halloween weekend, everyone. Just remember that sugar is baaaad, mmmmkay?