I have a coachee, just into his 30s, who is worried about his career. After ten years, he’s realised that music management is not what he wants to do. He has already left one job after nine months and is now worried about the impact on his CV if he leaves another after seven. He dreams of working abroad for a while but thinks that he’ll be classed as a waster if he does.

In mentoring rather than coaching mode, I sent him the link to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Watch it if you haven’t seen it. If you have, watch it again to remind yourself of his important messages.

Jobs advises the new graduates: “…the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” And to conclude, he quotes the final words of The Whole Earth Catalog: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.”

German astronaut Alexander Gerst has an equally moving message for his unborn grandchildren, sent from the International Space Station last year. “Dreams are more important than money,” he says, “and you have to give them a chance.” “Opportunities only come along once – you have to take a risk.”

More prosaically, various psychometric tests also support this approach. The Team Management Systems profile shows that it’s important to distinguish between something you can do well and something you enjoy doing. Anyone who spends too much time doing a job they do not enjoy will suffer consequences, and so will their colleagues. This is an important insight for managers to take on board too.

Taking risks requires courage. We all have this in us somewhere. The important message is: wait until you’re sure.

Steve Flinders is a freelance trainer, writer and coach, based in Malta, who helps people develop their communication and leadership skills for working internationally: steveflind@aol.com.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Southern Europe.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Receive our monthly newsletter by email

I accept the Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy