Is your career one dimensional?

Today is March 14 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “is your career one dimensional?” Best-selling author Mike Sagar recently published an article “The Creative Conundrum: Pursue Your Art or Get a ‘Real Job’” that explains “every creative has found themselves at the same career crossroads. One path leads where their heart desires. The other leads to ‘real" jobs.’” He explains why he dropped out of Georgetown Law School after three weeks to live the creative life.

But is this dichotomy between living the creative life or having a real job the only way to view a career? John Grisham did the exact opposite. After graduating from law school and then practicing for a few years, one day in 1984 he was hanging around the court and overheard a 12-year-old girl telling the jury what had happened to her.

Her story intrigued Grisham, and he began watching the trial. He saw how the members of the jury cried as she told them about having been raped and beaten. It was then, Grisham decided to write. It took him three years to complete his first book, A Time to Kill. Finding a publisher was not easy. The book was rejected by 28 publishers before Wynwood Press, an unknown publisher, agreed to give it a modest 5,000-copy printing. It was published in June 1989.

The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on his second novel, The Firm that would go on to be a best-seller. When viewing your life, do you consider it a choice or a combination? Sagar believes it is a choice whereas Grisham lived his career as a combination.

As Grisham said “I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.” As the old saying goes “You are only one decision away from a totally different life.”

What will you decide? Is your career a choice between two options or a combination of them?