I’ve cooked a few Thanksgiving dinners, and the turkey usually turn out dry and stringy. I start out with high hopes. I go organic, free-range, and I use some crazy brining bag. By the time the thing is ready to come out of the oven, though, I’m in a political argument with my dad and my kids have created a fort out of the dining table.
I finally had a decent turkey one year because I bought the Butterball with the thingy that pops up when its done. What I really need is a turkey that walks itself out of the oven when its done. The thingy worked, I got the bird out, and it was juicy, tender and actually tasty.
The thing about our careers is, they can bake for years while we do other things. But suddenly, time is up, and our work demands our attention. If we don’t tend to it, it can end up like a dried out organic turkey, full of good intentions, but low on taste. I may carve out time for everything I need to do, but is it enjoyable? Is it juicy?
Recently my own Butterball thingy went gone off. My oldest started kindergarten , and suddenly I feel the passage of time. Soon it will be Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring, summer, 2014, 2015. I want to be with my family when I’m with my family, present, creating memories and then I want to sit down and do really good work. Juicy work, not overcooked.
I think lots of people might have a Butterball thingy. Maybe it’s not kindergarten, maybe it’s turning 25, 30, 40. You know something must change but you’re not sure if it’s something big or small. That’s my favorite career coach conversation, because it can save you so much money, time and heartache to give that question the full weight and consideration it deserves. You can’t be arguing proverbial politics while you’re doing it. And that’s the kind of work I want to do for people. Give them the time and space for the questions they need to tackle.
I don’t claim to have all the answers. I’m still stumbling along like everyone else. But I trust the process, the value of a juicy conversation. Then maybe we can all sit down to some delicious work.