Let me start by saying that the original title for this post was
“Does the world really need another travel blogger?”
But that just begs the question
“Does the world really need another management blogger?”
And let’s just say that’s a can of worms we can probably leave unopened for now.
But seriously…the reason I changed the title is because I truly enjoy travel blogs. I love to travel and I love reading about other people’s unique and interesting travel experiences.
But here’s the thing: there’s a particular tone to some of these blogs that just rubs me the wrong way. It’s the assumption that we all secretly wish we could quit our boring desk jobs and with just a bit of gumption, we too could live out the universal dream of world travel. And if we’re not willing to pack it all in and hike across Slovenia or some such, then we must be soulless automatons who are dying a slow death at the hands of our corporate overlords.
Okay, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic (and no offense meant to the Slovenian hiking community). I do realize I’m making a sweeping generalization, and I admit that my visceral reaction may stem from the fact that I have felt like a soulless automaton at points in my professional life. But I resent the implication that the only solution to an unsatisfying career is to abandon it.
Work can totally suck. I get that. And the idea of a dramatic career reinvention can be tantalizing, and perhaps for you, an entire life overhaul is the best solution. If that’s what you need to do and you feel compelled to blog about it, please do. I look forward to reading about your adventures.
But if that doesn’t really feel like the solution for you, it doesn’t mean you have to be resigned to career stagnation. There are so many ways we can improve our situations incrementally – by acting purposefully, by building on the assets we already have and by finding ways to intersect with our work in new ways.
Many of the reasons we are drawn to travel – freedom, adventure, meeting new people, challenging our personal limits – reflect basic human needs. And if we think in terms of those needs, we may find the root cause of our dissatisfaction at work.
We need autonomy. We need purpose. We need to grow and be challenged.
I believe just about any job can meet those needs, if we approach it in the right way. And if it can’t, we can use it as a platform for the next job, or the one after that.
I guess that’s the basic belief that informs my work on this blog: There is a whole world of opportunity for a rich and fulfilling career between the extremes of dead-eyed desk jockey and carefree adventurer.
So please forgive the rant and let’s go make it happen.
(Photo by irishwildcat via Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons)