During the weeks leading up to the New Year, I had the privilege of volunteering at a backpackers’ on the tranquil Garden Route. Sitting around the bonfire every evening, I spoke to people hailing from a diverse array of professions, from web developers to builders to artists.
In an environment such as this, introductions were an everyday occurrence, and the same two initial questions: “where do you come from?” and “what do you do?” were asked again and again.
The question of nationality was merely a formality; in our global society, origins are often hard to pinpoint. The question of work, however, drew a range of reactions, often including the reasons they were sitting around a campfire in the forest rather than asleep at home.
Some had come to escape the listlessness of their work environment, petty managers and frustrated colleagues; whilst others had come to find the space to dream, plan and network.
And so either the response was detailed and passionate, or it was a sore point, an exposed nerve.
Regardless of whether or not you take pride in your work, discussing what you do is always a matter of pride. Is it something you feel is worth sharing, or is it a topic you’d rather avoid?
Often there is an understandable fear of stepping out of comfortable employment and into a passion-based profession, and it is obviously a bolder decision when you have a family to support and a bond to pay. But we’re living in an age where self-branding and promotion is easier than ever, even if you’re not digitally native.
Taking the time to get to grips with various social platforms is a step more and more people are taking. A friend’s mother started blogging in her mid 50s, initially to promote her small business, and is now using those skills to promote her new idea - Green Route - in which she interviews environmentally-aware entrepreneurs to create a network of like-minded people around the Cape.
Being passionate about your ideas also gives you the opportunity to empower those around you, whether it’s through creating employment through your own business or sharing your skills with co-workers in a corporate environment.
As a new year begins, maybe it’s time to step out into something more suited to your talents and more in-line with your values, whatever that may be.
This blog was written by guest blogger, Raphael Blue - you can find more of his writing here.
For another inspiring read on this topic, have a look and Lois Kelly's blog - Bring Your Soul To Work