Choose A Career Where You Can Enjoy What You Do

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Things I'd tell my younger self

Ever wondered what career advice successful people would tell their younger selves? 

We have, so we’ve created this blog series and have invited people who have had some years of career experience under their belt, to look back and share some thoughts on what they would tell their younger selves. 

You don’t have to agree with everyone’s advice but please do respect that everyone has their own story. The most interesting thing about people is that we are all different. 

This is Christian Harper’s story, Founder and MD of MetaPeople

Christian Harper MD of MetaPeople

About the Author

My name is Christian Harper, I’m an ordinary guy, 58 years of age, I’m married, I have two children, a beautiful granddaughter and a needy Groodle called Butters.
 

What motivates me

A few serious life shocks including a serious, almost fatal, motor bike accident in the Australian outback. These have caused me to think a little deeper about my life. I have experienced the vulnerability of needing help and the gift of love and kindness from those who have helped and cared for me. That help has come from family and friends, acquaintances and on a number of occasions nurses and doctors. Those experiences have been a major catalyst for the work that MetaPeople (my business) does today.
 
I have experienced the difference between someone who mechanically does a job and those that have some sense of purpose in what they do.
 
I have met many people over the past 20 years and I estimate that between coaching hours and interview rooms hours I have spent over 10,000 hours listening to people, their motivations, insecurities, their achievements and their failures. I have listened to the kind of work they love, their hopes for growth and development and the future. The stuff they avoid and the things that are important but they cannot see. I have witnessed the human response to feelings of anxiousness and how that impacts choices and decisions.
 
Most of all I think what I have learnt from all of those hours is that people just want to be heard and understood. 

What would I say to my younger self? Nothing ... I'd listen

Well if I went back to when I was in my early 20’s with the knowledge I have now about how my life would unfold, I think I would scare the crap out of myself. So I am pretty sure it wouldn’t be a gushy dump of warnings around what not to do.
 
I would try to take the opportunity to listen and understand my younger self. I think that was what I craved back then. I was unsure of myself, I felt anxious, restless and agitated. I felt burdened with everyday responsibilities. There were parts of me that just jumped into the deep end and swam like crazy. I found that exciting and challenging and sometimes a little too scary. I had no idea that those feelings were part of my experience and that accepting them and making peace with those feelings was part of a powerful learning, that the dragon that dwelled within was here to protect me not cause me harm. 
 

The power of my choices

The choices I have made, the challenges I have faced have all served to shape who I am today and given I am happy today I can hardly regret what got me here. I would help my younger self see that I am OK. I am enough, I don’t have to be some version of what my parents expected and that my purpose in life is not to make them happy, but to find the joy in what I do. It would help me understand that I create my life through the thousands of little choices I make every day and through the routines I create. That the real personal power I hold sits in the power of my choice not the power in my voice.

My Career advice to myself

From a position of career, I think I would have this advice, “Enjoy what you do.” Discover what you love doing and what you are good at and try to have as much of that in your work as you can. Focus less on the people around you and more on the joy you get from the work you do. Excel at what you do and keep learning. I would tell myself “It’s OK to make mistakes…(And by the way you are skinny, but it won’t always be that way if you continue with your current food choices). One more thing: No matter how busy you get and how tired you are, keep surfing. Oh and stay away from motorbikes”. 

Want to share your story?

If you have something you’d like to share with your younger self and the MetaPeople followers, please contact us below

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