This article is for you if you have a dream about your career that you think may not be possible.
Some dreams are worth pursuing, even if they take a while to achieve. I know this for sure because this summer, after more than a decade of step-by-step progress, I am living mine.
I have a home on Salt Spring Island, and my dream has been to live and work from there full time. This summer I am spending two full months on the island working from my home office,
It all began back in November 2003 when my wife and I moved to the island. That year I worked in the city all week and then returned home to the island on the weekend.
A year later, I managed to secure one remote working day a week and spent four days in the city and three on the island. Then I worked it down to three days in the town and four at home.
For some years we returned to the city full time, but the call to return to our island home was strong and after three years away we returned.
For the past few years, I have been living and working from the island full-time with about five to six days a month in the city.
This summer I finally permitted myself (yes, I was the obstacle this time) to work from home for two consecutive months.
What made much of this possible for me are the significant advances in technology over this period. Now with remote access software, and high-quality video call services, it is easier than ever to be connected and face-to-face.
What also made it possible was my ability to shift beyond the mindsets that held me back, to abandon old internal beliefs about work that I had outgrown.
Why am I telling you this? Because as a coach I know that settling for mediocre isn’t the way to go. Challenging yourself to achieve what is meaningful or important to you is vital.
If you are finding your work a drag, and your motivation depleted, consider making a change. I know private practice lawyers who have found fulfilling work as in-house counsel, and vice versa. A former big firm corporate lawyer now owns and runs the café and bakery down the street from me on Salt Spring Island.
If you enjoy your legal practice, but like me, would prefer to live outside the city, consider a remote-working arrangement. Five lawyers I know are working remotely from their homes for their downtown Vancouver law firms. They love the focused work they get done from their home offices. Abandoning the commute has given them the gift of added time and flexibility.
If you dream of taking a year off, to travel the world, or to explore some other pursuit, let me tell you about one managing partner I know who left his job as a senior associate in a top national law firm to make furniture for a year. After his sabbatical, he returned to his legal practice with passion, purpose, and focus. Now a decade plus later is a leading lawyer in his area of practice.
What’s your dream? What’s calling you? Don’t believe the inner voice that tells you it’s not realistic, or impossible. Don’t believe the friends or family members who will tell you not to take any risks. Instead, follow that quiet but insistent voice inside you that says, this matters, this is worth pursuing. Speak to a trusted advisor and take one small step forward. More small advances will follow, and one day, like me working from my Salt Spring Island home this summer, you will have arrived.