And finally, some resources. Please chime in if you know of others, these are in no way exhaustive.
Let me say first that I have always had the High WASP suspicion of following one’s bliss. Bliss is a rather untrammeled emotion. We don’t feel comfortable in the world of untrammeled anything.
Another problem is that my bliss might lead me to try to get paid for sitting on the sofa, looking out the window. Or, as an alternative, lying on the sofa reading Us Weekly.
People will only pay you for what you do. Not for what you hope or dream. And people will only pay you for doing something they think has value. So if my bliss involves grandiose schemes and there be dragons maps of faraway places, I might hesitate. But if my bliss is a little friend, perhaps with fur, that shows up, takes my hand and says, “Just take the first step,” well, that bliss I might follow.
In any case, it was a wise man who first said those words. To read more of Joseph Campbell’s thoughts, you can start here.
Smith Barney famously said, “We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it.” If that inspires you, and doesn’t make you want to hide under the kitchen counter deviled by feelings of inadequacy, look here.
For contrarian, cantankerous, brilliant writing about how to have an audacious career, (and life for that matter,) read Penelope Trunk. Her most recent post is on why she loves Kate Gosselin.
For what to wear to work and always feel confident, read Corporette.
For how to approach the topic of self-development, which may turn out to be necessary once you have figured out what you want, you can read communicatrix, The Happiness Project, or RealDelia. Even High WASPs have come to understand that humans have feelings, and that a stiff upper lip, or even a stiff gin and tonic, won’t necessarily put everything to rest.
If you are actually interested in my field of work, you have to read The Cranky Product Manager. Title says it all.
Or you can say never mind and instead pick up the phone and call someone you know. Who might know someone who knows someone who knows someone. And that someone will want to help you because, here’s the thing, it makes them feel valuable and good at what they do.
My final piece of advice from the ripe old age of 52? Going on 53? Press Talk. Or Send. Or even Submit.
Now let’s go find some more fun khaki.