Oprah Winfrey told the 1997 graduating class of Wellesley College that failure is God’s way of saying “Excuse me, you’re moving in the wrong direction.” She also said that when you are doing what you were created to do, it should feel like breathing.
The talk show host was spot on with me because the last six months as a strategic communications consultant (whatever the hell that is) at a large consulting firm felt like 175 days of suffocation. The more I tried to fit in with all the Harvard MBAs, the more awkward I felt (as a theology major). The more I studied the various models of change management and how to direct a government agency from vision to implementation, the greater gap I felt between who I was and what I was doing for a steady paycheck.
I didn’t make a very good consultant because I’m too honest. I cannot sell something I don’t believe in. And my heart was nowhere in all those communications plans I was writing. All of my therapy and support groups have trained me how to teach a person to fish, instead of handing him grilled salmon on a plate … to get people to do things for themselves. Which isn’t exactly what your employer wants you to do: to give a client a list of reasons why they don’t need you and why they should save their money for more important things.
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