Harvard Just Asked You to Save the World

I am fairly sure this is my favorite LinkedIn post of all time.

Screen grab from early April 2021

It is rare that we afford ourselves the opportunity to ask the potentially disruptive questions:

What else can I be doing?"

How can I make a bigger impact?

What would I love to do instead?

We might be convinced that staying committed to our current professional path is the smart or right thing to do, and that acting on that more-common-than-we-care-to-admit voice inside ourselves that chirps up saying "There's something more," would be unrealistic, a luxury you can't afford, or too risky.

And yet Harvard's Advanced Leadership Institute is explicitly asking you to depart from the supposed safer, smarter path and "take on the world's most pressing problems." A call to arms that brings absolute joy to my heart, no exaggeration.

So many people begin their professional journeys in their early 20s, taking whatever components make up the classic definition of a "great opportunity:" health and retirement benefits, a linear path toward career progression, financial compensation to cover immediate needs, an established and familiar industry, etc.

And so many people have remained in the immediate reverberations + trajectories of that initial decision. While yes, people are switching careers is becoming more common, the vast majority of working people convince themselves to remain in the same, or closely related, spaces even if they are no longer inspired or fulfilled by this work.

There's nothing inherently wrong with diligently moving forward in a career, nothing whatsoever. There is, however, tragedy in the slow process of succumbing to a life of "good enough" and "just be grateful you have a job that pays the bills."

We are each much, much more capable of designing life in a way that lights us up professionally than we realize.

Switching careers into something more fulfilling and impactful can be a scary, stressful process. And Harvard is putting it as a very real option on the table for all to see and entertain for themselves.

Thrilled to see this public call to arms.

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