Career… a work of art? That’s an odd notion. In the Harvard Business Review I read an article by Gianpiero Petriglieri"Turn Your Career Into a Work of Art." Petriglieri writes…

Today’s careers are no longer ladders. They are more like works of art.

In this context, what does it mean to succeed? What does it take to thrive?

Success in art is not just making a living, or being famous and acclaimed. Those are consequences. Success is moving and being moved. It is opening vistas. Unsettling the status quo. Peeking beneath the veil of convention.

Making art is not an artist’s job. It is an artist’s life. This is why it is exciting. But it also creates anxiety, and second-guessing. Putting your passion on display can be scary. How do you know what is your true passion? What if your work is ignored derided or misunderstood?

How do you manage to show up and put yourself aside? How can you stay grounded if you are meant to be always changing? Think of artists again. They often congregate, to teach, inspire and support each other. And although their gatherings may not always be harmonious, many find freedom, courage, and voice once they find a tribe.

Similarly, being able to turn your career into a work of art, to thrive and lead with passion in a world in flux, requires finding a space, and I mean both a psychological and social space, where what you do is tied with who you are and what people around you care about — a community where commitment feels enabling, liberating, rather than just constraining.

I’m sure this is a considerable leap for most lawyers to even think about… much less put into practice. That being said… try putting those risk adverse characteristics aside and imagine for a moment the things you dream about… 

  • Doing the kind of work you are really passionate about… EVERY DAY.
  • Doing work on YOUR schedule… EVERY DAY.
  • Doing pro-bono work because it… FUELS YOU.
  • Etc. Etc. Etc.

THIS could mold your career as a work of art… Find your passion and focus on it everyday. I promise you the FOCUS will get you there. Are you ready to take the risk and get what you really want?