Over the years I have developed my own approach to helping people think through their professional options and the essential idea of Learning to Fly is to show you that approach and encourage you to share and learn from others. The approach gives structure to thinking about what to do in light of how the world may evolve. The goal is to help you avoid some mistakes and find the right balance between your professional and personal life.
My framework starts with your experience, passion, and the constraints you face. The idea is to look into each of the three concepts and use them to develop specific ideas about what to do next.
Experience is what you have actually done, where you come from, what languages you speak, and with which cultures you are familiar. I have, for example, spent more than 30 years working in Spain and Europe. While I have been to China many times, my knowledge of the country and its different regions and customs is significantly less than what I know about Spain in particular and Europe in general. My Spanish is fluent but I can barely order food in Chinese.
Passion is what really makes you excited. It might be a product, a service, or perhaps a role to play in people’s lives. Everyone is passionate about something and the challenge is often to articulate what that really is.
Constraints have to do with family commitments, money requirements, values, and other aspects of your unique situation which limit your choices. A friend chooses jobs based on the availability of schools for her children who have special needs. Someone else may need a certain amount of money to pay back loans or maintain their lifestyle. Others may have strong opinions about the ethics of particular industries and choose not to work in them.