Are you an Apple freak? I don’t think I am, but I always liked Steve Job’s speech at Stanford University, the story about “connecting the dots”. In your life always random things happen and you feel they are just meaningless, but later on you notice everything is connected.
When I was 16, I came to Australia to study English. It was only a 6 week program, but that changed my whole life. I visited some Australian schools during that time and taught Australian kids some Japanese culture, like wearing Kimono and folding Origami. I was so surprised that Australian people were interested in my culture and they got excited about something that I thought was normal. Then I decided to become a Japanese teacher.
After I studied teaching in Japan, I came back to Australia and was trained as a Japanese teacher. After I got a DipEd, I started to work at some high schools as a teacher’s assistant. I really enjoyed teaching Japanese and Japanese culture, but after 1 year, I gave up. For a 22 year old young girl, Australian high school kids were a bit tough;)
I went back to Japan and started to work for an educational institution, but not as a teacher, just as an administration staff. After 1 year, they decided to make a new section for web management because it became very important for their marketing. My boss somehow thought I’d be pretty good with it, then I was appointed as a chief in the new section. A “chief” sounded good, but I was the only member in the section apart from my new boss, who was also in charge of another section and wasn’t in the room at all. I had to learn all Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Premiere, HTML, CSS all by myself.
I was okay with those things as long as I was working for a small section in a small institution, but I wasn’t trained as a web designer nor graphic designer, so I didn’t have enough confidence to work in that industry as a professional, even after 10 years of experience. I thought “how can I use the skills that I’ve developed through my work?”
Now I feel like I know how to connect the dots of these experiences – they were leading me to the path of my new business. For my online shop, if I need to I can now make my own website, customize my blog using css, do some simple graphic design and other things I’ve picked up from my old work. Sometimes I need to research about some Japanese culture for the products I’m selling and I did similar things many times for my teaching job. Also in the future, I’m planning to do some workshops too and my teaching experience will definitely help with that part.
I always felt bad about having given up my career as a Japanese teacher because I really liked teaching and sharing Japanese culture, but in a way, now I’m coming back to it. I think I’m starting to connect all the dots I had in my life now.
Here is the quote from Steve Jobs that I especially like:
you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. Steve Jobs