We take inspiration seriously at Career Cruising – both being inspired and inspiring others. One of the ways in which we inspire others is by sharing our own stories through our Staff Spotlights; our personal journeys of how we’ve gotten to where we are today, the tough choices we were forced to make and the lessons we learned along the way.
In this Staff Spotlight, we’re bringing to you the story of Amir Dayan, Director of Key Accounts. Amir recently made his childhood dream of being a musician a reality by releasing his first song on iTunes. Through his interview below, he shares with us what it feels like to live with ADD, why he gave up a higher salary and how he never stopped pursuing his passion(s). As you’ll soon realize, you don’t need to narrow down your options to just one.
ON CHOOSING A CAREER AND LIVING WITH ADHD
As a kid I enjoyed the thought that I can be anything I want and therefore I wasn’t eyeing a specific career. I wanted to be a chef, an actor, a musician, a singer – anything within the creative arts. I also wanted to be a pilot, an engineer, an innovator and a CEO of a successful company. I also liked humanities, like psychology and philosophy. To say the least, it was very confusing for me - and also disappointing - to pick one specific, single profession. On top of that, when I was growing up in the late 70’s/early 80’s nobody talked about careers with me. Career development just wasn’t a thing back then as it is nowadays.
Another thing I had to factor into my career decision was the fact that I have ADHD (I only realized that in my late 20’s). When I was a kid, society just referred to it as being ‘hyperactive’. Nonetheless, I was aware that my attention can run around but I never saw it as a syndrome, disease or a limitation; on the contrary - I saw it as another amazing skill that I have – the ability to simultaneously work on different things; think in parallel mode and to constantly look for mental stimulation. Having ADHD is probably the best gift I could ever have received as it allows me to think in ways that help me analyze processes from many different directions.
To summarize: I think the common denominator in all of my aspirations and dreams was to be happy and to feel accomplished. But I just couldn’t see that happening from a single choice of profession.
ON THE PURSUIT OF MUSIC
From a very early age, I loved music. I loved singing, even just commercial music we heard on the radio. When I was 6 my father bought me my first guitar and I really got into it when I turned 12. I watched a music video of one of my favorite guitar players Gary Moore (back then I had no clue who he was) and I fell in love with his solos. That gave me a sense of purpose. It’s part of why soloing is such a strong skill with my guitar playing today.
As I got older, and as I continued moving between jobs, one thing stayed constant – my love for music. I never stopped taking lessons or showing interest in music, even when my career was far from it. When I moved to California, I kept playing with other musicians; I took a few classes in Jazz and Blues and always found a way to practice – sometimes for hours until I got it right.
Technology made it easier for me to get exposed to new genres and nowadays with YouTube, Vimeo, and other social sites it has become easier to collaborate and expand musical horizons. In producing my latest single, technology has become the delivery vehicle which I needed to kick start the musical collaboration that I have always dreamt of.
ON MAKING TOUGH CHOICES THROUGHOUT THE CAREER JOURNEY
In my early 30’s I started to doubt the direction I was moving in professionally. I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. Although I was living in San Francisco and making a lot of money, I was still extremely discontent. I decided to move to Toronto on the hunt for something new to do. And since I possess what are considered in the industry as ‘transferrable skills’, I was looking all over the place for something exciting and new.
I was quite amazed to find Career Cruising as I never knew how far the career exploration arena had progressed. I was very intrigued. I decided to pursue a position at Career Cruising even though I had offers for twice the salary as an engineer in other companies (not to say that Career Cruising doesn’t pay well…just trying to make a point). It was actually the first time in my life where I had realized that I cared less about compensation and more about new challenges, growth prospects and a sense of purpose.
The great thing is that I also realized that I don’t have to just limit my options to working as a Director of Key Accounts for Career Cruising. I don’t think it is in my personality to choose a single occupation and do that full time. I enjoy doing many things all together and I don’t believe that my professional career alone would satisfy me just like being a professional musician or producer alone would satisfy me. So, I decided to pursue both. During the day I help people achieve success using Career Cruising. But by night, I am Dreaming of You. Don’t worry, I’m not actually dreaming of you, that’s the name of my album on iTunes. The cool thing is that I make a lot of my music using modern technology satisfying the engineer in me. It’s a nice fusion of all of my worlds.
ON INSPIRING OTHERS
Sometimes you don’t need to choose a specific career. Rather, create that career path for yourself that brings together many of your worlds. Be bold, innovate your own path (or paths) and remember that a dream is merely an unfulfilled reality. Dream away and don’t give up on the pursuit!