Author: Keeran Gill

November 20, 2017

Discover / A Book We Love: The Alchemist

A book we love: The Alchemist


I recently read The Alchemist – by Paulo Coelho. It’s about a boy who is on a journey to explore and discovers himself along the way. There a lot of key messages and lessons that the book can teach us to apply to our everyday lives and of course, our careers.

My top three take-aways from the book that I feel we can apply to our professional lives are:

1) Acknowledge your passion:

Throughout the book, Santiago kept seeing signs that he couldn’t ignore. The dreams he had of finding treasure in the pyramids were reoccurring and made him realize this was what he truly desired and wanted to follow. He decided to pursue this opportunity and embark on this journey.

When we relate this to our careers, it’s often easy to mistake a task that you are good at as something you actually enjoy doing. A sales manager may be hitting his targets year on year (because he has to – not because he wants to) but may have a real desire to purse something else. We’ve all been in a position stuck in jobs where we wonder “is this what I really want?”

To move your career forward, identify what you are passionate about. Look for what drives you, what you enjoy and where you derive your energy from to find something that you truly enjoy doing.

2) Seek experts to guide you throughout your career journey:

During Santiago’s journey, he realizes he needs the assistance of others to guide him through to reach his dreams, he can’t do it on his own.

To be successful we need to acknowledge the fact we don’t know it all. We often underestimate the great value in seeking advice from others. Throughout our own journeys for personal and professional development, we should engage with experts, mentors and coaches to broaden our horizons and guide us along the way. Never underestimate the power of learning.

Have a chat with a professional in a field that you’re passionate about – it’s the best way to learn more and get ahead.

3) Change is everywhere – embrace it:

Every single experience that Santiago encountered was different in nature. He had no idea what was in store going forward and took every day as it came.

Our personal and professional lives are the same. Unexpectedly things can completely change within your career, you can be made redundant, thrown into another role, or face a massive roadblock with a project you are working on.

Learn to embrace the positives that come with change and view them as opportunities to move yourself forward.