I feel like I've discussed this topic to exhaustion, and yet there's always an itch to look at it from a different angle. For the past few months I've been trying to uncover what it really means to have a career. I've always been taught that it's a job that you stick with until retirement, reaping the medical and financial benefits while raising children and maintaining a flourishing family on the side. I believe there has been a big shift in this mentality with us millennials as less and less are subscribing to traditional notions of adulthood, carer paths and overall life goals.
With the freedom the internet has brought, many of us are opting for more creative positions or even starting business of our own in order to fulfill that gaping hole we often stuff with compulsory consumption. Having gone from a high-stress office position to retail once again, I've realized that stress can come from any angle, but your environment is what makes or breaks how you are able to deal with it. This is what's left me somewhat hesitant to dive back into a full-time position, despite how many people I know in them currently and really enjoying it.
As I write this post I'm looking at my five plants that I've been too busy to remember to water during the week. Perhaps they are a metaphorical reflection of the lack of time I'm giving to my search for the perfect job. Or maybe, the perfect job doesn't exist and we have to make the most of the opportunities we're given. Whatever the answer, I can't say the journey to this self-discovery is very fun.
However, what I can say is that it's really helped me push my boundaries in terms of the fields I am willing to work in. Where I once thought working for a major corporation to be the pinnacle of success I've learned that small start-up companies can be just as great with a better sense of community. I've also stopped feeling embarrassed or selfish when saying that I would prefer to work in a creative field - embarrassed because most people look at you like it's a pipe dream and selfish because some can make you feel like it's a jab at their own profession.
For anyone else currently on this rollercoaster, I'll say that it's better to enjoy the time you have to really figure out who you are. Once you settle on an identity, it's hard to go back and reassess yourself, especially from an unbiased perspective. We tend to glorify those who are completely self-assured, but what about those of us willing to step back and say "I don't know what I'm doing"? To me, that seems the most confident approach anyone can take to a situation.
Are you struggling with finding a career? What's been your motivation?