I remember it vividly. I think I was in the first or second grade. We were asked to dress up as the profession we wanted when we grew up. I, without hesitation, began planning my costume in my head. An artist. It was simple. I wanted to paint, and make art in whatever way possible. So, I dressed in my dads white t-shirt and a pair of jeans, paint splattered.
Little did I know, that would be the first of many, many career dreams. Artist was followed by veterinarian which was then followed by lawyer, model, makeup artist, interior designer. The list could go on for the entirety of this blog post.
Many of us are working jobs that don’t fulfill us. Some of us, to prove a point, to maintain a certain status, or simple because we can’t afford not to. I’ve been there- earlier this year I quit the most stable and well paying job I’ve ever had. Why? Because it sucked the life out of me. No matter how much therapy, meditation, or positivity I pumped into my life at home, it was instantly zapped the moment I walked into work. The workplace caused me to become a person I really didn’t like.
So now I’m in this weird place. I’m working semi-in my field of work. I like it enough but it’s a contract and I’d like to figure out next steps. Ideally, the next steps will lead to a more rewarding career that is in line with my values and desires: to be creatively stimulated, appreciated and have a level of independence.
I’ve completed 2 college programs, and have worked in 2 different fields of work before the age of 25. And still, I feel like I’m longing for something I can’t obtain in my current field of work. The problem? I have no idea what that something is.
I was starting to wonder if I was the only person who felt this way…this constant longing for something else. But, after making a status about it on facebook, I realized a lot of people I know are in a similar boat, struggling to find true meaning and longing for something.
So, I began researching. One article I found stated that Millennials “are regarded as being achievement-oriented. They seek new experiences and learning opportunities, a better work-life balance, independence and appreciation” I think this is part of the trouble I’m facing. I want a job that offers me the ability to experience new things, but also doesn’t suck the life out of me, that allows me to make my own decisions and also pays me enough to live. It’s proven to be a challenge.
I also believe the fact that there are so many options can be overwhelming for some of us. The thought “The sky is the limit” is meant to be empowering, but I find it terrifying because I can’t focus. There are too many options, and I have too many interests, none of which are transferrable to a typical 9-5 job.
So what does all of this mean? I’m going to have to get creative- which I’m usually very good at. But in this situation, it’s proving to be challenging. But, I’m up for it. I’m going to have to ask myself some hard questions, put in the work, do the research and take a giant leap of faith. All we can do is move forward, towards our most authentic selves.