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Freakout: Career Concerns part II

October 30, 2010

I have talked about my career concerns a little bit lately. My brain is going a little nuts chewing on (or masticating, if you love that word as much as I do) the possibilities of the future.

I recently got some great advice from a pro that your first job certainly doesn’t define your career path. I don’t know why this instantly clicked for me…because it’s pretty common sense. I guess I had a plan set for my career. Obviously, you can’t do that. Life happens. I don’t have any idea what I want to do after graduation, but I used to. I guess I thought my first job after college would have to be something fantastic to set me off on the right path.

I got my first job when I turned 14. I learned the value of hard work. I have a much longer story as to the reason why I started working when I was 14, but that’s for another day. I went to college with the dream of becoming a lawyer and majored in political science. I had a little too much documented fun in my life to become a politician, but I could debate (argue) with the best of them.

My heart was broken by law and political science. I was a dreamer (hippie). I only ever loved to write.

I changed my major to journalism, specializing in public relations because it’s all writing, all the time, but with a hopeful career at the end. I have had seven internships in college – two in radio, two in public relations, two in graphic design and one in writing and editing. Three of them have been with company’s that I completely love and in industries that I could definitely see myself in (radio & magazine publishing).

Sidenote: My mom is the VP of her organization and has always been entrepreneurial and a brilliant, hard worker. She’s also a fantastic, loving mom who taught me things I thought everyone’s mom taught them. Turns out I was lucky.

I’ve always had big dreams. I took the “You can do anything you put your mind to” message in its absolute literal sense.

I’m writing on the defensive today, if you haven’t noticed..I don’t often defend my actions unless I feel they are being questioned. Has anyone ever said anything perfectly normal to you, but with tone that makes your blood boil a bit? One of those, “Well I’m willing to work hard” statements that automatically makes you go: “What, I’m not?”

Since that’s exactly the phrase that was said to me…and I feel like defending myself and explaining who I am a bit further, here’s this:

I can work hard (deep breath). I’m not delusional about owning a business. I saw what 80-hour workweeks look like. I don’t think it’s going to be penguin slippers and hot cocoa while I work from behind a computer in my comfy fabric-softened-comforter (we just did laundry).

I’m questioning entering corporate America, not because I can’t work hard and give it all, but because I don’t want that life. Public relations is completely unappealing to me now. The industry seems to be made up of entitled girls (yes, mainly women) that saw Sex & the City too many times at an impressionable age. If it’s not “that” girl, it’s someone spreading buzz words like “engage. synergy. communicate. connect.” until they’re meaningless.

Beyond that, I know that owning a business with your partner is not always a good idea. I think it takes a rare kind of couple to be able to work together. I’m not tooting our horn at all, in fact, the fact that we’re one of those couples means something else horrible: That we get jobs away from each other in the name of practicality. Then, because we’re apart for extensive periods of time, we end up fostering an increasing hatred for our jobs (the reason we’re apart) until we’re miserable.

I realize how unhealthy that reads, now that I’ve typed it out. I just want you to know that. But why is it that way? We’re deciding that this is the person you want to spend forever with…why should it be crazy to say you don’t care for being away from each other much?

Anyways, this post has taken a turn for verbal-diarrhea territory.

My point, in as few words as possible: I changed career courses because of the change in my life plans. I didn’t expect to get married. I didn’t expect to want to live my life with another person’s heart before my own.

I have a tendency, when I work, to dedicate everything. I know that if I found work that I was good at and enjoyed, I would work as much as possible. I get attached to company goals. I get attached to ideas and want to see them through to the end. I would work 60+ hour workweeks, I just know it. That’s not the life I want.

I find Isaiah far too ribbiting to want to be away from him for 60 hours per week.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Angie permalink
    October 30, 2010 9:09 am

    If I wasn’t sitting in a car right now I would be standing and applauding.

  2. October 30, 2010 11:36 am

    I was very much career driven from an early age. I thought I would always be that way, and it never occurred to me that I needed to plan for the possibility that I might want something else someday.

    Then I had my kids, and my marriage fell apart, and I found Tony again, and now I’m stuck, but trying to find a path that will enable me to spend the kind of time I need to with my family. I think your change in plans is very wise.

    Also, I think one of the problems that this country has is that we have gotten to a place where few people are self-employed. It is the small businesses that will revitalize this country, so I say thank you for taking that on.

  3. October 30, 2010 12:50 pm

    This is just an awesome, awesome post. It’s honest posts like these that remind me of how much I love our blogger support system because we put ourselves out there and are constantly hugged via interweb 🙂

  4. October 30, 2010 6:36 pm

    I was so excited about the next step in my seemingly endless educational plan, and a friend was so incredibly dismissive and judgemental about it-I was upset for weeks since (and let’s admit it, still am). It’s hard when someone criticizes something you feel strongly about, or a decision you haven’t made lightly, but you know you’re doing the right thing for both of you. Just keep walking confidently in the direction of your dreams-I have faith you’ll find them!

  5. October 31, 2010 1:59 pm

    @Angie – Thanks girl, you’re so sweet. I know you’re on the same page with me here.

    @Sarah – I understand…my biggest problem with my career-oriented-ness is that I decided to be a “public relations superstar” over ONE dinner after my transfer orientation in college. I needed to “pick” before school started…and I didn’t just pick a major..I picked a complete career path complete with visions of 10 years later vivid in my mind. Now I’m thinking back to that one dinner and trying to remember what it was that called to me about this, you know? Was I really gonna live the next 8 years with my motivations of that one dinner unquestioned? Thanks for your input, Sarah.

    @LemonBride – for sure, this community rocks.

    @Lena – I definitely understand that feeling…some people just don’t get it. Thanks for your encouragement!

  6. November 2, 2010 7:29 pm

    woo hoo! right on, lady. you are so talented and driven! you are going to find something amazing & be able to balance Isaiah time too. I know it!


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