I've been thinking a lot about careers lately, probably because I spend part of every day cruising craigslist. As I browse through the various categories of listings I occasionally stumble on something that looks appealing, but mostly the jobs are things I apply to knowing that while I'm qualified for them, I won't actually enjoy them. And I know "no one enjoys working," "if it were fun it wouldn't be called work," etc etc, but come on, I know plenty of people that like, possibly even love, their jobs. And what I assume it comes down to is finding a job doing something that you honestly enjoy and not just something that pays the bills. Simple enough to say, but how do you figure that out?
At 29 I should know what I want to do for a career. In fact, by 29 I should be working at a job that may not be my dream, but should have me learning skills and meeting connections to secure that dream job in the future. At least that's how life plays out in my dream world. In the real world, I'm 29 and wondering how it is that I don't know what I want to do. How can I feel so ambivalent about my career options? How is that no career ever jumped out to me as The One.
In second grade I wrote an essay about how I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I held on to this idea all the way to college when I became an education major. There it took approximately two semesters for me to realize that I hated the education department at my school and to transfer away out of it. After that my major bounced around more than I can honestly recall because nothing ever grasped me in any kind of life changing way.
During college I worked at Barnes and Noble and since college I've worked as an office manager, a campaign coordinator, and a manager of member services. Out of those my favorite was B&N and that's because I worked with friends. The others, while not bad jobs, did nothing to set my world on fire. They were all jobs that I stumbled upon thanks to friends and not because they were what I wanted to do with my life. There was not a single college class that I took, that in any way related to those jobs.
Jparks says that as long as he's known me I've wanted to be a stay at home mom. And while that's looking like my next career move, it's not what I've always aspired to be. Hell, I could barely imagine having kids, much less staying home to take care of them or having that be a real financial option. And if jparks were right and I had always aspired to be a stay at home mom I would happily admit it, because it would mean that yes, YES, I know what I want to do with my life.
To get back to my question, how did you know what you wanted to do for a career? How many of us actually grow up to be what we wrote our second grade essays about? Did you graduate and find a job that directly related to your degree or did you stumble into something that you never expected to love but do? Am I the only one that spends large portions of time wondering when she'll grow up and discover her career calling?
(can we all agree that I couldn't be a grammar teacher? look at those commas! holy crap, I need help)