When I was taking (by accident) a class called “The Business of Acting” in college, I remember the professor saying, “I know they say life is short, but actually life is fucking long. You will do a ton of different jobs in your life.” She could not have predicted that she would end up as a casting director and a part time college professor when she was studying theatre at Emerson.
This week I saw my therapist for the first time in about a month and a half. We’d had some scheduling conflicts and then I went away and now I’m back, so I emailed him and I finally made it to his office.
We talked about the main issues I have and finally after we were done sorting that shit out, he said, “So what’s your main concern at this time?” and after I told him, he said, “This is just my opinion and I’m not trying to force this on you, but I think we should look into you being a little more ambitious career-wise.“ My first thought was, “Why do I have to have a career? Can’t I just have a job that supports my life?”
He said that he saw that I was so concerned with finding a job that I didn’t feel like I was constantly going to be let go from that I didn’t actually care what the job was. This was, in part, right. I like my job a lot right now – I’m learning a lot and there’s a lot of work to do so I’m not bored. And my boss is really nice. He’s such a pleasure to work for.
At Job A, I liked the work – I was good at it. I had a really good groove going. But I got to the office at 8am and left around 6 or 7pm. I was really burnt out. And I was making next to no money. But hey, that’s show business.
So, I left that job when I was offered Job B doing something completely different (though still numbers oriented) though I was stupid and desperate and took it at the same salary. Hey, I got a ton of comp tickets and the company was pretty fun to work for. It ended up not being a good fit for me, or the company, though so I was laid off and immediately started Job C.
Job C was great – it was a fun company, I was good at the job (basically the same job as at Job A), and I was actually contributing to the business in meaningful ways through the HR side of things. I also got a $10k raise. This was nice. I got to learn the HR side of things and that was awesome. I really liked that. However I saw the company’s books all the time and things were ehhhh business-wise. They tried to keep up morale but I didn’t think things were going very well. I was also bored. Because we didn’t have a ton of business, I didn’t have a ton of work. I was so, so bored.
So when a recruiter contact me on LinkedIn and I had two phone interviews and one in-person interview for Job D (which was more or less the same as Job’s A and B), and they were offering yet another $10k raise, I said yes. It was really, really hard to leave Job C but I did. I’m at Job D now and really liking it. As I said, my boss is really great and my colleagues are all really nice. They are always signing new clients, which means more work for me, which is awesome. No boredom, score!
But there’s always that twinge of “am I going to be able to keep this job?” My therapist told me that I do not have qualities of someone who should have these fears as I am extremely diligent and have no problem finding jobs. So, yes, he’s probably right about me needing to figure out what I want to do.
Luckily for me, my boyfriend is really good at career planning and being goal-oriented so I’m making some lists on my own and then we’re diving head first this weekend in trying to figure out what would make me happy. Money doesn’t make me fully happy. My last two raises have been great, but money isn’t everything. I’ve never been close to poverty (I sound like an asshole saying that but it’s better than pretending otherwise) so maybe I take it for granted. I see people at jobs they hate making tons of money and I just don’t think it’s worth it. When is the paycheck ever going to be big enough for you? If money is all you strive for, you’re going to be endlessly striving for more and then what? Money is nice, but happiness, overall, is nicer.
You know what makes me fully happy? Meditating. And leading meditations. I’m going to look into studying with an actual teacher. And I’m going to give yoga teacher training an actual thought. I never thought I was the right personality for it, but I’ve had some teachers over the years who are a lot like me, so maybe I’m wrong. What would also make me happier would be brushing up on my accounting and Quickbooks skills. I put out an email about that yesterday.
Fingers crossed I can eventually figure it out.
And fittingly enough, there’s a perfect John Lennon quote for this: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”