Long before we moved to Florida and I had to leave my job, I had been thinking about the next stage of my career. Truthfully, as much as I may miss it now and lament the loss of it, the bloom had started to come off the rose when it came to my job. I had been in TV for a long time and it takes a toll; the hours are irregular, the pressure can be immense and there was always a sense that there may be a shelf life for my particular line of work. I had started to feel the expiration date coming quickly upon me a few years ago and while I contemplated what else I could possibly do, I came up empty. I’ve been working in news my whole adult life and I’m not particularly qualified to do anything else. I’ve got no skills other than working in television and though I have to believe that my many years of dealing with immovable deadlines, stressful environments, crazy people and high-tech equipment certainly gave me some kind of an edge over other people, realistically nobody wants to hire somebody for a job that they have no experience in at all. So, I stayed in my job that I didn’t necessarily love (or sometimes even like) any more because really, who was I to complain? The pay was good, the company benefits were great, I never had to dress up for work and I was damn good at it. But the whole time in the back of my head was the thought: what next?
This move was supposed to be my opportunity – the chance to break away from something just because it’s comfortable and figure out what it is that I really want to be when I grow up. You know what I’ve come up with? Nothing. It’s pretty disheartening, really. In fact, I met with a recruiter the other day and he asked me a series of questions to get to the heart of what I wanted to do and my answers were pathetic. If money was no object, what is your dream job? Hmm [pause for far too long while I try to come up with an answer]…dunno. If something were to happen to you right now, what would you regret? Um…not losing the baby weight earlier? (Yes, I realize this is not at all the answer he was looking for.) What do you love to do in your free time? Free time? What free time?
I walked into that meeting hoping for some guidance, leads and maybe even answers. I left feeling more lost, confused and in despair than ever. I started to wonder if I had any passion at all. You know what’s worse than not having your dream job? Not having a dream at all. My birthday is quickly approaching so I have to confront the fact that I’m soon about to enter my very last year of my 30’s (which FREAKS me out, by the way) and I can’t believe that I still don’t know what I want to do with my life. I never imagined that I’d be this age and not have it all figured out.
Do most people really just work to earn a paycheck and nothing more? I want to work because I think it makes me a happier and more fulfilled person as well as a better mother but the reality is that there are family sacrifices that have to be made when both parents work and if I’m going to take time away from my daughter and husband, then it has to be something that I truly love. If only I could figure out what that is.
Tell me: do you love your job? If not, do you know what you would want to do if money wasn’t an issue?