(Why I won’t kill my dreams for my not-so dream job.)
If you just pause and think about at least 95% of the human population, what do we all have in common? Well, most people have a job they hate. They wake up “half-dead” twenty-five years later, wondering where all the time went — Not me.
As many of you know, I graduated from college December of 2018. I was “fortunate” enough to land a job offer before I even walked across the stage. I didn’t think six months later into the job I would feel the way I did — empty.
You know you can’t fully understand something until you have experienced it. I would hear all my adult friends, cousins, and family members talk about work with bitter, tired looks on their aging faces. They’d talk about “being an adult and doing what you have to do.” I experienced it in a way I never did before. You know what all of us had in common? We hated our jobs. But from the looks of it, everybody hates their jobs, it’s normal.
BUT WHY ISN’T ANYONE DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT?
I was beating myself up over this for months. I cried to my fiancé at the time, mom, best friends, and whoever had ears! I just couldn’t believe that was what adulthood was supposed to be like. I had a hard time grasping being unhappy with my career so soon. I remember asking myself, is something wrong with me or am I just having issues adjusting after college? There were days I walked into the office and thought how can these people just sit in this cubicle, slowly, silently dying, for eight hours, every day? Letting the most exciting events of their day be between the lines of clicking and dragging their mouse or running to the break room to get their printouts? It was soul-crushing.
It got worse and worse. I cried more and more. I drank more and more. I complained more and picked fights with my (now) husband because I came home mad. I gradually felt myself going crazy.
I saw the hard truth try to wrap itself around me and swallow me whole. I see so many people work and work to have nothing to show for it but regret. I can’t help but feel it’s not supposed to be this way. This is not the way God wanted our lives to be. That wasn’t even the way I want my life to be. Sometimes I pause and take a good look around and completely dissect my surroundings. I spend a few moments out of my day feeding off of energy and vibes. I did the same thing in that corporate office. The things my coworkers didn’t say, the things my adult friends and family wish they’d done years ago, I see them. They are like ghosts. At work, I heard all these people’s souls helplessly crying out for happiness without them even saying a word. I heard their dreams quickly fading away into the abyss of the forgotten. I heard it in their laugh, their sighs, and I decided that I would not be one of them. I will not be next. I will not wake up thirty years later wishing I had done something different.
One day I had enough… I decided I wasn’t going to work for someone else’s dream and just forget about mine. I wasn’t going to suffer any longer.
Why do we push off our dreams to work at stressful jobs or jobs we don’t even enjoy? Why do we let it impact our health, relationships, our happiness? You know that dream of owning your own business, being a singer, artist, doctor, or whatever it is that you are chasing after work hours? Do you have any hidden talents that could make a career? Why don’t you make that your job, your actual full-time job? Why do we not work our dream jobs? Instead, we trade in our dreams. It’s the same answer to all of those questions: WORK!
I noticed something else too. There is a negative perception about leaving a job. There’s an unsaid “No-no” or taboo when saying “this job is not for me. I don’t see myself growing here. This isn’t what I want to do.” But why? Why do we shame people for realizing that they want a major change in their life. So many people in society just sit and take whatever they’re given. Let me put it to you this way, your role you currently work in would be posted faster than your obituary if you left your job. These companies turn down candidates and replace them like a new pair of socks. So why can’t we do the same thing – WITHOUT THE SHAME.
I know someone will throw some shade on my shine and say, it’s the millennial in you. But you don’t have to be a millennial to take responsibility and declaration over your own life! You just have to be human, you just need to know your worth. But yes, millennials are advocates for change, and let me tell you, this change is not a negative thing! Millennials have a hard time settling for less than they know they are worth. We have a hard time following all the traditional rules left behind from the generations before us. We stand up for things, the generations before were taught to sit down for. “It’s hard trying to teach an old dog new tricks.“
Look, call me crazy but I am one of those people that believe you should be happy in life. I think work shouldn’t feel like work 100% of the time. You should be having fun, fulfilling your purpose, using your talent and not just sitting on it. You know what they say if you don’t use it, you lose it. Unfortunately, though, we’ve somehow made it a normal thing in society to work at jobs we hate just to get by. We work miserably to afford houses we don’t really stay in, cars we don’t even take on trips other than driving to work, and OH I CAN’T FORGET…bills.
There are people basically accepting payment to be angry and live miserable lives, all because of work. You are one of them, aren’t you? I bet your stomach dropped when you read that. I am calling you out because it was me.
You wanna how it feels to have left that soul-crushing job of mine? Rejuvenating, scary, and necessary.
Rejuvenating, because I felt a weight had been lifted off of me. I felt like I really found out what I want for my life. I needed a break from the deadness.
Scary, because I didn’t know what was next. I didn’t know where I was going from there or when I would truly find that job that makes me tick. However, what scared me more was staying there. I would be terrified to wake up in thirty years and realized I have wasted my whole life working somewhere I hated.
Necessary, because it was starting to take a toll on the most important things in my life, the things that actually mattered. My health, my relationship, and my well-being.
Although I don’t know what’s next, I know I’ll only go up from here. I know God has a plan for me and he has my back no matter what. If God can save my life, he can damn sure save my career. What about you, are you happy with where you are in your career?