Thursday, July 16, 2009

OK, break's over.

Today I embarked upon my search for a job. This is not within my comfort zone. Many people, likely many of you, have changed jobs many times. Sometimes by choice, sometimes not. I have been at the same company for 12 years, and fully believed I'd have the option to be there for my entire career. As those who read this blog know, this was not to be, and not by my choosing. So, I set out in search of the next thing. 

(Remember that show In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy? It was Twilight Zone meets Nova meets The X Files. It has nothing to do with this post, but that was a trippy show, man.)

Throughout my time at my former company, at least once I accepted it was more than just a day job, I always said if I left it would be to do something completely different. Not to find a similar job at another company, but something truly new, something I was really passionate about. Though I didn't choose to leave, the fact is I've left, so why not look for the job I really want as opposed to the thing that might be easy to get but not that exciting? As I start looking for the next thing, I've been advised to search for a job I will love. A job I'll have fun doing. Because such a job will give energy instead of sapping it. It will be fun, and won't feel like work. I'll be better at it and happier doing it because I'll really want to be there.

Sounds good, right?

But what is that job? And what if that job doesn't pay the mortgage? What if that job doesn't allow us to send our kids to the schools or camps or classes we want to send them to, or to go on vacations or do the things we want to be able to do? For all that I've never been exactly passionate about the work I've done these 12 years, I've worked hard, I'm good at it, and I've done pretty well. And I've grown accustomed to the things that's allowed us to have and do. We aren't so well off we can have everything we want, but we certainly have everything we need, and a lot of what we want. How much can we give up and still be comfortable? Still be happy?

I know if I can find a job that truly connects to who I am I will be happier doing it, vs. doing something I may be good at but don't really enjoy. In theory my family will be happier if I'm happier. I'll be more fun to be around, more engaged in everything I do. But if that means we have to live in a smaller place or scale down to one car or take fewer trips, will we really be happier? I want to believe the answer is yes, but who knows? 

I've been told to search for a job I truly want for as long as reasonably possible. Then, if that doesn't materialize, shift gears and look for something to just pay the bills. And if I do settle for a job that is basically more of the same simply to make ends meet, I should keep looking for my ideal job. Sounds logical. Sounds good. It also sounds like a lot of work. 

How many people really love what they do? How many have turned away from the safe thing to embrace that which was less certain but held great promise, great hope? And how many of them have succeeded in doing it? I have so often been a victim of inertia. And now it us up to me to create my own energy and venture out into unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory to find that which is truly right for me. This is a true opportunity, one I may not have again. 

I hope I have the strength.



  1. I didn't realize exactly how much alike our boats are. I'm right where you are, but take away the pressure of providing for anyone other than myself. I've been doing the same job for 11 years, albeit at a few different companies. Now I'm being drop-kicked out of it and I feel that I can't go back to it.

    But the "What the hell do I do now?" question looms large. I think that I am going to turn away from the safe thing and I wonder every day if I have the strength to do it, too.

  2. I hope you find what you're looking for. Both in fulfilling your need to provide and your need to feel passionate about what you do.

  3. Good luck to you--I'm in the same boat myself. Let's just hope it doesn't take us very long to find what we're looking for.


  4. I just finished reading a book about a guy who shucked his life and bought a cabin in Michigan because he wanted to pull a Thoreau and be a writer. His question to himself was: what would you do if you couldn't fail? So I put that to you. And then you make that dream happen. Of course there will be adjustments. The money may not, will probably not, be there in the very beginning. But I am a strong believer in hard work and perseverance winning out. Good luck!

  5. When I was growing up I always wanted to be a teacher. I even got a teaching credential. When I graduated, there were too many teachers and subbing burnt me out after one year. Interestingly enough, in my current job, where I have been for 24 years, I'm teaching every day. I instruct my employees on how to do their tasks correctly. I guide them on tough projects, helping solve problems. I instruct the public on property tax laws and what benefits are available to them, etc. (Honestly, I didn't know going in that my job would turn out that way, but because of my abilities, it did.) When I was raising my children, I was teaching them every day. So, although, I am not in an elementary school classroom, I did become a teacher.
    As you figure out what's next for you, knowing what kind of activities appeal to you may help. Do you want to work outdoors, indoors, get dirty, work alone, or with others? Do you want to run your own show, or answer to someone in charge? Do you like creating something out of nothing, like writing (which you are excellent at), or being given a structure from someone else? Being a family man, you'll want whatever you do to leave enough time to be with your family. They grow up so fast!
    If you can clarify important features of how you want to spend your working hours, it may help you to judge whether a certain job or business is a good fit. My opinion of you is very high, and you deserve that high opinion. Whover hires you will be glad they did. If you are your own boss, and provide a service or product to others, those clients will be well served.
    Good luck figuring it out. And I know you have the strength.

  6. Good luck with your search! I applaud you for wanting to look for something completely new. I certainly don't love what I do and I'd be afraid to look for something that is truly fulfilling because I'd worry about the money too much.

    We had a shity time getting out of the house this morning and it's days like these that I wish my wife and I didn't have to do the rat race EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  7. I know what you mean dude. I wish with all my heart I could find a job I actually love but going and looking for it is work in itself!


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