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.