After graduating law school and taking the bar, I wanted to work somewhere part-time while anticipating bar results and before I took a “real” full-time position. What I did not realize is that my temporary job would turn into something bigger and last the next ten months.
However, that job has come to an impasse, and now I have to figure out what I want to do… While attending law school, I had every intention of working abroad or in Washington, D.C. in international development. However, now that that possibility has become a reality, I am not sure that it is what I actually want to do.
For the first time in my life, I don’t know what is up next and it is exciting – BUT also terrifying! Also, I am really happy with where I am, physically and mentally. I think the dilemma that I have reached is whether I should strive to live life and be happy or to continue to pursue my “dream career.”
I am not sure why I can’t do both at the same time… But I am pretty sure the two (at least in the past) were not aligned. Now I think I can make it work, however my career goal has changed.. to what, I don’t know.
I think the best advice that have I received so far is to look for what I don’t want to do with my life, rather than what I do want to do. Because I will get to the same result, but there will be much less disappointment, AND it is okay to find a lot of different jobs that you just don’t want to do.
I know our generation is haunted with words like entitlement and spoiled, especially when it comes to job decisions. I’ve even heard members of my own family say that you aren’t meant to be happy at work, it is a job, and it’s just what you have to do.
But what is the point of living if you are just miserable the majority of the week- a typical Monday-Friday 9-5 job, you would only enjoy a couple days of the week- or 25% of the year. Looking at the life expectancy of the average woman in America (78 years old– assuming I will even reach that age), I will only get to enjoy about 5000 days of the next 18,980 days of my life- or about 27% of the rest of my life.
I just don’t accept that I can’t enjoy the majority of my life. I realize that I will have jobs that I dislike or entry level positions that I just don’t enjoy. But that is not the same as a career or long-term position that makes you miserable. I am more than willing to work a job I hate when I need to or to rise in a company.
But to take a job that you despise because it seems like it is what you should do or it is what everyone else thinks you should do is going to lead to years of disappointment and regret. For now, I am going to enjoy my years of ambiguity, because it could lead to something great. But it has taken me YEARS to realize this.