No, not Steve – although he might have a place here. I’m talking about what we do in exchange for money. I’m not necessarily thinking in terms of a career – careers are more long term than jobs.
A job might be cutting someone’s hair. A career would be cutting hair. If you do enough similar jobs, it can become a career but, if you only do one or two, they are just jobs. Tutoring a couple of people to help them with their studies would be a job. If you end up tutoring several people at one time in the same subject(s), that becomes the career of teaching.
Jobs have been on my mind a lot lately! It can be very scary if you don’t have a job. If I have no money coming in on a regular basis, I tend to start creating stories where my creditors come knocking on my door. These creditors grow fangs that they sharpen on the bones of those unlucky enough to have no job! These stories also have my three cats staring at me with hunger filled eyes, down to skin and bones because I have no money to buy food for them.
It doesn’t matter if I have plenty of money in my account at the bank! If I can’t rely on a steady stream of new money coming into my account, I expect a horrid drought to enter my finances, drying up all my money. Not only are my creditors hovering over my shoulders like vultures waiting to fight over my dying carcass, my cats are crying piteously like ghosts around my head, and I’m crawling through a desert!
Yes, I understand that I can become a bit dramatic over this, but I don’t think I’m the only one who has these hideous visions running through my mind when I don’t have a job.
So, when I left my job last December, I had visions of finding another job quickly. After all, I’m smart, charming, personable, easily trained, and hard working. I didn’t worry too much when the first month passed. I needed some down time to recover from trying to work two full-time jobs.
The second month passed, and I decided to get some books on how to find a job. Surely there was something out there that would give me the magic words to finding something that would pay me a living wage.
The third month, I discovered blogs in a major way! I read a book that said a person could make six-figures by blogging. If I followed their advice, I probably would make six-figures! The people in the book were highly focused and intent on this career.
I could be highly focused and intent – as I discovered when I reviewed my blog posts and discovered that I was pretty much posting one blog a day! When I woke up one day to see what I had been doing, I discovered that I had been so focused and intent that I wasn’t any better off than I had been with two full-time jobs! And I still wasn’t making any money.
I dusted off my resume and made some phone calls before my nightmare became reality! My creditors were still being paid and my cats were still being fed but I was starting to expect a major expense to wipe out my bank account.
Unfortunately, I discovered why older people are so often referred to as “curmudgeons”. When people reach a certain age, the safeguards that they put on their tongues don’t work as well as they did when they were younger. I found myself interviewing prospective employers and, when they didn’t seem able to let me work when I wanted to work (or how I wanted to work), I politely wished them well and went to interview my next possible employer. This does not win friends and influence people!
Happily, there are some employers who have a sense of adventure and curiosity! Even better, I discovered that I’m still learning! I haven’t yet reached “full-blown curmudgeon” status yet! I’m learning that there is a full, exciting life possible for everyone and that everyone doesn’t have to have (and probably shouldn’t have) the same life working the same job!
Wouldn’t it be sad to be a water-color artist and to be stuck flipping burgers? Or to be a natural-born burger flipper and forced to earn a living working at a computer?
All jobs are legitimate jobs. They all have a place in society. I hate to show my ignorance, but when I was younger and not really knowing as much as I thought I did, I thought that prostitution was a career choice. I didn’t know why some people would choose that career, but apparently some people did. The problem is that people in many jobs sometimes don’t have a choice in how they make their money.
Here’s what I’ve decided: there is a perfect job out there for everyone and everyone has the right to seek out that perfect job. It may not be the job you thought it was. You may have thought that you were born to be a corporate lawyer only to discover that underwater photography is what delights your heart.
Find a dream and hang on to it with all you have! Generally, life is not a lazy boat ride down a sun-drenched river with weeping willows along the banks. Sometimes it is, but it may have moments of rapids and even a few waterfalls! Hang in there and keep paddling. If you don’t give up and you just live long enough, you’ll be able to reach that dream!