“What are you going to do now? Are you pursuing a different career and are you interning again? I mean you kind of need a career, right?“ Do I? I mean yes, I need a job. I need to pay my bills, my rent, insurance, groceries and a little bit of money for fun would be nice as well. But does it need to be a career? A title in front of my name that raises eyebrows and let people make impressive sounds and comments? Since when is a big career more impressive than being happy?
Since when became having a job a statement, rather than just being the thing you do to make money? Why do we always have to thrive higher? Why do we need to devote our life to our job? I mean the solemn purpose of having a job is to earn enough money to pay for life and not the other way around.
Two weeks ago my head was full of all that questions. And I myself was in that awkward position to answer all those questions. Two weeks ago I didn’t get that trainee position at that newspaper I wanted. Bummer, … but not really to be honest.
Even before I had the interview I hesitated a little bit. It would mean leaving the city I love, leaving friends that have done so much for me over the years. It would mean to start over, a clean slate. Sometimes I wished for this kind of opportunity. Starting over, in a place where no one knows you, without all that baggage of the past. But these days are behind me. I love my life, I finally live in a flat that I can truly call my home. I have friends that would do everything for me. So why leave?
Ah yes, there is the reason: Because of a career.
Of course, it sounds kind of like pouting because I didn’t get that job, but I got the „bad news“ weeks ago and made my peace with it. I am happy that they kind of made the decision for me. Apparently, fate wants me to stay. A lot of my friends are happy that I am staying, but some of them are asking: “What are you going to do now?”
It is a legitimate question, don’t get me wrong. But it is how they are asking it. With a hidden tone of pressure in it and for some it is even a rhetorical question that demands an answer like: “I have a backup job all lined up and ready.” The one answer not acceptable is: “I don’t know.” But that was exactly the answer I was giving. Their reaction was raised eyebrows, embarrassed looks, and silence. It was not acceptable apparently.
Nowadays everyone needs to have a plan, a career, a title. It is your duty to love your job, having a passion for it. Just doing your job, not loving it that much and not really caring about it either is not a thing that you hear often. But why? I mean it is just a job. Yes, you work a minimum of eight hours a day for five days a week. Most of your life is spent working. So it would be nice if your job is a little bit of fun. But does it need to be a passion? Does it need to be a big career, do you need to climb that latter higher and higher until you have that big title?
I say no, it does not! Work is not your life, your life is your life. Do your best in your job, of course, but don’t force yourself to thrive higher and higher when you are just not made for it. I am definitely not made for it. Being good at something is great, but I don’t need to be the best, I just need to make enough money to pay for everything important.
Looking around my friends and society, there are not that many people thinking like me. I see a lot of people killing themselves while trying to be the best, the greatest, the ones with the big title. Even though they are not made for this. I don’t blame them, society made them and they are just going with it.
And there is one reality highly ignored by that bubble of a passionate career. Even the most passionate person, having the greatest job on the planet will have days that suck. Days where you just want to lie on your bed, watch Netflix and chill. Even if you love your job, there will be days that are shit, but no one talks about that because you are supposed to love your job so much that it can’t possibly suck even for a second.
So can we just start talking about that secret that no one wants to talk about? Can we talk about our shitty jobs again, ranting about our bosses whilst sitting in a pub and drinking beer? I am even the one paying the first round…
After getting a lot of feedback for this post I want to describe my choice of words a little bit more. Having a career for me in this context means, that you want to have the highest position possible. That you want to thrive no matter on what costs, that you want to have it all. That’s what I mean with “having a career”.
Maybe it is a little bit misleading or confusing since a lot of people see a career just as a basic incentive to grow in your job. That is not what I meant in this post. I want to grow in my job, I want to be able to achieve goals, but not at all costs.
Talking to my friends, having a career often means working so hard and so much that you will lose your friends and almost never see your family, that is the part of a career I am just not made for. I love my friends and family and I am a strong believer of giving yourself the ability to breathe and think. Having a healthy brain is the one thing you need to be good at your job, how on earth will you achieve that by not giving your brain the time to enjoy itself a little bit?