Oops! Did I choose a boring career?
I sit at my desk in our apartment in Tel Aviv, and every other day I wonder if I’ve made the right career choice. Being a freelancer and helping run a small business is not always what I thought it would be.
I worry about money.
I worry that I haven’t found my purpose.
I worry that I’m just doing what I know rather than really doing something new and challenging.
I worry that I’m wasting my time.
The other day I told Amit about my concerns with my unconventional career. And I was surprised by his response.
Amit said, “I worry too. I worry about making a living from my businesses. I worry that I’ve chosen the wrong path to follow because sometimes my work is hard or dull. I worry that I won’t receive the recognition for what I’m doing from the world”.
“Really?” I asked, “You’re just like me then?” Can it be true that this husband of mine, sitting across the room from me most of the day, wonders if he is doing the right thing as well? All I see is Amit working non-stop on his photography business and Stick Around with such intense focus and dedication, I just thought he knew he was on the right path.
“Of course I have doubts”, said Amit. “But I know I have to keep going, because this is the path I’ve chosen to pursue. I have goals I’ve set for myself and I’m going to get there. Some parts of the work I’m doing are really hard, like when I get an email from a store saying they don’t want to stock Stick Around.”
“But the hard bit is just a low-resolution picture of what is going on. When I’m faced with a difficult or boring task, I know I need to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. The high-resolution shows me that this is just a small hurdle for me on my way towards my goals. And I keep going”.
(I think you can tell that Amit is a photographer with his talk of resolutions!)
Keep on doing
We have to work towards our goals to see if they are the right ones, otherwise how will we know? We can’t stop every time we’re doing work that is hard or dull. Take the first step towards your goal, then another, as small as they are, and you will get there.
And yes, all of us are scared. We all have fears that we struggle to control. But just like I found out from someone as close to me as my husband, as soon as you choose to share your worries with someone you care about, you’ll find out you’re not alone.
The hard work we don’t see
While I was sitting at my desk with all my doubts, I’d forgotten that creating my own unconventional career is not all chocolate and picnics. A lot of hard work goes into it, and that hard work involves a lot of boring stuff. It’s easy to forget this when all that we see around us are articles about successful people. We read articles that people have published successfully. We see Facebook updates of friend’s weddings, babies, new jobs, new houses and new friends. We don’t see the hard, boring work that goes on in between.
You do not see a picture of me at my messy desk writing words that will never be published (or do you?).
We have to remember the stuff that goes on that we don’t see (as I was reminded of by the talented Sarah Kathleen Peck in her article “What you don’t see”).