BossBitch: DitheringDarling

Keep moving, but be on the lookout for something you actually like and pursue it. Don’t convince yourself that you don’t like it just because you’ve come to fear complacency and commitment. Don’t let moving become what defines you, either.

Dear BossBitch,

I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. I’ve had a few jobs in a variety of areas since I graduated college. I can never seem to focus down my interests to one thing. I’ve worked in sales, marketing, administration and HR. I keep moving jobs after a year or so. I don’t seem to have much trouble finding the next job, but I worry that I’m not settling in on a career path like my friends. I ‘m starting to worry this will catch up to me. I don’t have career goals in the traditional sense. Should I be worried about this? I can’t ever seem to limit my interests to one path. I’m also afraid of doing that and hating the path I choose. Should I focus on one area and let go of this desire to keep moving?

Dear DitheringDarling,

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEAGAN GUILD

ILLUSTRATIONS BY MEAGAN GUILD

I guess it all depends on why you keep moving from these jobs and what you actually want from your job. For some people a job is just a job. They leave it at the office at 5:00 and move on to their actual lives for the remainder of the day. I think as a culture we’re moving away from this mentality and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. There’s something freeing in not conceptualizing your work as part of your identity. But in order to do this, there needs to be something else waiting for you to put your soul and your mind into. Otherwise, despite your best efforts, you end up being a work machine that doesn’t even like it’s programming. It’s one thing to make work your whole life if you love your job, but if you don’t even like your work, well then it’s just sad.

I assume that since you only stay at these jobs for a year or so, that you don’t love them. If stability in your job is not something you crave or need financially, then I say keep searching. Keep trying new things. Something will eventually stick. Maybe you’ll start to realize that something works, when you don’t feel the need to look anymore.

I know the struggle of picking something. Having varied interests can be a stumbling block. Knowing that you’d enjoy a lot of different types of things can make it that much harder to pick one. Picking one feels like a trap. But as we get older we do just have to pick and hope we find some corner of that world that we like, or at the very least, coworkers we like. My high school Spanish teacher used to say, “Spaniards work to live; they don’t live to work.” Of course he was generalizing with abandon (and wasn’t from Spain, it’s worth noting). But he seemed to think this was a good thing. I think his point was that we let ourselves be defined by our work (even if that isn’t our natural inclination), when there is so much else in life to be defined by. Or hell, maybe in my dream utopia we can stop defining ourselves by anything and start just living our lives containing multitudes. So keep moving, but be on the lookout for something you actually like and pursue it. Don’t convince yourself that you don’t like it just because you’ve come to fear complacency and commitment. Don’t let moving become what defines you, either.

Love,

BossBitch