The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Choosing Your Career As Your Soulmate
How do you know if it’s really love? Sometimes you feel a rush thinking about certain attractive aspects of it, but is it meant to be? Perhaps you spent your childhood curating your successes and experiences and thinking about how they will add up to your one true love, your dream career. Your career has such an emphasis on who you are as a person that dating profiles want you to list it, and people will constantly ask you what you do for a living. So what are some things to look for when trying to find your best match?
Your career is an experience away
As we age and go through school, we indulge in experiences that shape our likes and dislikes. Sometimes even tragedies can inspire meaningful work. One of the first things that can be helpful in determining if this relationship is the one for you is to figure out what you like. It seems so simple and mundane, but truly you have to establish what kind of person you are. Are you the type of person who likes talking to people more often than not? Do you enjoy reading? Are you the person who wants to go straight to a college degree, or would you rather enroll in a vocational program? Not only is the educational component important, but now you have to figure out the societal component of this relationship. There are careers that society frowns upon, but they may provide the financial stability that you want.
Your career is a part of who you are, and it is the fact that you show the world. The next question that may plague professionals is committing to a career. Many careers are already open to the public, but what if you desire a more flexible relationship? Perhaps you want to work from home, or maybe you have a vision in mind for creating something that doesn’t exist. It sounds enticing to work from home or be an entrepreneur, but that all takes a lot of time management, effort, and intrinsic motivation. Are you the type of person who can set your own routine and follow it?
What happens when it doesn’t work out?
There are times we jump into a relationship because others tell us it’s the right choice or that it feels safe. You can indulge in these relationships and ignore all the red flags along the way. It may be easier to stay on your path, or maybe you feel guilt from staying where you first found love. Your first career doesn’t have to be your last career. Some red flags can be your stress, your mental health, your ability to form other healthy relationships, and your physical health. These key factors play a pivotal role, as they are daily occurrences in your life. Many individuals have a hard time getting out of relationships. Some even want this outlandish issue to happen so they can feel comfortable getting out of their chosen career, but it doesn’t always work that way.
Some people may choose to go to school part-time as they work as an alternative to keeping financially stable before they make the switch to a new career. Some may wait to get passed over for a promotion before going somewhere else. Before you decide on any career changes, you may have to assess whether it’s about changing the environment you find yourself in or the actual career choice. Once you establish whether you are staying or going, you have to be ready to integrate this new career with the rest of your life, including friends and family. Your new career is a new partner, and your friends and family are going to want to ask questions. This new dynamic means you should stay firmly grounded in what you believe to be true and understand those true friends are simply curious about how this change came to pass. They will always offer advice and opinions, but what you do with that is completely up to you. There are tendencies to second guess yourself because everything you experience may be new to you. Often the most amount of personal growth occurs outside of your comfort zone.
The psychology of letting go
Sometimes it can be hard to let go of a job that you’ve had for so long. These careers define you in society and sometimes you recognize that a piece of yourself is tied up in that identity. Ask yourself what drew you into that career in the first place? Did someone promise you that you could make a fortune? Were you in awe with the lifestyle of your chosen career? Every new career has a honeymoon phase. This will never change, and there will be moments when you have to work harder than you anticipated. No career is without some strife or challenges, and it’s perfectly normal to sometimes feel discouraged as you attempt to progress in this area of your life.
Often times people repeat patterns in their career choices. For example, many may fall prey to only jobs that pay well even if they don’t like the components of the job. This mentality can begin a catalyst for unhappiness and sets the tone for an inability to discern what is truly important for your career. Every career has unique criteria that appeal to certain people, and while you may never get a 100% match, you may get very close if you allow yourself to experience what career has to offer. Some may find complete joy in the beauty industry and may have “flings” with lots of jobs until they find the career that best suits them.
Society likes to pressure young adults to quickly start working on a career, but really your career is an opportunity to date around. Everyone should have the capacity to set their boundaries, break up with jobs that no longer serve a positive experience, and find what they really enjoy. There’s a fear to let go of a job because it pays your rent and basic living expenses. This is completely understandable, and not everyone has this extreme all in or all out mentality, With that being said, it’s important you find your focus. When you are able to focus on your career, you can create those opportunities that you may have been dreaming about.
Do soulmates exist?
Life changes rapidly, and so do people. Your tastes, beliefs, and sometimes even your values change as you age. If humans appreciate change and innovation, then perhaps careers should also evolve. People have to let go of the notion that you can only pick one career forever. Careers change, and it’s important to understand that they’re not permanent. The idea of feeling stuck to your job hits home to many people, but really the only one standing in your way is you. You can go all-in with this relationship, and maybe after some time and thought, you realize it’s time to move on; that’s perfectly ok. There is a myriad of careers out there, so regardless of where you are in life, you have the ability to indulge in whatever you choose.
It’s a wonderful notion to believe that if you get this one dream job, everything will work out in your favor; the reality is that everything takes work. It’s important to be honest with yourself and check-in with yourself to see where you’re at in any career. If you want to be married to your career, that’s fantastic, but remember that you can always change your mind.