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Hi there my name is Mike
If youre up for it I would like to give you some things for consideration.
hi mike! yea, sure!
I actually was in the same situation with careers and debating happiness
forgive me for my possible delays, my answers are very long winded so i may be typing for a long time
but feel free just to have a regular chat with me
its no problem at all
let me ask you - what is it in particular about your job that isn't the most fulfilling?
what has made you reconsider your career path
hmm well, it was never quite my career path to begin with. I was actually referred to the company through a friend after looking relentlessly for a job in the city for over four months. I took it as a temporary job, but I started taking on projects and responsibilties to make the job as much "me" as possible. Finally, I got hired full-time (by the way, this is in advertising/business develpment). However, if I could picture a dream job scenerio, some of the characteristics would be: creativity, thoughtful analysis and development, out-of-the-box thinking, discovering new perspectives of our world... and while this job has a potential for some of these characteristics, it still feels lacking
Should i elaborate on any of this?
Would you consider this an un-changeable characteristic of the job? Or do you think its a function of say, how long youve been there?
basically would you be able to modify your own job, or are you unsatisified(intrinsically) because the enjoyment of the job is maxed out?
Well, I guess I am not quite sure because, honestly, what I was doing 3 months ago at my job is so different than what I do now. So I am hoping there is room for growth, but I am not even sure if the company itself is the TYPE to have these characteristics. its sort of in between a start-up and being corperate, but we definately cater to an older audience.. making it hard to be super fun and creative
I gotcha, kinda like sticking with what you know what would work - with a "stiff" crowd?
so, basically, i feel like the parameters are narrow as to how far I can develop myself at work.. but since its not QUITE there yet, im not sure
ehhh its really not that stiff, but a touch traditional
i mean many of them are young ( i suppose because its a tech company)
its no Google, but its not like a banking firm or anything
So one of the things that rang loud and clear about your original posted question was questioning the economy. Right off the bat my mind goes to, if its secure, and stable, then try to maximize what there is and if needed, look to sidestep
my idea really was to be there for at least a year for credibility and that way i am more in control in finding a job better suited for me
the second part is knowing this fulfillment you seek
and i think no matter what that would be a smart choice.
not only would your networking and actual job skills increase. After more than say 6-8 months you will have a MUCH MUCH better idea of the limits of your position versus the infancy phase where you are really just learning and applying the "stuff" your employer wants
i think unless there are tons of opportunities out there, stability has got to be there, simply to make ends meet.
however i can tell you first hand I know this feeling of lacking fulfillment
I literally left a career I built from formal education to embark on something that I never even considered would turn into a full time job
and i did it because i would have rather had regrets over doing and making a mistake, than not even knowing what might have happened
so with you
you need to be incredibly proactive about making sure that the position youre in has had all the avenues(for you) exhausted before making the decision to step out of it
but on the other side of that, in your job, unless youre still getting offers.. if the thought of unemployment scares you(some it doesn't) I think its important even for just white space(resume) and experience that you stick with it for at least a while(the year you mentioned is adequate in my opinion) to ensure youre not bouncing around - which to us wouldn't be a big deal but to an employer shows real commitment
if i had to hire someone who had limited lengths of employment i would immediately question and be suspect of commitment and initiative
oh yes of course, part of my reason for sticking it out
do you have an idea of what your dream job would be? I ask because you mentioned this
so, my lingering thoughts are: how do i go about exploring what I DO want to do, when I am so invested in a 9-5 job?
Thats exactly what i did
i have a strong background in public health and injury rehab
i could fit in A LOT of different settings both clinical and labatory settings, anything public health or even as simple as fitness(hence the name :))
I LOVE cars - so when i was working 70 hours a week doing what i had thought was going to be a career i still had a love for cars on the side and knew that that was actually what made me happy
what is it that you know you want to do
i guess to explain to you my dream job, i cant really give you anything concrete, but maybe a "scrapbook" of interests, passions, hobbies: I was a philosophy major in college, I am very artistic and creative, I love design and details, I am SUPER interested in PEOPLE -- how they think, interact, relate to one another, love the company of people (i am insanely social), physics, music (I grew up with two classical and jazz musicians and studied jazz in college for two years), the development of our society -- as far as how we think, how we perceive the world and each other, how we have developed theories, our sciences, our philosophies.. i love things bigger than life :)
while i've been surrounded by priveleged kids who can chase their dreams and "see what happens", I am afraid that I dont have that choice... or do I? i am not sure
I feel that unless i know something concretely, I CANT do it
You always have a choice. Always.
I love everything about life as well. LOVE IT. What I think is important to do is
1. using your time in this current job to build your own skill and how they might actually apply to building your own customized career.
i think the second part to this needs to be starting to narrow down and actually find concrete tasks, items, experiences that will actually allow you to decide and "tune" your hobbies
im using the word hobby here as they are not a "job" just yet - but obviously you know you have a strong interest in them.
I just have to ask - do you enjoy sharing your own knowledge and teaching people?
and actually if you woke up tomorrow and had the choice to do anything for a job(that was already established) what do you think you might choose?
hmm yes, i do. I actually did an online mentorship program for a bit.. but its difficult to enjoy when you dont chat with the person one on one and see and feel them for yourself. this may be different than what you were thinking of, but I did go through a some what of a phase wanting to be a therapist or life couch.. but it only takes care of one of the qualities i like, and really misses the mark on a lot of others
lol, i hate that question! there are just TOO many endless possibilities!
and the realistic part of me comes out and lays my "flaws" on the table
things that I fear I may not be able to do as well as i hope
.. and here comes the perfectionist in me
of those things, what have you tried?
eitherway, getting enjoyment from the idea of things is completely separate from that of actually enjoying what you think you might
hmm im not sure if i have ever fully put myself out there. and YES i comepletely agree with that statement, which is really waht scares me
my thought is: what if i just like the idea of this or that
i love physics myself. have a tough time with higher level math but love physics. Everything about it - would I ever try to teach it or take it further without needing to - no.
or what if i THINk it will be this way
so that tells you immediately that if there is an idea of something you think you might like then you need safely(finanically speaking) introduce yourself to it
yes, so thats why i try to find something that has qualities that move me and drive me
and not so overtly this or that
ok, so lets see if i usually go about this correctly: I think about what I may encapsulate the qualities that I love (which in itself is difficult to realize) and then see if it works given what you know about yourself
how does the rest work itself into the equation?
do you have reasonable expectations about each of these different things?
by that i mean
do you expect that you will simply love every single thing about every single thing?
hahah, no not at all. maybe even the opposite. I fear that i may get myself into something that I thought i might enjoy and then losing interest or realizing it wasnt me at all, or that i still feel a void
and losing what i did have, or might have had, in the process
thats actually part of just getting into hobbies
or even the thought that i wasnt as awesome as i thought i was -- that i simply "cant" do it
well then you have to keep boundaries - both from a motivational and financial standpoint(because certain hobbies are mega expensive) but also from an interest standpoint
especially because you have a fulltime job, which presumably you can 'leave work at work'
let me use photography as an example
i fell in love with this purely out of accident
i work alot with cars( where my formal edu was physiology) and part of this job is documenting what I do so i have it for records but also so that I can show prospective clients what changes I can make to their vehicles and the benefits this work has in the long run to preserving a vehicle
i only started to like it when i realized how i could capture what my actual eyes saw but finally through the camera
this then turned into a love for anything related to photography
until i realized how terrible i was at taking pictures of anything that wasnt actually a car
i cant take pictures of people for the life of me
buildings, flowers, animals
im awful at building the look of a pleasant photograph when i thought "Ok so i can take pictures of work well, it must simply just transfer over"....and it didn't
where im going with this is, to get better at taking better looking photographs i had to actually put in the effort to realize what went into landscape photography, people photography, motion photography. But I knew immediately that i enjoyed it even though i was terrible that it wasn't what i thought it would be
so with everything you know youre interested in or at least enjoy the idea of
its really important that you take the time outside of work, or as youre relaxing to actually figure out what goes into it before deciding if you want to pursue it further
thinking about the "idea" of it does nothing but make you more apprehensive to trying it
if you try something and you hate it immediately - thats cool, at least you know you hate it immediatley
but if you don't actually pursue some things to see if you like or don't like or are impartial to them you will simply never know
so when all of these summate into what would be a career - just like a multifaceted job, you have to know what is going to go into each piece of that.
yes, ive been attempting to do eactly that, using my spare time to explore other interests.. but then i land in the mother of all quarter-life crisis problems: i have too many interests to stay on task.
even when i tell myself: okay, pick two interests and work on them, my mind goes wild
clarify what task this is though - work? Or outside of work?
oh outside of work
things i want to develop and maybe link to a career one day
or just simply interests
to keep me sane :)
of course :)
of the things you want to develop into a career, do you get genuine enjoyment out of them
and of these other things you are interested in, like the design and creative outlet part - would any of these actually benefit you in your current job?
oh yea. i mean, i havent quite found concrete interests (if that makes sense?) to even develop into hobbies. ok let's take for example the WNYC radioshow called radiolab (not sure if you've heard of it) basically its a melting pot of all these amazing things: philosophy, sociology, art, music, science, psychology, etc... these guys create a new approach to learning, not only through these talks (and analyzing the material), but by creating an awesome soundscape through music and, well, sounds that one of the co-hosts creates. I would want to create this TYPE of melting pot too!
and to answer your question...
i suppose there is some room for creativity. I am responsible for optimizing our ads (whether in look, copy, concept, etc..)
realistically I am usually flooded with making due (making sure I get through my other responsibilities) that I dont really have much time to get really creative
and even then, the parameters are really narroq
that i can work with
it seems that what already works is what works, and the changes that i DO end up making are so minor
that it ends up being mechanical for me
im way more conceptual, and while my boss allows for that, realistically, i am not sure how much it applies
but then again, maybe i just dont know yet
the firm youre at, are they strictly for marketing to this particular group?
or are there other areas that might allow you to expand
no, i work on the advertising team at a tech company (a dot.com)
there is only one product (essentually) so not much that i can advertise
just making slight changes to advertise that one thing
i can understand this from both your perspective but also the company perspective
yea of course
I think no matter what is that you have expressed you have ideas of interests that at face value "look" to be interesting but from what you have mentioned you are concerned those interests might not even be that enjoyable
waht you also mentioned a few lines up is that you dont have the time to dive into 90 million different interests but that some of these other things could be (potentially) considered for a career or part of a career
am i on point so far?
correct me otherwise
yea, that seems right
so obviously you need a career, no matter what.
you also have a strong interest in what could be a self-made career
what i think you should do is this
get a piece of paper
write 1 or 2 words down for each thing, be that a hobby, interest, potential career facet
then assign an arbitrary number of 1 through 4 to them. 1 being ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO TRY
4 being - no thanks, XXXXX XXXXX happens it happens
all split up equally
so if you had 24 "things"
you can only have 6 4s
this doesn't need to be done during our chat
ah ok got it
im thinking as a exercise to help you see what you really sorta want
but on paper so your brain doesnt boil
yes of course
the next part could be the same thing but deciding WHICH of those "interests" could absolutely be a career
versus what could be a fun time thing
like for me photography, im awful at it but i love it
so i know i would go broke trying to do it
but i just LOVE it but i also use it for work
yes, and for me jazz as performance is definitely a hobbie
OK thats perfect
so you know that listening, playing, writing is probably going to be a part of your life
but you know that right now, a career in jazz or performing arts is not priority
to some extent, but not as a career for sure
now whats another example
of soemthing that pops in your head
just like that jazz did
yes... and sorry for lagging this whole question... but what about those careers that im not sure exist? we've all heard of journalists OR composers, but who would have thought of creating a radioshow that integrates both of these? does this question make sense to you?
no apologies needed, im here to help
and yes it makes sense
one of things you may actually fall into, or may actually come up with is what that actual career might be
that custom melting pot career
actually let me side track really quick - get a journal - anytime something pops into your head, write it down so you can move on.
ok so back on track - i think you are eventually going to develop a hobby or interest into a part of what will become that career
i think its really important that if you are seeking the idea of the non traditional career that you actually explore the things you are interested
i would be willing to bet radiolab comes from all different backgrounds, i would imagine they probably didn't really just randomly come up with the idea of finding other things and creating this fusion
your concerns of the "what ifs" of all the things that interest you at face value really need to be explored, tried, looked in to.
actually just think of it like your basic 4 person band
vocals, bass, guitar, drums
each person can probably read music
each might be able to play the other instruments
but they are a band, because of their strong suites and weaknesses all working toward goal
same with a handyman
he has a solid large set of skills, supported by a large tool box with the appropriate tools
he/she is able to fix a myriad of household issues because of the experience and the tools that have been developed
see where i am going with this?
when you assign the values to your interests, its really important you start to weed out the things you deem "unnecessary" so you can focus on the essentials that have to be there
you keep your journal for your own ideas
but you also keep working at your current job because that is actually skill building
if nothing else, you are picking up the marketing nuances for a product in an already established community and can apply that toward your own marketing
(and paying the bills and funding a future project :))
YUP! this i totally get. ok so before i accept your (very very much appreciated answer) I just want to reiterate: write down all the things i like, hobbies, whatever moves me, then lump them into subgroups, then work on those intersts and in the process shift towards what you like more (weeding out what i deem unneccesary)
of course all while keeping my job
and if i cant stay focused on the interest (because i want too much all at once)... try to pick less subgroups to stay on task? not sure if it works this way...
Well we know the facts right? 1.You know you have a good job in a tough time. 2. You know you have a lot of different interests and potential hobbies that might be a part of your life but also that you want to at the very least, know more about.
So to keep yourself organized you create a list to be able at least get on paper what you want to try, what you want to keep in your life(Jazz for example) and then what you immediately recognize as either not needed, or (once you try it) a "dislike". Then you can begin to make that list smaller and smaller and chances are by then you will have already started to develop some of the traits and interests that you will eventually turn into your idea of the "melting pot"
Also after that you know that by developing your skills and likes, that the ACTUAL idea of what you might turn into your self employment will probably start to be formed or developed.
But in the meantime, we can both agree that your job pays your bills and gives you secure income to enjoy your hobbies and interests while more importantly getting you set up for furthering your career, your networking and building your marketing skills for when you actually take that "melting pot" step
the numbers you assign to each task are just so you have a visual representation and a category that is concrete so you know how important it is (on paper) without having to think about it over and over.
yes, well thanks again for allowing me to drag this quesion :) I never understood how these psych/ life coaching type questions worked on JustAnswer -- they could last forever!
the length of time isn't important, getting a solid understanding on how you cab begin to organize your groups of interests and enjoyment so you can actually build your skills without over thinking it is whats important
its my pleasure to assist you
did it help?
yes it did! I feel much more on point and am more certain that I am going about things in the right manner. Thanks again, and please keep up the excellent work!
Thank you very much - if i helped please remember to press accept and leave some positive feedback
do you have any other questions?
of course. I will let the JA guys know. For now I think i'm question free. i'l take that first step, and very likely ill have questions then :)
Well I will be here to assist again - as another person who took that step into a different career. Just remember you can request me if you wanted to work with me again
great! good to know