While I was unemployed, I wrote a post where I mentioned that right now, in this crazy competitive job market, is not the best time to pursue a career change because I lack the relevant work experience I need. I also mentioned that maybe I’m not meant to work a Monday thru Friday, 9-5 office job, so maybe I should explore other unconventional career paths where I can utilize the work experience I already have. Essentially, I was thinking about giving up on pursuing a career in non-profit work.
Then one evening, while I was watching season 2 of GIRLS, I came across the episode where Marnie gets fired from her Big Girl Job. She has a hard time finding a new Big Girl Job, so instead, she gets a job as a hostess because it pays really well. When she runs into Booth Jonathan at work, she tells him her situation, to which he responds:
“I love when young people are passionate about something, and then they just give up the second they have to struggle.”
I know Booth Jonathan is a fictional character, but what he said in that episode really resonated with me. As soon as he said that to Marnie, I immediately thought, “Oh my god, I’M MARNIE! I’m giving up on pursuing a career of helping others because I got rejected for two non-profit jobs and now I’m struggling. I’m giving up on my passion.”
Since watching that episode a few weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about my current situation a lot. First of all, this isn’t the first time I’ve given up on a potential career. Second, I’m confused. Is a career in non-profit something that I really want? Something I’m truly passionate about? Or was it just a Plan B? Something else for me to pursue since I decided I didn’t want to become a teacher? And if not a career in non-profit, then what? What am I meant to do with the rest of my life?
I’m especially torn about this decision because I recently interviewed for a contracted, part-time position with a non-profit, and I have a feeling that the people I interviewed with might offer me the job this week, so I need to figure out what I want to do soon! The job is three months long, and the hours are M-F 9-1pm, so it wouldn’t interfere with my new restaurant job (i.e. my money-maker). It would be good experience, which is what I need, but it still won’t be enough to beat out the competition. And again, I don’t know if I even want this anymore. It’s not that I don’t want to help people in need; I will always be able to do that by volunteering. I just don’t want to spend the next few years getting constantly rejected for permanent full-time jobs and only qualifying for the part-time temp jobs that pay $11 an hour.
I envy people who have always known what they want to do in life– people who majored in a subject that’s actually useful (unlike English) and are actually utilizing those degrees. Sometimes I wonder if I had done that in college, I would have already started a career by now. Instead, I’ve been out of college for three years and I’m still trying to “change my major.”
Since he knows me so well, I asked Chris what he sees me doing as a career. He said aside from a career that involves helping others (like teaching or nonprofit), he said he sees me being an event coordinator for a fine-dining restaurant because of my lengthy restaurant experience, strong attention-to-detail, and love for food and wine. He also said a career that involves writing because of my English background and love for blogging. While I definitely plan to keep these career prospects in mind, I think I’m just going to take a little break from trying to figure out my career, and instead, focus on paying off my debt now that I have a job. I’m tired of being stressed out about the unknown. Plus I’d rather focus my energy on something I can control, like my finances. As for the nonprofit career path, I most likely won’t stick with it, because to be honest, I don’t want to keep struggling over something that was just a Plan B to begin with.
How did you know what you wanted your career to be? Have you always known what you wanted to do as a career? How many times did you change your major in college? Are you utilizing your degree?