CAREER CONFUSION

CAREER CONFUSION

health is wealth

an everyday moment:

One of the key growing pains of turning eighteen is the need to be financially responsible for my life. Until this point, I did not realise how expensive my lifestyle is and that’s not even including the additional purchases such as clothes, beauty products and accessories. It’s also at this age that the question ‘so what do you want to be?’ rears its confronting head in almost every conversation.

Whether it’s idolising a luxurious lifestyle of huge homes, multiple cars etc. etc. or intending to live comfortably, I felt the pressure to have my career planned out - believing that I must need to work my butt off into high-paying careers which are societally considered to be financially secure (doctor, dentistry, clinical psychology etc.) and assure others around me of this financially secure future.


a reflection:

But what about that in-between - the journey to getting that high paying job? From what I heard growing up, this journey is one where you do the work regardless if you want to or not - often sacrificing your mental health and physical health. It’s called hard work or climbing the metaphorical ladder. But in my opinion, hard work involves putting yourself outside your comfort zone, doing things that discomfort you but which are necessary to embodying the person or lifestyle you want to live. Society’s version of ‘hard’ work is doing work you hate/tolerate until you retire and get a nice pension, regardless of the degrading habits, beliefs, addictions you’ve inevitably developed in the years of living a life that takes the life out of you.

I used to evaluate a job based on how much it would increase my bank balance.

In the most ideal of situations, I want to be able to do what I love which brings value to other people and generates an income. I used to think that I have the most useless gifts and passions like reading, music, dance, pilates, podcast, a relentless interest in psychology and self-development and writing blogs. I still struggle with this frustration from time to time, even realising I don’t enjoy the common forms of generating income from music such as teaching. It feels easier to do the expected and pre-formed ways of doing things but usually, when you don’t vibe with the current paths available it means you’re supposed to create a new pathway.

Moreover, I resisted the thought of generating income from activities that are naturally part of my life and I which I can’t live without because it doesn’t fit in with the norms of work. I also secretly judged myself for wanting to be an influence, or only saw ‘influencer’ as a role for people with a much higher socio-economic status than me.


magic in the mundane:

Now, I evaluate jobs based on how much they accommodate my natural lifestyle. I also realise that people can be in circumstances where it’s not possible to have this kind of choice and freedom with their career. As someone who is at a career crossroads - I think it’s crucial to confess that I don’t intend on doing the conventional careers which my degree is associated with and actually feel okay with having that future be uncertain. Without my health practices and without getting to do the activities I love which keep my mental and physical health in check, I will definitely not be able to work efficiently or effectively. If my job means I can’t do pilates in the morning, that I won’t be able to sleep early, that I won’t be able to take a walk around my house and get fresh air - the money isn’t worth it. If I do take a job that doesn’t align - I’m literally saying to myself that my dream life is not possible and needs to be postponed.

The people that are role-models to me are the ones who have found a way to bring value to people and in turn make money by doing activities that light them up and that they could not live without. Incidentally, they are also the ones that are financially thriving, always evolving their services and are able to sustain this level of income (they literally could do what they do for work in their retirement). E.g. Bryony Deery, she gets paid for teaching pilates class (she gets to do pilates every morning and get paid - absolute dream), Alay Bowker- she gets paid for videoing her lifestyle and creating plans or recommending podcasts, Jenna Zoe - she gets paid for sharing her knowledge on Human Design and life in general (something that she would do regardless if she had a platform).

What’s the point of a huge bank balance if you’ve broken yourself along the way. I think it’s much more loving to yourself to choose a job that even if it isn’t glamorous and doesn’t sound good on a CV, is one that lets you live luxuriously (in terms of activities and principles and character) over a job that sounds glamorous and requires you to compromise your character. Your character, your passions, your gifts are eternal and money is something that isn’t - it will come and go and it could be gone or it could come in at any minute.

Money is something that is tangible, it’s a form of physical security and I grew up thinking that the only way to secure my lifestyle was by maximising my income. But the only way you can secure your lifestyle is by staying true to it and generating the income that you are able to in your situation. I’m not a financial expert, but personally I like to believe that doing work that brings you joy and which promotes your health is like making a good investment - it’s an avenue of wealth that can only grow because you innately want to do more of it. Compared to doing work that has high returns but is draining - that is an avenue of wealth that will pretty much die out sooner or later.

A visual glimpse into how I see it:

 


fromtheheart mantras:

  • I give myself permission to prioritise work that supports my health and doesn’t require me to compromise values/character over work that sounds glamorous on a CV

 

  • I let go of the age-old lie that hard work is doing work that drains you and tortures you and that it is the only way to generate high income
    • Think of most celebrities - they are basically doing no ‘work’ in the normal sense (they are just living their best life) and they generate a level of income that seems insane. They are also the people who paved their own pathway, like they didn’t look at someone else doing dentristy and think okay they seem to have a lot of money, let me do that. They stuck with their passions even with a low income or juggled odd jobs on the side.
    • Very rarely have these celebrities gone to the top by conforming to the ‘guaranteed’ way to make money and doing things that they didn’t want to do [our idea of work] (we’ve all heard stories of models being forced to sleep with directors to secure work etc.), The celebrities that sustain their career are the ones that do their work how they want to even if it’s not the norm, or it means they are unpopular for a brief period of time.
    • I choose to believe that only work that fulfils me will lead to a true source of money because it gives genuine value to other people. The joy, or help I provide others is ‘money’ in a sense.

 

  • I’m okay with having unfinalised thoughts about work, finance and my career, and am open to evolving and refining my views.

 

  • Instead of trying to get all the things you want so that you’ll finally be the person you always wanted to be. Just be that person now, and let the rest take care of itself.

 

  • Dreams don’t pay bills right? A job comes with a paycheck which we need, but if you lose it you can get another one. If you lose your integrity - that’s harder to get back. Cling to your dream and not your dream job - Newton Cheng

 

  • Finding ways to generate income from doing work you love can be hard, Doing work you hate even if money comes in securely is always hard. Choose your hard.

 

from, the heart <3

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.