Recently, I spoke to a 30 year old who felt like she was “behind” because she didn’t know what she wanted to do for a career. In our conversations, I think that she doesn’t see herself as a success. Never mind that she is successful by the standards of two-thirds of the world. She has been a homeowner for five years, has a solid marriage, and is the mother of two healthy, fun loving kids. She has a stable job, a winning smile and excellent health.
When I was that age, I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had been a babysitter, egg collector, a meat packager. I waitressed in classy restaurants and dive-y holes in the wall. Creative venues ranged from silk screening t-shirts to packing small explosives for a drug dealer (I didn’t know that at the time.) There were the grueling hours of retail, and the high-paying gigs with short hours as a popular caricaturist. Then, having moved for the thirtieth or thirty-first time, I took a couple of nightmarish factory jobs and a soul-draining term in collections. For years I kept some artistic side hustle going. It would be at least another ten years, and at least four (?) more jobs until I finally figured out “my dream job.”
Until then, becoming a writer was never on my radar. Yet, here I am.
The fact that I call myself a writer—and do it for a living—must have my uppity high school teacher and second-semester English prof spinning in their graves.
Life is funny that way.
What does this mean for you?
It isn’t always apparent to us what our dream job looks like. Not all successful people “know from the beginning” and the people around us cannot see into the future. That last sentence is worth repeating.
The people around us cannot see into the future. If they could, I would have been accepted into every college prep English class I signed up for in high school. I would have been guided to the writing programs in college and shown the list of contests where I could enter my writing to win awards, prizes or even scholarships.
If you haven’t found your passion yet, consider trying mini-projects. Make soap, create skin care products, pour candles or write a few magazine articles. It won’t be wasted. At the very least, knowing what you don’t want to do is still progress.
I became a writer at the best possible time. The computer age! Cut and paste rewrites that didn’t mean wasting five reams of paper. Your dream job may be in the future because the need is just now beginning to grow. Whatever you do, keep your hope alive and satisfy the small curiosities as best you can.
Incidentally, if you’re interested in writing books, but you’re not sure how to begin, sign up for your free 30-minute consultation to discuss our coaching options. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Hang in there until next time!