Up in the Air – And That’s Ok – Evaluating Your Career Path

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I’m a bit of a worry wart. Ok, honestly, my name should really be Worrisome Wendy. I fret about anything and everything. One area that constantly drives me crazy and spins my anxiety into full swing, is “the not knowing” part of things, one of which is the big daunting question “What Are You Doing With Your Life?” Eek! I feel my inner voice hiding in a cave every time someone asks me what I do for a living, where I plan to be, what I want to do, the list drags on. The truth is, I don’t know right now. I’m not a fully formed human yet (Yes, I stole that line from Girls HBO, it’s just too perfect. Anyone else a fan!?), I’m still exploring the world around me, as well as myself.  I know there’s a woman inside me waiting to take over the universe, but she still needs the tools, and the confidence, to get there.

Our twenties are designed for experimenting and exploring. We’re supposed to make mistakes. Sure, it’d be nice if we knew exactly what we wanted to do with our lives the moment we entered this world, but that’s not possible. Yea, it’d be great if we landed our dream job straight out of college.  But that doesn’t happen to everyone; and it’s not meant to.

For the longest time I thought I wanted to work in the field of Public Relations. I had PR internships all through college and started my first real PR job when I was a Junior. When someone has an inspiring story, it should be told, and it’s exciting to be able to help them with that endeavor.  In reality, the work days are long, filled with stressful situations and feelings of failure.  Bottom line, it’s a numbers game. How many hits were you able to secure for the client, and were they happy with them?

What will my life be like ten years from now if I choose to stay in this field? Can I cope with the stress; should anyone have to? I look at my seniors and executives, chained to the office with stress and last minute midnight emails to clients. How important are these ASAP requests, really; enough to cancel on family and close friends when they have a special event?

Take ten to fifteen minutes tomorrow at the office, analyze your work environment and your current career path. If you can look at your seniors and say “that’s the life I want for myself” then work harder and push forward. If not, it’s time to rethink.

I am lucky for making it in this industry on the ground floor. However, I find myself daydreaming about writing, not just writing pitches, not writing for clients, but writing for myself. For now, while I’m not ready to leave PR and commit 100% to taking my writing more seriously, I do know that I would like to spend more time exploring it.

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All photos taken by Alida Bigham. Please head over to her personal website and Flickr to check out more awesome photos!

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