Safe to say, most of us have been asked the big looming question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” before the age of 7. Sure we can easily criticize the poser of the question for asking this too soon in one’s life but is that really an issue? Living in a day and age where technology is revolutionizing itself before our eyes — there is perhaps no point in asking children the big looming question. Not only is it too soon for a child to have pre-established ideas of what they need to be passionate about but jobs exist today that didn’t exist just a decade ago.
Gone are the days where one person was only meant to do one thing. [Click to Tweet!]
As the fickle creatures we truly are, there is no surprise that we have the tendency to proclaim our love for one career — only to wind up hating it and moving on to another one. And to be fair, that’s why we’re given more than one chance to get it right. Because how are we supposed to know whether or not we’re actually passionate about something before trying it? No expectations formed from a single job description will ever match exactly with what the job is really like. Things just aren’t as you first imagine them to be.
There is fear that the technology revolution will make jobs disappear. Since we are stuck to old assumptions about pursuing one career we forget that these jobs are being replaced by new ones. Ones that we too can have if we were willing to re-educate ourselves. Of course education doesn’t always have to be tied to the bureaucratic system that made up nearly 2 decades of our early lives. If anything, learning from reading every book, talking to people in the industry and attending very event takes a heck of a lot more energy than going back for another degree.
If selling ourselves to employers has become increasingly important to answering the modern day version of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the need for us to: define what we want, test out the waters and steer onto a whole new course free of obstacles is essential. With the overwhelming number of passionate people setting out to fix problems through start-ups, workplace models are rapidly changing. What are the chances of your start-up finding success like Google or Instagram you say? I’ll say we’ll all have a better chance if only we treated ourselves more like start-ups. Selling ourselves is one thing, but it’s another to be able to identify and make changes before diving into disasters head on.
Here are the days we can give the most interesting answers to the question: “What do you do for a living?” [Click to Tweet!]
You’re miserable. You claim that today is just “one of those days”.
On occasion you feel like you’ve reached a dead-end. Just you and your sad desk lunch at work –day-in, day-out. There you are loving the city you live in, but it’s producing bills you can’t afford. You’re thankful for the fact that you aren’t unemployed, but your current job is taking you nowhere. You’re frustrated but you stay put.
What do you blame? The circumstances? The economy? How about yourself?
Blaming yourself is perhaps the worst. While it seems to be appealing as a result of having no physical demands –it drains you. Mentally you’ve all been programmed by social norms to take disappointment hard and reflect on mistakes. Emotionally you want reassurance that you’re headed the right direction. It’s one thing to reflect upon mistakes but another to dwell on bad memories.
The self-inflicted pain needs to stop before anything else. You don’t have to look for something to blame. Certainly not yourself. Because in reality, does it really matter so much how your circumstances came to be when your misery is being prolonged?
So if you’re having “one of those days” consider this the sign you’ve been looking for. I hear your distress and want to help make your day better.
Before you know it “one of those days” will become “one of those weeks”, “one of those months”, “one of those years”. No one ever says it because we realize our time is limited. The thought of having “one of those years” is too overwhelming to bear. There just aren’t that many years.
So be honest with yourself. Having “one of those days” is for your recovery, not mulling over the bad memories and extending your own misery.
Awhile ago I wrote on 5 Reasons To Love The Job You Love To Hate. Since then I’ve had 2 interviews and here are some thoughts on interview questions as a result of recent experience:
- Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years? A lot of the times when you get asked this question as the interviewee, you’ll feel the need to make up some amazing answer to make it seem like you have some direction in your life. While you take the time to say relatively positive things like, “Working for your company!” or “Going back to school for my graduate degree!”, you actually wonder if you’re going to be living in a shack in 10 years because of how bad the economic times are. Okay, so I know our answers are supposed to show the potential employer where we see our careers to be headed but… most of us just haven’t got a clue.
- If you could be any ingredient in a salad what would you be? I’m guilty of asking this one while conducting an interview myself but my only intention was to lighten the otherwise tense atmosphere. Aside from this however, I see no meaningful reason for questions like these to be asked. Perhaps for laughs (I hope) because I’ve never given great answers for these types of questions. How about: “I WANT TO BE THE OLIVE BECAUSE PEOPLE HATE ME –SO I’D NEVER BE EATEN!” Brilliant. Creative. Totally shows that I’m fit for the job!
- What is your greatest weakness? There are really only 2 options when attempting to answer this question. Either you want the job or you don’t. Given you do want this job, you may start going on about a weakness completely irrelevant to the job (or otherwise flaunting how you’re just
too much of a perfectionist sometimes). If you tell them a weakness directly relevant to the job… well, you’re not getting it and I’m not too sure why you’re at the interview anyway. Essentially, this question needs to be reworded because no one is ever going to talk about a weakness relevant to the job even if they had one.
Being young and soon to be unemployed I’m already feeling the pressures of swimming in financial debt. Today was my third to last full day of work and I couldn’t help but wonder where I could possibly go from here on out in this job market.
Looking back, as much as many of us fail to appreciate sitting in an isolated cubicle sifting through papers or flipping some hamburgers on a Saturday morning shift (often times complaining about work)… there are certainly things we got out of these jobs early in our careers as “young adults”, right?
- You learned to fake being mature. Depending or where you’ve worked early on in your career, most often than not you had some significantly older co-workers. Perhaps they saw you as a child. Perhaps you felt the need to find relevant topics of conversation to gain their respect. Tough going being young and an adult at the same time. Faked it until you made it.
- The bills were paid on time. You paid the damn bills. Need I say more?
- One more experience to slap on that resume. Because more jobs mean more diverse experiences, meaning you’ll more likely be hired the next time around right? Because somehow flipping hamburgers or operating the dish washing machine behind some fast food franchise can magically be come transferable skills on your resume.
- Your boss/the customer is always right. Provided you kept the job or wanted to keep the job, I’m guessing you learned this point quite well.
- Even the worse job has something to teach you. Learn these lessons well. Maybe you realized what you didn’t want to do for the rest of your life. Perhaps you discovered how to deal with the toughest of people. I for one, discovered that given the choice, I wouldn’t want to be holding a 9 to 5 office job sitting in a cubicle (some people may call this ideal or dead-end depending on your perspective). So, while we do mourn over the early shifts and harsh managers there is a load to gain after all.