How do you know “what you want to be when you grow up?” Making that definitive decision is scary. What if you get it wrong? I have a recurring nightmare of waking up one day, middle-aged and miserable with the life I’ve chosen. I currently straddle the fence between following my dreams and following the money.
I was laid off in August of 2010 with only a year left of undergraduate school. It actually wasn’t the end of the world. I was miserable and thanks to my mother’s never-ending harping on financial responsibility, I had an okay cushion. At the time, I worked for a large insurance company. I was responsible for scheduling and hosting their retirement education webinars, not a bad gig (I got to work from home frequently). But I wasn’t happy.
So I took a long (and not very pleasant) look at myself, along with every aptitude/skills/personality test I could find and finally figured out I’d really like to work in the wide world of marketing (so specific – I know!). I spent the next year graduating with honors (What! What!) and securing an unpaid summer internship at an advertising and public relations firm.
During the summer of 2011 I learned quite a few things about myself; I know what I want to be when I “grow up”, I love social media (seriously, I find its constant evolution and innovative applications endlessly fascinating), and starting over in a completely new industry with no experience at almost thirty is NOT easy.
I work two jobs to make ends meet and have no health insurance. I’m not quite starving for my “art” but I’m not exactly what you’d call rolling in it. I have a long road ahead of me to get back to the pay grade I was at in my former career life but in the mean time I’m enjoying my journey and I actually love what I do.
How about you, are you happy in your current gig? Do you yearn to do something, anything else? How are you making your dreams come true?