Monday, March 7, 2011

Pursuing a “Job” or a “Career”

Last time we talked about working a full-time day job while writing. This time out, I want to speak about careers and jobs. For many of you, writing would certainly fall in one of those categories.

Let me give you a glimpse into my own life. Perhaps you can relate.

I’ve been employed in essentially the same “job” for 20+ years. There’s very little upside potential to what I do but because of poor decisions, bad timing and layoffs, I’ve found myself cornered. I’m very good at what I do but I’m also burned out and seeking more challenges.

So four years ago, I began college at the age of 40. Things were going well until my daughter’s liver issues sidetracked my family’s daily routine. Now, I’m revisiting finishing my bachelor’s degree in hopes that will provide impetus necessary to change careers.

Fast forward to today. Facing an impending layoff has driven me to focus on pursuing a new career, not just another new job. Many factors have led me to this point but I intend on being very choosy when it comes to my next position.

My definition of a career may differ from yours. I’ve come to view a career as a place I can not only utilize my gifts, talents and expertise, but where I’m tangibly contributing to the lives of others.  It’s more personal for me now. Maybe that has to do with my family’s trek through pre- and post-transplant living.

The bottom line is discovering fulfillment in what I do. Gaining a sense of satisfaction beyond just taking home a paycheck and moving through a daily routine; that’s what I’m seeking.

Now it’s your turn: whether in writing or your day job, do you have a career or a job? What would you change if you could? Are you happy where you are? Please share.

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