Good morning SOTGC readers. Time and time again I will overhear a conversation (yes, I am an eavesdropper and spend half of my time listening to conversations going on around me) or have a direct conversation with someone who is miserable with their job. Now, let me preface this with “I am in NO way encouraging anyone to go out and quit their jobs without having a backup plan, or without REALLY thinking things through first.”
Perhaps I don’t understand the mentality of hating one’s job because I have always done what I wanted to do regardless of what people told me I should do for a living. Or perhaps because I was blessed with parents who encouraged me to find what I’m passionate about, and not settle for a job I didn’t enjoy simply because it would pay the bills (at the time I had no real bills to speak of so it was probably easier for them to make that statement then it would be now).
Before I even got to college I had decided I wanted to be an advertising executive. This was why I chose an economics major instead of philosophy or literature, and why I decided I HAD to be fluent in Spanish and French before I graduated because that would open more opportunities in that industry. After I graduated college I got an internship in an Advertising agency and quickly learned that I did NOT in fact want to be there.
So I spent a good year floundering, for lack of a better term. I tried several different jobs and each one wasn’t what I wanted. I’m the type of person that is happiest when I have set goals and am making forward progress towards achieving them. Not being able to find something I enjoyed and therefore having no clear goals was turning me into a frustrated and unhappy person.
My Mom sat me down one day and said “Marney, what do you WANT to do? Set aside that work will always have difficulties…if you could pick ONE thing that every morning you would wake up and say “I LIKE what I do”….what would that be?” We brainstormed for a bit and I came up with the fact that I loved clothing, and I liked making people feel good. So I got a job at Bebe as a sales associate, quickly decided I didn’t want to fold clothes until 1 AM every weekend, but realized that I LOVED sales. I loved the feeling I got when someone came in, needed something, and I could help them walk out of that store feeling good about themselves. They don’t call it “retail therapy” for no reason.
Flash forward nine years later and I am still in sales, but obviously in a different industry. Before I got a job with Salient Surgical I spent four years going door to door doing B2B sales with a company called DMX Music. While I quickly outgrew that sector, it taught me invaluable lessons on cold calling, concept sales versus a “me too” product, and was a perfect entry level sales job.
While there have been huge emotional ups and downs during the four years I have been in the medical industry, at the end of the day, I love what I do, I am passionate about my products, and I have learned more about people and myself in general than I could ever have imagined.
I look at my group of friends and see that (with the exception of “Alex” who is still in France) all of them love what they do. Work is always hard, there will always be hurdles to jump over, lessons to learn from, and tears will be spilled from exhaustion and frustration. However, if you look at the people in your life who are overall happy individuals, you’ll probably notice that it’s because they love what they do for a living.
I feel that it’s necessary to take breaks to recharge from work, and it’s quite normal to get stressed out and start to question what you’re doing with your life. But if you chose the right profession, at the end of the day you should truly enjoy what you do and have a “reason to get out of bed each morning.” However, if you truly assess the situation and find that you just don’t love what you do, perhaps steps could be taken to transfer to another sector of your company or find something that would make you a happier and a more productive individual.