When I grow Up

In three(ish) weeks I will turn 24. No big deal, I thought. Until I realized that meant I would be a mid-twenty-something rather than an early-twenty-something. The “early” part of my age bought me some time. Time to decide what I was doing with  my life. I don’t think that I’m old by turning 24,  I just thought I would have had more figured out by now.

I’ve been trying to determine what I wanted to be when I grew up since I was assigned an 8th grade project on the topic. And while I have ruled out many options (like teaching and working in the tuxedo business), I don’t feel like I am much closer to having a solid answer. I don’t have a dream job. I have talents and interests. I have likes and dislikes. But no dream job. There isn’t any one particular career that I want to work towards. And as a obsessive planner I find this lack of direction very discomforting.

I think that my move to Connecticut is definitely a step in the right (and by right I mean grown-up) direction. My goal is to find work that challenges me and offers room for growth (intellectually, creatively and hopefully financially).

This simple requirement opens so many possibilities for me that I seem to get lost in such an expansive job search. I’m not just looking for employment. I’m looking for me, for my professional self- Career Arikka.

While I don’t know if the new environment will help me decide what I want to do, it’s refreshing to have a new job market to comb. I just couldn’t find a good fit with Seattle opportunities. Maybe a change in location will bring a changed sense of direction.

So my dear friends and family, I need your advice. How did you find your professional identity? And if you haven’t yet, how are you coping?

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2 responses to “When I grow Up

  1. Katie

    Arikka,
    If it makes you feel any better, I’m two years older than you and still fairly directionless. But I’m not concerned in the least, because for me, there was never that one “dream job” that all my education, planning, and places of employment have been readying me for or helping me (in small subsequent steps) to attain. Like you I have many interests and a broad range of professional strengths, and I think there are many different jobs I’d find exciting, meaningful, challenging and fulfilling. I’d love to be a photographer for the AP, or work on video and documentary projects, or be a screenwriter, or be a novelist, or be a magazine editor, or do graphic design and layout, or work in broadcasting, or work with online and newspaper media, etc etc etc. I think, once you find a job that lets you explore any of your interests, you can really discover who you are professionally and figure out where you’d like to go from there… in other words, it’s a continuous journey and evolution, not a predetermined destination.

    I’m not worried about you one little bit. I think the move to Connecticut will be a good one, with much opportunity to grow personally and professional. You’ve got so many qualities that lend themselves to professional success – intelligence, work ethic, organization, tenacity, humor, competence, authenticity – and they’re so immediately obvious, that an employer would be stupid not to take you on. You just need to look for something that lets you explore some of your interests, and go from there. It’s okay not to have a dream job – I think the reason you don’t is because you can’t be pigeon holed, you’re multifaceted and broadly interesting, and professional success in whatever you choose to do or happen upon is kind of a given.

  2. arikkahall

    Katie,

    You’re a wonderful friend. I appreciate all your wisdom, kind words and constant patience with my need to plan everything out.

    And thanks for reading my blog. It’s nice to have an audience. 🙂

    Hopefully I will see your darling face very soon.

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