There is a profound difference between holding a job and being in a career. The former insinuates activity that is much more transactional — the exercise of fulfilling tasks that are assigned to you, and then being compensated accordingly. But the latter infers a far more emotionally complex and symbiotic relationship — a lifestyle choice to fill the hours that occupy your version of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with activity that is satisfying and fulfilling, which often gets to the root of our consistent pursuit to feel good and be happy.
When it comes to defining the character traits that will make up your career, there are overwhelming variables at play. And just like with applying to colleges, you’re often conditioned to believe that this decision will change the rest of your life. You assume you’re jumping in for the long haul, and often you are, but at a baseline level, that can make you feel like you really need to know yourself. And that’s hard.
It takes some people forever to get to that state of self-awareness and if you, like me, pride yourself on an uncanny ability to adapt to the environment around you and thus change as the zeitgeist progresses, where does that leave us? How do we find happiness, steadiness and fulfillment in a career?
Enter Love Your Career month — part therapy session (we’ll be asking what you love most about what you do, and why you do what you do), part informational (looking to clean up your resume? Have a question about how to Break In? We’ve got you) and part journalistic inspection of some very successful names across a board range of industries, we aim to get to the bottom of what it takes to achieve occupational delight. Maybe the experiences of others will help chisel out what you like to do. Or maybe you have it figured out already! Seeing as it is International Women’s Day on March 8th, at the very least, this theme will celebrate a shit ton of the great female figures who move the needle.
It’s going to be fun, but only if we do it together, so do get involved in the comments below by sharing with us what you’d like to see, in addition to what we’ve prepared, published over the next 30 days. Like Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and that manufactured high school gym with its back up dancers et al, we’re all in this together.
Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis.