Welcome to Love Your Career Month

Leandra Medine | March 1, 2016

Careers-Month-Man-Repeller-Feature-(update)

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.

love-your-career-bar

  • I’d like to see interviews with other members of the MR team about why they love their own career & how they got into it. Also advice on how to start start freelancing which is different from the usual ‘send your articles to online magazines etc’.

    • Leandra Medine

      WHAT A GR8 IDEA.

  • Really looking forward to this, and it has come at a perfect time in my life where I am evaluating my job (or is it a career?) and what I want to get out of it and what I want to provide in return.

    Would love to see a huge variety of people, frankly, not just those in fashion.

  • Kerrith

    I’m a hospice nurse. Specifically, I do emergency response for home hospice patients at night, so if someone’s family member or the family themselves are having a crisis I go out to support them. I love my career for so many reasons. As a hobby I love fashion, and I love this blog, but as someone who spends a lot of time driving I listen to a fair amount of podcasts. I listen to a lot of Oh Boy and of course, Monocycle. Jay does an amazing job of interviewing really inspirational women who have made a significant dent in their industry. It’s really inspired me to bring more ideas forward in my own career. It’d be great to hear from more women and men across a spectrum of industries who decided not to hold back and put ideas out there that made a difference, not unlike Man Repeller.

  • I’m a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, working part time at a non-profit magazine. I was interning for major magazine publications but there’s something about working for a non-profit that hold more intrinsic value. Q question for the MR team: What is one quality you look for above anything else in an editorial intern? Is there a trait all MR employers have that reflects the culture of Man Repeller?

  • I absolutely love the theme of the month! As a new graduate, I find that my friends and I are in a weird phase of trying to figure out what we should be doing forever – when really we should be focusing on the now. I’m really excited to read about what you have planned for the month!

    • Yvonne Dunlevie

      Kirsti! Read this old post if you haven’t already — actually helped me quite a bit when I had just graduated (which wasn’t that long ago!)

      http://www.manrepeller.com/2015/05/advice-tips-for-graduates.html

      • Thanks for sharing Yvonne! I loved that!

    • Liz

      Spoiler alert: this “weird phase” could last awhile. I don’t know of too many people at all who knew exactly what they wanted to be doing right out of undergrad. I finished college almost 12 years ago and am now having a career re-think. Don’t stress about finding your ‘forever’ career home: just get good experience under your belt and make the most of it.

      Liz
      http://www.stylishdisaster.com

  • Jessica Peterson

    How do those of us stuck in job find our way to our career? Beyond self-exploration. How do we remove the golden handcuffs that often tie us to a job (income stability, annual bonuses, health insurance, other benefits) in order to chase a career/dream that may offer less stability?

    • Olivia Peake

      YES TO EVERYTHING YOU JUST SAID

  • Alyssa Neilson

    I’d love to see advice based on how the MR team chose their specific career paths

  • MCJ

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time! More often than not, I’m told we don’t end our careers where we started, moreover we might not even be in the same field in the next 7 years. I get anxious at the thought and would love to hear whether people’s first jobs may have derailed them or was a useful experience.

    • Aggie

      YES! I would love the answer to the question (with real examples) on how can I make it into an industry I currently do not have experience it but a huge passion for/knowledge-or am I stuck forever with the past experiences I have?

      • MCJ

        Literally where half my anxiety lies! Couldn’t have posed the question better than that.

  • I’d like to read some musings on how you figure out how to best contribute to a field through a career or hobby. I am so torn by my diverse interests that I reconsider my career path, literally, on an almost-weekly basis. One day I want to be an ecologist, the next I want to be a costume designer. I’m like the guy in the 100-Year-Old Man who has 98 credits and no degree.

    How do you say, ‘this thing is so important to me that I’m willing to dedicate most of my waking hours to it’? Or, ‘I’m ok with taking this stable job that isn’t really what I was hoping for but it’s at least something’? And related, how do you deal with working a shit job if you can’t make money at your dream career right now? I think we really fucked ourselves (collectively, as a society) with the idea of only following your passions or dreams, because at the end of the day, someone has to be doing the hard, necessary, practical work. But I also feel like people who do this work deserve to not dedicate THEIR entire lives to this work if they don’t also feel fulfilled by it.

    Man, work is a touchy subject for me. I’m looking forward to this month.

    • Leandra Medine

      Lisa! I talk a lot about paragraph two here in Monocycle — have you listened yet!

  • I can’t wait for some of the material you guys will come up with!

    I’m in the first job of my career, and while I love it, it’s hard thinking about when you should jump to the next step. How long is too long to stay at your first career-related job in an era of workers jumping from company to company every three years?

  • Paniz

    Dear Leandra,

    I would like to know about team building. I believe that having a great team of people with the same vision will lead to a successful business. Finding committed like minded people, is the hardest part. Also representing your work and vision for others to join is very important as well. To share your values, and the worth of the work your trying to do is another hard step. I would greatly appreciate if you can share your thoughts on how to build a team, how to spot the fit people for your vision, and how to represent your vision and show its real value. Thank you for your time and help <3

  • Abigail Hanson

    So excited for this theme! Just tore through the work issue of th NYT magazine, and in my own work life this could not be more timely. I’d love to hear from you guys/discuss about the challenges of impostor syndrome/striking the balance between taking on more responsibility vs feeling overwhelmed and unprepared.

    I am a 26 yr old lead in a tech company and we are growing so fast. It’s an amazing experience but also feels like I am constantly figuring things out as I go. How have other people figured this out? How much commitment to your job is too much? How do you navigate work and life in your 20s so that you set yourself up for success in your 30s? I have so many questions, and I feel like there are definitely others like me on this site!

  • Terresina Polizzi

    I’d like to hear about how you started in your careers at MR. As a hairstylist of eight years I feel like I’ve gotten to where I wanted to be in the beauty industry and feel unfulfilled. I am now in school for creative writing, and am so excited about potentially starting something new, but am afraid to leave a job I’m paid well to do. What jobs did you do while in school that aligned with where you wanted to be once you were finished?

  • Anna

    I’d like to hear about ways to improve future career moves through volunteer or consultancy positions while still at my current job – I know I need to change jobs in the next year, but what can I do in the meantime to set myself up for something even better?

  • Thorhildur

    I’d like to see people reflect on their college selves, what would they do differently? Is it really always going to be ok in the end? HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE YOURSELF IN COLLEGE?

    • Leandra Medine

      Of course it is always going to be okay in the end.

    • alexiada

      Oh my God! I am 27 and when I think at my college self, I would totally do everything differently!!!
      I guess that if you have dreams, try to dream even bigger, so big that you’re scared of them, and have courage to action! It’s never ever too late to change something!

  • Sujie Kim

    It would be so neat to see people in fields that people don’t realize could actually be a career. I work in higher education as staff at a university, and its weird because obviously people need to work at a university for it to run, but didn’t realize for a long time that it was even an option!

  • Lisa

    The path i am on now in college is not for a career i think I will be particularly excited about ever. but I see the value in a job with stability and hope that when I get there, I will be able to learn more and move out into a career I will be passionate about, with a back up in place. I am just scared that once I have any decent paying job, I’ll be too lazy to do anything else lol.

    • Lisa

      love that you included the video, had musical accompaniment whilst reading the comments 😀

    • G

      When I started school I was a single parent concerned about financial stability and security for my cute kiddo. When I graduated I was a single parent worried about money, time with my kiddo and having enough left over for great clothes and a little bit of travel. Time moved forward and I acquired a husband, a daughter and a mortgage. Goodbye great clothes and travel hello trying to afford the life I made for myself. I locked myself into a job I hated. I am a nurse, I love being a nurse (my career) I hated the job. I was miserable because I was sure it would all fall apart if I stopped earning at my greatest earning potential. I fell apart instead. I hit a place where I felt like I had nothing to look forward to. No amount of money is worth that. I got out. It was really hard and involved refinancing a house and ruining my credit score for a while… And it was so worth it. I make less but I’m happy. I have time for dance classes and my kids. I feel like I have options again. I’m going back to school and I will never fall into that “money is everything” trap again. Going through being without a job and being broke taught me to budget like no ones business and count my damn blessing too. Do what you love (or at least like) the rest will follow.

      • Paniz

        thank you for sharing this comment, I never get this advice any where, every one tells us that money is everything these days.
        And it just feels as if I have exchanged my soul for it, doing something I don’t enjoy. Now I am trying hard to get back to those things I loved the most.. your comment was so heart warming to me.. the world needs more people like u! <3

      • Lisa

        I can see where you are coming from, growing up, my mom was laid off twice and it really affected her and I knew she was scared about how she would provide for our family. I understand why she pushes me towards a more stable career but sometimes I feel like I am paying a greater price for it. I am glad you are doing better now 🙂

  • Jess

    Great idea. I have a few friends who are approaching 30 and feel “stuck” in their current jobs … I think it would be inspiring to hear stories from people who have changed their career path around this age or later in life. The realities of going back to study (often working two jobs and scaling back lifestyle choices) vs. the satisfaction of pursuing something you love … And how on earth you get the courage to do it in the first place.

  • Oooohhh I like. I would love to hear from women who have successfully changed career paths. Or more specifically moved to completely different industries. I always wonder if I’ll be an engineer forever (if you’re looking to chat with one, hit me upppp) or move on to something completely different, so I would love to read about anyone’s experience who has done that!!

  • Lee

    I’m a digital strategist who specialises in social media, so I’ve got the one-two punch of working for myself AND working in an industry that didn’t exist 5 years ago. I’d love to see something about ending up in a job you didn’t expect, because that is 100% where I am at. I’m graphic design educated, and never saw myself here, but I love it immensely and want to punch younger me in the face for having such linear dreams about how careers work.

    • Leandra Medine

      Can totally sympathize with this — it’s very true of Man Repeller, too! None of the people who work between these four walls would have been able to do this job 5 years ago, so there’s really no “model” to look to, as we’re kind of creating it. But that’s the blessing and the curse, right? Because if we dream big enough (and I do think we all have it in us), we’ll find that we’re actually creating the molds

  • Despite what Denisse said, I would like to see examples of people from the Fashion Industry: Both entrepreneurs, and big companies vp’s for example. I’d love to see what happened to them to make the jump from normal jobs to super jobs, and how did they matched family life with career… As we are women, I think that this is an interesting topic 🙂

    Check out what makes a Fashion App success at my latest post!!
    http://www.mgluxurynews.com/posts

    Bests!!

  • Georgia Booth

    ooh this is exciting and EXACTLY what I am looking for as I am in my last semester of university. I would just love to hear about interesting women doing interesting things that they love, not necessarily exclusively from the fashion industry too.
    I would also really like to know what makes you stand out as a candidate for both interns and jobs and how you make that step from intern to full-time paid worker.
    Although, no matter what you do I know it will be incredibly interesting and well-executed like everything on Man Repeller.

  • Dear Leandra,

    thank you for opening this new Pandora box topic.
    How do you specifically as being in the Boss position, have the capability to economically estimate the intelligence property given by collaborators? And how you can understand that your collaborators are not agreeing with you (and your ideas) just to be under the great light of the good employee (that so-called gaga’s poker-face)?
    Have you ever questioned yourself “are you a good boss and how a good boss should look like”? Don’t you ever feel guilty towards those candidates that really would love to be in your team, but will never have the chances? Cause you pretty know that sometimes luck is on the lost opportunities. Which is the career path of a MR employee, starting from scratch? How a good MR employee should look like? How relevant age is for choosing a candidate @MR?
    Why (which) are the motivations that MR employees leave the place, if they leave? Which is a normal day of a MR employee? How many dept do you have? How many people you currently have?
    If you would start MR today do you think is going to be successful as it was when you started? Don’t you think that mostly the success of the company is determined by the momentum circumstances?
    I know I am practically being boring with all these questions but, finally, how did you deal with the finance when MR started, how you were able to support and maintain your company? Were there any economical help support?
    Thank you in advance.

    abdsign.blogspot.com

  • V

    How to revive boring jobs which you possibly liked in the beginning. There is growth, but not like crazy growth. How is it possible to keep work life healthy? You know you’re in the right place, but some times long patches are dull. How do people deal with this?

  • Liz

    I don’t love my career in employee benefits (been at it for 10 years), which is why I put in my 2 week notice on Monday and am taking a break, then going to Colombia in June to teach English for the rest of the year. Been wanting a sabbatical for a long time and am finally doing it. PUMPED.

    Liz
    http://www.stylishdisaster.com

  • Kit

    As a college student, I feel so lost when it comes to the idea of a “career”. I feel like there are a million possibilities that I’m grappling with but none that I’m sure are actually attainable. Something like “Where They Were at Age 22” would be really beneficial to those of us who are about to head out into the real world, if only for a little reassurance that it’ll all be okay.

  • Aisha

    As a freelancer who is also trying to run a small design business, I often find myself stuck in and overwhelmed by my daily to-do list which overflows into every tomorrow. With little time designated for planning the future, my ideas for growing my business mostly strike at night when my brain should be sleeping! How do you stay organized amid all inspiration and the doing? I would love to know how other women plan their long-term goals and what those calendars/planners/memo pads look like. How far in advance are we working?

  • Bird

    Hi Leandra and Team MR,
    I would like to hear from someone that did not pursue their dream career- hearing from someone that enjoys what they do, but does not place all of their cards in one basket. While you guys are awesome pioneers, this site is multi-faceted because it elaborates and discusses varied narratives here already, specifically via Oh Boy. What about someone who does not consider a “career” to be their dream, but rather as a means of importance and self-satisfaction that comes with monetary compensation? Coming from someone who has worked hard and has never wanted a lot of money, I think being realistic about career and life expectations is important. As millennials we are fed the “be your passion!” beeline that not everyone is meant to pursue. If people find their paths in a very non-vertical format, then why is this often idealistic fallacy fed to us? I’m not looking to build my life on my career. A balance between working hard in something one places value in and not allowing it consume an entire identity is something we should hear more about.

  • In college, I was so sure of what I wanted to do and now I have no. freaking. clue. Hello, 25. Articles and interviews about navigating that, and figuring it out? That’d be fab. 🙂

  • Jayne Min

    Careers + age + pregnancy/motherhood + time!

    • Megs

      This! How do people balance all of these things? I’m beginning to look at the idea of motherhood as a luxury that I need to be able to afford. As in, can I afford to take the time off of work to have a family? How do people afford a career and motherhood?

      • Leandra Medine

        I’m not a mom, but I feel like…you just make it work? The same way when you were 12 you could NEVER imagine actually sitting in a lecture hall in college AND understanding what the teacher is talking about it, then you got there and even raised your hand to answer a question! And found it wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be.

  • Megs

    Love this! Especially since I’m at the point where I’m wondering if the career path I’ve chosen is the right one or if it’s time to make a change.

  • I’d love to see how the MR employees pursued their dreams (or not) of fashion/journalism/etc. through their current jobs at Man Repeller. Working for MR (or something like it) sounds like the perfect job for me, so I’m curious to see how others did it.

  • Tonya Cross

    As a recent graduate trying to break into the fashion industry, I’d love to see a story about women finding their place and honing in on their talents. There are so many different positions and areas in our industry it can be a little overwhelming.

  • chouette

    I’m a hat designer who got my first ‘real job’ almost a year ago after working for a less serious one for 5 years. (That ‘do not disturb’ instagram hit was mine!) I’m in the middle of my first trip to the factories with my new company and realizing I’m on the career path. It’s scary to think about… I feel very happy with my job, yet terrified when I hear about the people that have been with my company for 13, 22, 32 (!) years!!! How do you stay in one place so long? I left my old job because the years were starting to run together and it scared me. Also they payed like crap.

  • l:ly

    i would love to know how people find jobs??? i feel the internet is such a great tool but my dad is always harping on me to cold call people on the phone and ask. what do you guys do???

    • Leandra Medine

      SEND EMAILS OFTEN
      TO
      EVERYWHERE
      EVER