Dating your career.
Emma's Notes #48
I’m starting a new series here today. It’s called ✨dating your career✨. I know the stars are my generation’s signature sign of irony, but I’m dead serious.
I want to share my two cents on how to design your own career. And I’ll do that through the metaphor of dating. Because I decided to work immediately out of high school, I have more work experience than most of my friends. So whenever one of my friends asks me to leverage this experience and help them out - I feel super happy to give them my two cents.
A few weeks ago I was calling a dear friend and she pointed out to me that I explained everything through the metaphor of dating. I laughed and confessed that this is how it works in my brain.
Dating and career development have always been similar in my head. Funnily enough, I use romantic love to explain work to my friends, but in my head, it’s the other way around. I understand dating through the way I think about work.
I have never found dating very intuitive. To be honest, I’ve found it quite challenging.
Dating and career development are two domains in which there seems to be a ‘playbook of rules’. Just like we keep repeating, telling, and buying into the cisgender, heterosexual, monogamous, ‘without you my life is incomplete’ Disney love - we also keep devouring stories of people that have found a shortcut to success.
In reality, however, there is no one way to succeed in either one of those domains. Success in the world of love and the world of work is whatever that is to you. And that is very freeing and very scary at the same time because it gives you responsibility.
Now, in the world of work, I’ve decided to make my own reality and work for myself. The lessons I learned from that experience, I can now use in a domain that is a lot more vulnerable - that of dating.
This week’s topic - figuring out what kind of relationship you want.
We are living in both college graduate season as well as the great resignation. So, a lot of people are looking for a job. But saying you want a job is basically the same as saying you want to be involved with somebody in some way, without specifying what you want that relationship to look like.
What do you actually want?
Casual sex with a bunch of people?
A monogamous committed relationship revolving around seeing the world together?
A monogamous committed relationship building towards having/adopting children?
A polyamorous relationship?
An open relationship?
To explore being single?
You don’t know and you just want to see where it goes?
I believe that in the world of work, there are concepts similar to each of these options:
Casual sex with a bunch of people?Doing a bunch of freelance gigs to try out different types of fields of work. A monogamous committed relationship revolving around seeing the world together?Becoming employed at a company where you have a clear vision of how you can grow professionally in that business. A monogamous committed relationship building towards having/adopting children?Starting a company, or getting employed at a company where you can get shares. A polyamorous relationship?Working multiple part-time jobs. An open relationship?Working a job 3/4 days a week and having time the rest of the week to work on your own projects. To explore being single?Take a sabbatical, follow a course, and commit to self-directed learning for a while. You don’t know and you just want to see where it goes?Just take any opportunity that comes across to earn money and gain experience.
I think before spending your time applying for jobs, you need to figure out in which way you would like to generate income. Because all the above scenarios are valid ways to sustain yourself. And all of them can offer you a sense of purpose. You just have to ask yourself which type of relationship is worthwhile for you to pursue. And be honest with yourself.
More next week.
Have a great day,