Summer feels like it's slipping away far too quickly and today I'm feeling stuck.
Do you ever just replay questions or problems over and over in your mind until you make yourself sick? When there is no right answer, and the answer is truly just that you have to choose, how do you get unstuck?
More and more over the past year, I've been experimenting with how to reframe situations, questions, and problems. I've even been told that I have a knack for it. But let me tell you, it is so much easier to reframe for someone else. How do you pull back enough to even see the frame you're stuck in?
Invisibilia talked about the role of people's frames of reference in last week's episode and then a friend gave me a copy of So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love for my birthday. I've just started the book but essentially the thesis is that "follow your passion" is terrible career advice. Sure, I get it. Plenty of people have careers they love but wouldn't necessarily call their passions.
But what about me? I do have a passion. I thought as I read the first chapter with some skepticism.
I've flip flopped quite a bit over the past year on whether I should take a purpose or function driven approach to my job search. I dabbled with the function-driven but quickly found that the function I'd chosen didn't keep my interest enough. The purpose-driven search felt so much better. More comfortable. More like me.
But it's also really hard.
And I often feel like I'm swimming in purpose-driven circles.
And now what about all the other factors at play with career choices? Geography, lifestyle, ambition.
And now I'm feeling a bit queasy again.
So how about a reframe? This is not The Choice. A choice is just a choice. And the good news is that you're probably the only one who truly cares about that choice apart from a close partner. I mean, your friends and family care but not in a judgmental way (right?). They may have opinions, but, as they say, "opinions are like assholes, everybody has one."
So this summer I've been trying to keep track of what I genuinely enjoy doing (knowing that I won't enjoy everything 100% of the time, of course) and what is super not my jam (not just hard, but something I don't want to be a part of my day-to-day work). And instead of worrying about whether my next job is the right one with just the right amount of everything and is also super impactful and also makes everyone nod and say to themselves "yes, that was The One," I could just reframe this whole thing.
The next job is just a choice, and a bunch of different things inform that choice. I might make the choice and wonder later what I was thinking (this is, perhaps, inevitable). Again, something to marvel at and then move on to my next choice. Humans are terrible at predicting the future, especially our future happiness, so why on earth would I try? Just choose that choice and keep on going.