20something profile: Angela
Here is what I know about myself and my career thus far:
- I am a hustler. I enjoy the hunt of finding work, and I am good at it.
- I am not good at staying in one place, five days a week, 365 days a year. I am allergic or something.
- I like writing. I like reading. I like teaching. And that’s pretty much it right now.
I don’t know if it’s my generation or my own personality, but I am under the assumption that people are happiest when they spend most of their time doing something they like. I understand this makes me sound like a hippie, and I’m also scared of sounding entitled, which seems to be the typecast of my generation. But, I really would tell younger people, even in this economic climate, to follow their dreams. If there isn’t anything worth chasing after, and eventually fighting for, then what are you doing?
As a side job, I write for a local newspaper, and I spotlight restaurants in the area. I get to meet the owners and, nine times out of ten, get free lunch. It’s a pretty awesome gig. Anyway, I meet these people who most often come from different countries and have this amazing work ethic. They tell me things like they didn’t come to America to be lazy, and they would work anywhere that gave them a paycheck.
These owners work ten times the amount I would if I still held an office job, and it makes me wonder every time, am I lazy because I don’t want that kind of life? Am I an American bum because I like piecemeal jobs that pay, of course, but give me the freedom to stay at home and allow me to write guest blogs like this in the middle of the day? I feel guilty a lot.
I have trouble giving myself credit because I think we’ve all been programmed to think that we need 40-hour-a-week office jobs in order to be stable, responsible, non-losery citizens of America. And that’s just not true.
At the same time, I won’t deny the safety that office jobs provide. It sure is nice getting that lump sum every other week. I’m not putting down people who enjoy corporate life. Hey, if you like it, you can make a ton of dough. But, the people who don’t are sometimes considered societal vagabonds, not belonging to any certain tribe, like in Divergent and stuff. Read that book, by the way. What I’m saying is, please don’t fall into place just because you think you’re supposed to.
Here is what I want to tell other twenty-somethings and younger about their careers:
- Give yourself the space and freedom to find out what you like and what you’re good at — this doesn’t have to be at college by the way, although I do support a college education. Also, I work at one.
- Make money doing whatever and then figure out how to make money by doing what you found out in bullet number one.
- Don’t underestimate the process of elimination. Just because you made a mistake or found out you didn’t like something you tried, you found something out! And you probably won’t do it again.
My goal is to start feeling proud of what I’m doing. I may not be the wealthiest person ever yet, but I will be. Not the wealthiest person, obviously…but, you get it.
I am doing what I like, love even. I’m making money, and I feel free. Isn’t that the whole point?