The Pressure to Work When You’re Not Ready 

When I graduated college, I naturally flocked to my social media to see who had a job, what they were doing and where their next move was (in the literal sense – people were moving like a bird migration). Truthfully, I don’t think I was really ready to work after college. I thought everyone else was ready for work considering the copious amounts of interviews it seemed like everyone was going to. People gave off these really intense vibes of determination and dedication to get a job and stay there for the rest of their careers.

My whole life was a job (dramatic, I know). I worked through high school like many around me and painstakingly worked my way through college despite the demands of my degree.

I never really took a break once I graduated. I took no break, to be clear. So much so that I had a job before I received my diploma. I went straight into a demanding job in social services. My job was working in foster care and assisting children in finding permanent placements. The majority of people I worked with didn’t like me because I was following the guidelines of the court system and that was troubling to most.

Fast forward to 8 months later when I decided that job wasn’t quite the right fit. I really disliked this about myself – the fact that I couldn’t tough it out for a while longer. In my mind, I was committing some type of crime since I couldn’t give the employer what they wanted: a steady employee. I enjoyed my colleagues as I feel each had a level of expertise to share with me. I switched jobs and worked at a different agency. This time, I was working with adults with mental illness. It was a very rewarding job but the demands of the agency fell hard on me. I wasn’t quite ready to “give up” my creative freedom to approach client care in a way I felt appropriate. I didn’t stay long. Unfortunately, after I left that job, I felt altogether like I was not ready to work. I was (and still am) pursuing my Master’s in Social Work.

It’s a lot of work and requires thoughtful insight on a daily basis. Now that’s something I’m good at. I like to think.

There is an overwhelming amount of pressure to work in our society. I’m a firm believer in ‘finding yourself’ and it’s challenging to do so at a young age when you are knee deep in the confines of a corporation. Many times, we settle for jobs simply because they’ve been offered to us. We’ve lost touch with our core intention to find a job we love. What’s placed in front of us sometimes seems easier than really putting in the work (maybe even months) to find something we are happy with.

I want to take a little time for myself. I have what I believe to be a great freelancing career thus far and I’m enjoying the creative freedom I’m given. I still have the opportunity to study when necessary and sit outside and smell the fresh air when appropriate.

I haven’t given up on the human services field. I know that it will require a lot of emotional giving and I’m not sure I am ready for that. You might question why I’m planning on going into that field, but truthfully, I do enjoy it. I think there’s a place for me in the non-profit world…a small non-profit. I will be ready to give once I’ve given to myself first.

The pressure to get to work right after college and keep going until your 60 is very flawed to me. What happened to this thing called life? It’s meant for enjoyment. If you’re in a career you enjoy, I truly do praise you. It’s difficult to come by without that element of monotony.

When I’m ready, I’ll put myself out there again. But for now, I am a young woman enjoying the simple pleasures.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

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