December 15, 2011 by agooddaytoyou
When I was young (ah, that old chestnut way of starting a story) I had a lot of AMBITION. And I felt really driven to build a CAREER. And now, I couldn’t care less. And I couldn’t be happier.
I graduated from Uni when I was about 23. And on the day of my graduation, I don’t remember feeling proud. Or relieved. Or even hopeful. What I do remember was feeling stressed. Very, very stressed.
I was stressed because I knew that now, I had to build a career. And I had better do it quickly before everyone else swooped up all the good careers.
I had an arts degree, majoring in literature and creative writing (with a minor in drama left over from a degree I started straight out of school and was not brave enough to complete) and I had no idea what to do with it, except that I had to do something that was a form of employment and had a distinct career path that would lead to success.
Both my parents were and are university lecturers and according to them, there was no other way to do things that: school, university, job. Of course, children the world over ignore what their parents want for them and take the road less travelled. But for me, at the time, with all of my fears and insecurities and naivete, that traditional path was safe and well-worn by the shoes of millions of others and I was not smart enough or open-minded enough to diverge from it.
So, upon graduating, I submitted applications everywhere. I did follow-up calls, I tried to make my meagre uni experience sound like it had prepared me for the world. My first job was editing computer manuals, a task so horrible and boring and never-ending that I honestly can’t talk about it anymore. My second job came through work experience, as a copywriter for a marketing company, and taught me such incredible literary techniques as: “Always put numbers in a headline, it will draw readers in”. I had grand plans in that business when I first started. I was going to become the best damn copywriter, I was going to make my boss so proud of me that he would make me a partner and I would go on to write advertising copy for the biggest companies in the world.
I even (get this), I even started learning graphic design at a nightschool because I thought it would “enhance my skillset” and help me “get to the top” of my profession.
What a schmuck.
Now, after numerous jobs, numerous plans to “make something of myself”, I can honestly say that as I near 30, I don’t care any more about being successful.
I care about being happy.
And I want my job (my JOB, not my CAREER) to facilitate a happy life, not be my life.
I’d rather be liked than be the boss.
I have a job now that, most of the time, I like a lot. It’s usually fun and consistent and pretty flexible and enjoyable. And once my day here is done, I don’t think about work again until the minute I sit down at my desk the next morning. Even then, I might spend nice 30 minutes at the beginning of e checking out my favourite blogs. As long as my work gets done, I’m not worried and I don’t think my bosses are either.
And if a lot of this post doesn’t make sense or run together quite right, it’s because it’s Christmas party season and last night I got drunk and sang Christmas carols in a bar and then came to work today with a dreadful hangover and no one seems to care as long as I get my work done.
So hurrah for no ambition, and hurrah for just working for the money and not to be crowned the best in my field. And hurrah for Christmas and hangovers and friends and love and cats and food and all the things that I actually do want to be very, very good at. I’m ready to be ambitious at life!!