Refreshing Your Career
In approaching this topic, I’ll start with a story about John Lennon. The singer-songwriter (and part-time-walrus) had second thoughts about releasing an album, and after much reflection, he did. As to why, he simply said, “it’s all part of the production.”
I think about this line a lot. We as a people are producers, we create more of ourselves and spread out. In bringing up this idea of refreshing your career, I figure I’ll orient you to how I view my own career – one based in seeking the new and expanding what we get from life and give to it. I try my best to be philosophically sound in my decision making – and that starts in finding a philosophy.
One way to develop a philosophy is to find the through-line of what you want to do. I have been lucky to work as an actor, theatre director, personal assistant, art director, production coordinator, product reviewer, pastry designer, copywriter, and more. I may wear a lot of hats but I always try to shop at the same store – so I’ve had many check-ins with myself and my mentors where I make sure I have a through-line I’m consistently honoring.
It starts with questions. What comes natural? What’s worth the work? In the end there will be no answers, but best guesses.
If you feel lost or stuck in your career, ask yourself what it is you’re there for. Who are you serving? Are you just there for a paycheck? It’s certainly fine to work somewhere just for the money, however I’ve seen plenty of friends burn out from this situation – their work lives have taken over their personal lives.
It happened to me too. I spent a solid few months working jobs I hated and felt myself falling into a depression. I was less fun to be around as a result and my personal relationships suffered. With maybe my 14th cover letter, I realized I was only ever talking about what I did, not what I want to do.
I started experimenting by writing about my passions and what truly inspires me. I started understanding what I really wanted and that’s when I started getting interviews. Now I’m happily married and I have 4 kids at Ivy League Schools.
Just kidding. The part that’s true is I’m happy. I’ll end with a recommendation for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Double Fantasy,” Lennon’s comeback album after leaving the Beatles and taking a few years to focus on fatherhood. It focuses on how it’s crazy to do anything, but it’s even crazier to never refresh.
For more resources on professional development and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.