February 11, 2007 9:00 AM Subscribe
Is it possible to be a well-respected and fulfilled person without having a career?
posted by JJ Jenkins to Work & Money (59 answers total) 44 users marked this as a favorite
Money is not an issue, other than the fact that it would be nice to make my own for once. But would extra money matter, taking up all my time to make a small entry-level amount?
I went to school for a long time, against my will at first, and then just to finish what I started. I changed majors a few times, never finding anything I wanted to truly immerse myself in. I have MANY interests, and find myself consuming vast amounts of books, movies, plays, magazines, blogs, etc. I'm a very geeky person in that way. When I find something I like, I become obsessed with it for a while, a virtual expert, and then move on to the next thing. I'm not lazy, and I hate that people may think I am.
When it comes to starting a career, I'm just not interested. In an abstract way I think I am only because it was ingrained in me as a child that success is paramount to a good life. I often come up with business plans and go so far as to write them out and pitch them to people, and lose interest in the concept six months later. I know I'm capable, I know the who, what, where, and how, but I have a hard time coming up with the why.
When new friends ask me what I do, their reaction is either one of obvious disapproval though they try to conceal it ("Must be nice."), or outright envy and approval, like, "Why work? You don't have to. Enjoy!"
Can I be considered a worthwhile member of society without having a career? I'm not ready for children yet, and it seems like everyone is waiting for me to "do something." I feel like I'm letting someone down, mostly myself. I can't help but think as soon as I get pregnant I'll have major regrets about not having started a career or business first. I don't know how to work for ME.