How can I convince myself I'm not a failure if I give up on my career and just get a "job"?
April 1, 2008 5:11 PM Subscribe
I have a “career” right now and I’m sick of it and the industry. I want to go back to having a “job” that pays me enough to live. But I don’t think I’ve truly reconciled things in my head. How do I reconcile within myself that I’m not a failure if I give up on my career and chosen industry and go get a job doing…something?
posted by misanthropicsarah to Work & Money (34 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Over the last two years or so, I’ve finally come to realize that having a career does not equal being happy and that lots of money and success also do not equal being happy. This is totally contrary to what I grew up believing, and therefore contrary to what I spent most of my life up to this point pursuing.
I have a “career” right now and I’m sick of it and the industry. I want to go back to having a “job” that pays me enough to live. But I don’t think I’ve truly reconciled things in my head. I feel like if I take a job as a secretary/receptionist [NOT SECRETARY/RECEPTIONIST-IST], I’ll feel like a failure and that those around me will think I’m not “fulfilling my potential.”
In the career I’m in right now, I’m finally making what I consider to be a decent salary (though it is nowhere near six figures or even the high five figures) and I’m able to start paying down some debt, etc. If I decided to take a job instead, my salary would go down a lot, back to where it was when I was fresh out of college. And while I no longer have the desire to be the harried professional making $90K a year, I also have no desire to be constantly worried about bills and rent.
Another factor is that I spent all of my undergraduate and graduate years pursuing the goal of being in the industry and career I’m in now. That was about $120K and six years of my life. What does it mean if I just throw all of that time and money away to have a “job” instead of the career I was working for?
My question is: how do I reconcile within myself that I’m not a failure if I give up on this profession and this industry and go get a job doing…something? How do I defend my decision to others? How do I let go of all the ambitions that I’ve had since middle school and just move on to something else that I might be happier with?
Other info: female, 28, USian, not having a quarter life crisis (I had that a few years ago).