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Business and work Events and Life Photography Writing

Thoughts about careers when I grow up

I enjoyed Jamie Rubin’s post titled “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up”, partly because I still ask myself what I want to do with the rest of my life? I am in the early years of my second career (or a return to an early career, of sorts) after being a lawyer for most of my professional life.

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut, an astronomer, and a writer. One out of three isn’t too bad, I suppose. But most of my life, other people’s jobs have often seemed more interesting than my own. Perhaps it is an example of the grass being greener. Perhaps I am just easily influenced by what I see and read.

Rubin’s post reminded me of recurring thought that comes to me when I contemplate careers, particularly urges to change careers. I noticed that there is a difference between pursuing a passion and working in that field as a career, at least for me. I have often thought it would be great to be in a particular profession because it seems so exciting and fulfilling, only to realise that the day to day experience of that work isn’t quite what it seemed to be from the outside.

The best example of this was going into law. As a law student, reading cases and watching legal dramas on TV and in movies, legal practice had a certain appeal. I thought that practice would reflect what I saw in fiction. The reality was pretty different and involved a lot of admin and paperwork with little of the Boston Legal/Suits style and excitement.

I started to develop this theory that some types of work should remain passion pursuits and not full-time occupations. At the same time I suspect that this cynicism may be the result of not having found the expression of the work I find myself longing to do that helps me achieve that satisfaction I hope for.

In the meantime, I look for work that incorporates the activities I enjoy the most or, at least, afford me the time to pursue my passions around my work. My current career, content marketing, involves a lot of writing and strategy work. Both activities stimulate me.

I look at photographers I admire and wonder what it would be like to become a professional photographer. Spending my days with my camera in my hands seems like an almost ideal life and yet I know that behind those phenomenal shots is a lot of experience, hard work and funding to make it all happen. I also wonder if I have the skill to work at that level so I spend my non-work time making photographs, hopefully refining my skills along the way.

My plan for the year ahead is to make more of an effort to blend my photography and my writing and to see what comes of that combination. I think that could be a really interesting combination.

Now and then, like Rubin, I’ll also read a book that sparks a desire to do something different when I grow up. I’m not sure when I reach the point where I can say I have grown up but it must come along soon, right?

Featured image credit: Pixabay

Categories
Mindsets

The parts of me that wants to …

I have a copy of Hugh Prather’s “Notes to Myself” which is a collection of thoughts and ideas which a friend of mine recommended a few years ago. I eventually bought the book, started reading it and then put it down for a couple years. I picked it up again recently and have carried it in my bag.

I’ve done a little travelling lately and the book has come in handy in that time between when the plane begins its descent and we’re supposed to pack away our devices and landing at my destinations. It’s the sort of book you can read piecemeal. Prather’s thoughts are anything from a line to a paragraph or two and each one is a gem. One quote that appeals to me is this one:

There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorize, a part that wants to sculpt, a part that wants to teach…. To force myself into a single role, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill off large parts of me.

This speaks to an ongoing internal debate I have about my identity and how I present that identity to the world. Am I a lawyer, strategist, writer, photographer … what defines me and how does my chosen identity affect how I present all those other desires I have to express myself in other ways? Prather’s point, of course, is that creating these false distinctions between different parts of our selves or even forcing ourselves to choose one “role” is ultimately harmful. How to reconcile them isn’t so easy, especially when your different “roles” are diverse.

Just the same, I suppose a healthier starting point is “Parts of me want to do different things and I don’t necessarily have to choose which to do, only when and how to do them.”

Categories
Photography

Experimental animation through pottery

This is just awesome!

Experimental animation meets pottery from Crafts Council on Vimeo.