You Are Not Your Job

I’ve been job-hunting this past week, and it’s been causing me a lot of anxiety. There are so many highs and lows to the process; so much to consider. I’ve been really trying to find jobs that feel like “me,” but it’s hard because the work I’m extremely passionate about (film and TV writing) doesn’t operate like most industries. There are no job postings for that type of work. And so I have to find jobs that are somewhat out of my exact field. Usually, I’m okay with that – I thought I had made peace with it.

But today, when I was job hunting, a deep sadness came over me as I was looking at the listings. I felt lonely and disconnected from myself. Have you ever felt that way when looking for a job? I imagine it’s different for a lot of folks – people who have a more specific professional direction in their 30s – like teachers, lawyers, marketing executives, etc. But for those of us who have more nebulous paths, it can be challenging. It’s like you have to have two careers and ‘selves’ at once. Your day-job-money-making self and your other, passionate self. Is there a way to authentically merge the two? Or do you simply have to compartmentalize your ‘day-job’ as one facet of your life?

This afternoon, someone reminded me that I am not my job. And I remembered this quote I once read:

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’” ~Maya Angelou

So, tomorrow, when I dive into more job-hunting, I will remember I am making a life, and that my job hunt is only one part of that.

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