Monday, August 17, 2009

Working Girl

I chose the name of this entry because I'm currently watching an old episode of Oprah, and the Bunny Ranch brothel is being featured. Oh, holy Hanukkah. Plus the title coincides with my theme tonight: work!

I've been reading a book by Suze Orman (my new idol) and she offers some great insight on choosing a career, not a job. My career path has been at the forefront of my mind lately, and I've really been questioning where I'm at and where I want to be.

I have a vague idea of where I'm headed, but sometimes I get discouraged and feel like I'm stuck in a rut and can't get out. This is what my dad calls "a case of the blahs." I'm diagnosing myself with this ailment, and now it's time to find the antidote.

For a moment, I was considering going to law school. I had convinced myself that maybe PR wasn't for me and that I was just fooling myself. Someone suggested that maybe it's not that I'm unhappy with PR itself but just my job specifically. Further, Suze says that furthering your education just because you feel like you're at a dead end career-wise is a stupid move. Of course PR is what I'm supposed to be doing! I just have serious self-doubt issues that I need to address stat. Law would be fun, but I know I'm in the right field for me.

I think my self-doubt partly stems from observing others and - I hate to admit - envying their situations. I have this distinct view in my mind of where I want to be, and when I see others who seemingly live that, it frustrates me when I hear how they got there. So many times I'll hear people say they just "fell" into something or that they never planned on doing a certain job, yet the opportunity just landed in their lap one day.

What about all this planning I've been doing for 6 years?? Shouldn't that count for something? I bust my ass trying to get the best career possible that makes a difference, and when I feel like I'm just spinning in circles, it's infuriating to see others half ass things and seemingly succeed! I know drive and fervor can't be showcased on a resume, per se, but it has to work to my advantage at some point, right? I've got the chops to back it up, of course. I know I'm a hard worker and have passion, but those seem to be lost in me these days.

Thankfully I take after my mom and am optimistic despite the dreary job market. Things always get better with time, and if I continue to work hard and prove myself, it'll pay off.

It kind of reminds me of this story I read in elementary school that has stuck with me for years. This Chinese emperor was near death and wanted to find a child to replace him on the throne. So he handed out seeds to every child in the land and told them that whoever grew the best flower would win and take over as emperor. This one child came from a very honest, hard-working family. He watered and cared for his seeds every day, but no matter what he did, nothing grew. He felt disappointed but knew that he had tried his best. On the day when the children gathered at the palace, they all brought their flower pots with them. The boy noticed each and every child had a gorgeous, huge flower in their pot. He only had dirt in his with the failed seeds. Despite feeling discouraged, he presented his pot to the emperor, convinced he had instantly lost. In front of everyone, the emperor chose the boy as his successor and revealed all of the seeds he had dispersed had been dead to begin with. This boy with just the dirt was the only honest one of them all.

OK. so I'm not exactly a little Chinese kid with unwavering integrity, but it's a great story that reminds me of an important lesson: you may feel like you're surrounded by a bunch of undeserving assholes, but as long as you continue doing things honestly and the best that you can, it'll pay off in the end.

I'm a huge believer in karma and patience (but not always a follower of the latter), and I'm hoping my days in the rut are over soon!

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