I am a big fan of the “Life is Good” t-shirts. On the corner of the shirt, there is a saying, Do What You Like, Like What You Do.” So simple, but true. But in the same breath, it appears so many of us spend time doing what we don’t like.
Last week I met a physician and while conversing, she revealed she didn’t really enjoy or like her job. The math in my head was automatic, knowing she dedicated at least seven years training in a profession she could live without. Serious disdain appeared on her face, the start of wrinkle lines forming on the corner of her mouth.
I realize people run on a pathway that they don’t like but because of practical reasons they must continue. I represented that segment of the population. When I graduated from law school, student loans took precedence. I took a job, knowing I didn’t really love bankruptcy work. In the three years of my legal education, the words, I want to be a bankruptcy attorney never came out of my mouth. But it paid the bills and those interest bearing loans. Some days were painful, a combination of a horrible woman boss and a legal field that didn’t really speak to me.
So can people change their course? I think so, but it may mean making tough choices, a path that doesn’t equate to immediate success. It may mean abandoning a choice you thought you liked. It means reflecting. It means reevaluating. It means changing. It isn’t easy. It took me years to admit that law wasn’t the right choice for me and to write those words here, it is scary for me. I’ve spent almost ten years doing something I didn’t love. The gravity of that statement sickens me – What if I had reflected midway into that journey and decided to change course? I didn’t for so many reasons. I delayed it for practical reasons, like money, ego and the instant credibility of announcing that yes, I am attorney.
Where am I now? I don’t have fancy business cards or a brief case, tapping my heels into the courtroom. Most days, I sport a ponytail, typing words on my computer, generating no revenue. With a whole heart, I can say I like what I do and am doing what I like.
Do you like what you do? Do you ever think of making a career change? What would you do if you could do something else? Has you career interest changed as you have gotten older?