Yesterday afternoon, I walked to the train station with a coworker and we discussed our job (we both started on the same day). We have gone through similar emotions since we started back in late September: excitement, anxiety, fear (yes, even fear; mostly that we would make mistakes that can’t be fixed!), and now we’re both at a stage where we feel content. I am so grateful that I have this job and that I have the opportunity to learn every day, but I have also come to the conclusion that getting this position has only changed my status from unemployed to employed. It hasn’t changed who I am as a person.

My family and friends have all said at various times that I won’t love my first job and I listened to them; but there was that one tiny sliver of hope that maybe I would be the exception to the rule. Let me make it abundantly clear, though, that I do NOT hate my job; in fact, I am pleased with my work. I am , like a lot of other people, just chasing that elusive “perfect” job in which I will be blissfully happy doing life-altering, low-stress work for the good of the world. I hope I don’t sound sarcastic or bitter because I don’t mean to sound that way. I want this post to be a reflection on the realities of a career versus my unrealistic expectations.

I read a short article on MSN yesterday morning titled “7 ways to pull yourself out of a work rut” ( and I think that may have fueled my desire to write this post. One particular quote from the article jumped out at me almost immediately: “While searching for a new job is always an option, it’s not always the right answer. You may take your problems with you, and you may end up in a rut again.” This brought to mind my feelings when I was in that transition year from graduation from grad school until I was hired at my current position; I thought, naively, that finding a job would solve all my problems. While a full-time job certainly helps with my bills, it does not improve my relationships with friends and family. My job gives me something to work for, but it does not accomplish my “five year plan” goals for me. Basically, I’m just now realizing that I am the only person who can make sure that I am happy, fulfilled, and confident. A new job, new clothes, a new car, or a new place to live won’t do that for me.

I meant for this post to be a positive one and I hope whoever is reading this is getting the positive message: you are in charge of your destiny. You have all the tools you need to accomplish your short-term and long-term goals! The more I think about it, the more excited I get. I don’t have to wait for anyone but myself to start working toward the kind of person I want to be.


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