A lot of people, no matter their age, struggle with deciding what they want to do in life. You may want a career, but maybe what you're doing now has nothing to do with that or you know what you want but not how to get there. Maybe you're really good at this one thing, but you don't or do really want to do that for the rest your life. Maybe you are working a job to pay bills but either think you can't get out of it or only want to use it as a foot note to move on. How do you make sense of it all?
Paying the Bills Job
The majority of people will have this type of job somewhere in life. Usually it's your first couple of jobs when you are in school or fresh out of school and the world is cracking down on you and you need something to put food in your mouth. This job tends to be low paying, with no hope of upward mobility, part time, high turnover, and something few people are rarely happy doing or can imagine themselves happy with this type of job for the rest of your lives. This type of job is not just for when you first start out, it may again be your gig when you are in between life decisions, when you make a major move and need a temporary solution to paying the rent, it can be while you figure things out, and any number of situations.
The thing to remember about this job if you're here in life is that they do not have to be permanent. So many people freak out when they have to try to take one of these jobs because they feel like, it will set them back in life, and sure, it may if you stay here and don't make active efforts to keep pushing and moving forward in life and trying to continually search for that dream career job if that is what you want and need for you. It's equally important to remember that if this paying your bills job does become permanent, you should have no shame about that if you are able to work, put food in your mouth, have a roof over head, and provide for whomever you need to provide for because the alternative is living on the streets. However, if you can't do that with this type of job, then it does not make sense to stay stuck as it were at a job where you can't even take care of yourself. You do have the ability to look and find something else that will give you that, but you've got to continually put the work in to do so.
This is the type of job you find that has to do with something you are really good at or that you really like doing. You take this job because it's right up your ally. You don't even have to try, because you're such a natural. You love it, but this job can go one of two ways. The first is realizing that, this job should be just a hobby or a side job. When you work somewhere and nothing, absolutely, nothing challenges you or inspires you or makes you want to work hard at that job, you may end up completely bored, unhappy, and phoning it in. You may also try hard to convince yourself that because you're good at this, that despite those feelings, you should keep doing it. Hopefully, sooner, rather than later, you learn that you're going to need something else to keep you going and keep you engaged.
The second way, is if a hobby turns into an actual career. This job is one where you took it up because you were good at it, but you've found ways to be innovative, different, to challenge yourself or be challenged by your hobby job, and to turn that into your complete financial gain. As good as your hobby job may be, if you can't make money from it, it will not sustain you, but if you can and make a living doing what you absolutely love and you remain passionate about it and take time to learn your craft, then this is when you can make a career out of this for the rest of your life.
This is the big one. This is the one where you work 20, 30, 40+ years of your life at. This is the job that helps you afford your first home and buy that brand new car, send the kids to college, go on vacation, afford healthcare, and retire on. This is the job you go to school for, or go back to school for, or work hard to get to. This is the job that you find that you are passionate about, that allows for upward mobility, and that allows you to fully utilize the skills you have. This is also the job that may be extremely difficult to find.
A career job is your white whale. It's what you work so hard for and hope you'll someday have, if not already. You may have several hobby jobs and paying the bill jobs just to get into the front door of your career job, but this is the job, you need to know in your bones is worth it. Even if you think you're at a career job, but you're never inspired, never want to keep pushing, never want to grow, then don't get confused by the title. This may still be your paying the bills job and you may need to keep looking while you work there, to actually find your career job. Don't be afraid to look and find this job. Too many people are just doing whatever because they need to pay rent, and are super frustrated throughout their lives because they never tried to get this job or they stopped trying. Like I said, it can be extremely difficult to find and achieve, but if this is what you want, then you can't be afraid to fail on the way to getting here, to go back to school if that's what it takes to get this job, or to work your way up from hobby and paying bill jobs to get here.