A sweet scented souvenir from Capri

Hey guys- I realize Biz Notes is usually on Wednesdays, but my schedule’s been thrown a little off track in the last few weeks. We should be business as usual starting next week, and I’m also really hoping to do another Plate to Pixel post for you guys quite soon- I know it’s been a while!

At the beginning of September I was riding the train back from my mom’s house in the country. We were just passing through Yonkers, a city about an hour outside New York City. The woman sitting across from me let out a huge sigh as we passed the Yonkers Library, and then proceeded to say “Ugh we’re passing where I work, makes me sick.” I could tell she was looking for a response so I said, “Oh, you work at the library?” She replied, “No, I work at the school- it’s just over there. I have to go back this week, summer break is over. I can’t stand thinking about it.” She mumbled on a bit more about how bad the students were, how bad the school system was, and so on, but I was so struck by her first words. Her job literally made her fill sick. And her face was filled with so much discomfort, I felt so sorry for her.

I’ve had a job or two like that- ones that filled me with so much dread and misery. Now it’s easier to romanticize those times, reveling in the consistency and good health insurance. But hearing this woman describe her situation really put things in perspective for me. I pretty much never dread a Monday. I don’t dread going back to work after a vacation. I am not saying these things to brag, but only to remind myself of how fortunate I am. I’ve experienced much success but also some losses, and it can be really hard to keep my spirits up, stay motivated, and feel like it’s all worth it or that I’m doing the “right thing” during those times where I’m brought to tears over my work.

I think it’s hard to take risks in our careers and really pursue the job we honestly want because there are so many external pressure to do things a certain way. And I’m talking general risks- I’m not saying a career risk equates to working for yourself. I mean pursuing a job or path that you really, honestly want, and let go of what anyone else thinks. I know everyone’s situation is different, and I really try not to get too preachy in these posts, because in the end people need to do what’s best for them. But, I do think, sadly, that there are a lot more people in that woman’s position in the world than we’d like to think. Maybe not to that extreme, but I think it’s viewed as “normal” to accept a pretty significant level of dislike, discomfort, and frustration, when it comes to one’s job. Again, everyone’s circumstances are different, but it’s something worth thinking about. And something I’m going to think about when I hit those really rough days.

Ps: Remember Keeping the Faith the movie? So good.

  1. Clara, I think you touched on a really important subject. I am so so glad that my mother always taught me to do what I love. If she hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have ended up in the interior design field (despite what people think, there is little to no money in the field unless you are self employed). I am a huge believer that if you love what you do, the money will come, and if it doesn’t at least you’re happy and fulfilled. I’m glad to hear you love where you are at this point, because you’re right, most people don’t and that needs to change! Life’s too short to waste a single second doing something that makes you unhappy

  2. Such an important thing to remember! Thanks Clara.

  3. I can so relate to that poor woman. I just to have to pull over and throw up daily on my way into my first job out of college and the next three weren’t much better. I love my job now but would LOVE to work for myself but opening a bakery or an ice cream shop is such a seriously daunting task filled with regulations and economic uncertainty. So back to the drawing board I go.

  4. this is a great reminder and you are so right. i know i’m fortunate and most likely in the minorite to love my job so much but i do think that life is way too short and we spend way too much time working for it to make us miserable on a regular basis. after reading this post, i’m going to be extra grateful today — thank you! xx

  5. Alyssa

    I think doing what you love (and what you have a passion for) is so incredibly important. After all, when you think about HOW much time you spend at your job, shouldn’t it be something that you love? For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a magazine editor. My parents always did nothing but encourage me, because they knew how strongly I felt about it. Now that I’m in the industry, I love it. Sure, not every day is an easy day, but it’s the bigger picture that counts.

    The Glossy Life

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