What does a real job mean to you? I read this powerful message on Facebook the other day…
The other day, someone very dear to me said, “Charlotte, promise me this. Promise me you won’t go back to waiting tables, frothing coffees or tending bars. When you graduate uni, you’ll get a real job, won’t you?”
Hmmm. ‘Real’. What does ‘real’ look like? Does it wear a suit? Boast a briefcase? Does it drive a ute? Fly a plane? Is its hands dirty, or clean? Does it save lives, or suck the life right out? Does it do your dry cleaning? Keep our streets clean? Your coffee cravings at bay?
So many people chase ‘real’, the ‘real’ that seems to be etched into our skin by society’s blade, and find that they don’t belong to their own life.
The way we have been conditioned is a travesty. The pressure I am under, as a 25-year-old, to make decisions that will supposedly ‘make or break me’ is crushing. The truth is, there are no rules here. Success is highly subjective. It’s traumatising to measure your success against someone else’s, yet we do it to ourselves every day.
The person who said the above said it out of love, and I love them for that. I get it. They want to see me succeed, but under whose guidelines? They want me to move up in the world, but who sets the bar?
Whether you’re a barista or a barrister, university graduate or world traveller, business owner or garbage collector. It doesn’t matter! What matters is that you make the rules. It’s your life.
Take it back!
Charlotte May McLeod (@lottiemaymcleod) posted these words of wisdom in Australia in frustration for the situation she is in. Well said Charlotte, good for you for recognizing that a real job can be anything we want it to be. Students and parents alike today (over) focus on the pursuit of the perfect education in preparation for the equally perfect job upon graduation. The problem is that a job deemed perfect for one person is often not even close to perfect for another.
Education is important, that will never change, but keep in mind that there are all kinds of education available to prepare you for your very own real job. Remember that every job you take on is an education of sorts, even those that are not considered real jobs. Many of these so called not real jobs open doors for exciting and lucrative opportunities. By lucrative I mean both financially and emotionally rewarding. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.
As Charlotte so eloquently stated, a real job can be anything you like these days, don’t settle for something that will please or impress anyone except yourself.