A few weeks ago, during my English lesson, I was asked to write a text about my ideal job, ‘It’s a piece of cake,’ I thought. ‘It’s what I have always wanted to do.’ But is it? Am I an astronaut, a detective, or a professional athlete? Clearly not. So why do I have the feeling of having found it? Have I found my ideal job? Or should I call it my happy and inspiring place? To answer that question, an explanation of the last decade of my life is needed.
First of all, once high school is over, there is no one, not even your parents — if you’re lucky enough to have them — that can help you get ready for adult life.
It’s like being kicked out after being told ‘Ok, let’s go. It’s your time now’, while you wonder ‘time for what?’ There’s an unspoken expectation that we have to choose only one thing to do with our lives and stick with it forever, no matter what.
As many others have experienced, I started studying a university course that I dropped out of later. During my second try at uni, I began to work simultaneously. Five years later, I graduated as a Physical Educator. During my career, I had the possibility of living abroad and getting to know different places and their cultures, and that’s something I’m extremely grateful for. To sum it up, a lot of water under the bridge and plenty of accumulated experiences have gotten me where I am today, given that my current job has nothing to do with the path I first took.
Nowadays, I can gladly state that I am where I’ve always wanted to be. Stepping out of my comfort zone has boosted me to a higher level. Working remotely has given me the opportunity of traveling as much as I wish without needing to take time off. Plus, being part of an unbound team makes me want to give more than 100% of myself every day. Does that mean that I don’t get burned out or stressed under pressure? Obviously not. Feeling content with your job doesn’t mean you never get stressed, but it does imply that you will have the motivation to keep going even after challenging times. I found that in such cases, grounding, breathing exercises, and free movement breaks have helped me remain balanced.
Although far from perfect, this was my adventure to find a job I’m passionate about, but every now and then I ask myself, why did it take so long? Why was it so hard?
I’ve read out there that someone says we should train the brain to operate like a light switch, in a way that we should be able to turn it on and off whenever we’d like to without hesitation. Sometimes, by overthinking and analyzing too much we forget to experience the present moment and lose our focus. That’s a clear sign that a switching-off moment is necessary.
Even though the concept of an ideal job may seem utopian, we must fight to accomplish our pressing goals bearing in mind that we will create our favorite working spot not by working harder but smarter, and by being always open to learning something new.
It’s a fact that given the times we’re living in, by comparing ourselves to one another, we end up creating idealistic versions of people around us, and get frustrated because it seems like we’re never going to be as successful as them. It only takes one step back to notice that everything is not what it seems and we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. However, if you still insist on comparing yourselves with something else, you might as well do it with outer space sizes, but be ready to feel smaller than everyone and anything else.
Nonetheless, I guarantee you’ll notice you have landed in the sought-after job as soon as you realize you feel like at home, an emotion similar to when you used to play hide-and-seek during your childhood; that gratifying sensation you got when you won the game after running with all your might. Personally, as soon as I got my current job, I received the job offer of my dreams — 1st Division Football Club Manager — , but even though I had always longed for a position like that, I realized that it didn’t fit my present-day standards anymore. This made me treasure my job even more.
Who you are will change and evolve over time. Embrace that flexibility, and remember your life’s meaning is driven by your purpose — not your work. Figure out the “why” behind what drives you and use that as your landmark when you’re making decisions about what to do next.
Don’t be afraid of chasing a dream, but please don’t expect to make it true by only waiting for it with your fingers crossed. Stepping out of your known world, exploring new paths, making some mistakes, enjoying the process, and writing as many life moments experienced in your personal notebook as you can, is the secret formula that helped me achieve the work-life balance I’ve reached nowadays.
If you’re reading my personal story and you feel identified with it, I profoundly hope you gain the confidence you’re lacking and begin by giving the first step towards your career goals. I’d like to encourage you all to believe in yourselves, as you are the only ones who can make everything work in your lives. You are a combination of values, interests, skills, and passions. A dynamic mix that keeps on shifting while you are constantly searching for your “perfect spot”, so your careers can, and should, change quite a lot. Once you have set your mind to a particular objective, my final advice is to just go for it and enjoy the ride.