Confessions of a Jobaholic
By Rebecca Boorstin
To this day, I have aspired, dreamed, and fiddled with more careers than listed on a kindergarten class’s wall. Ranging from actor to veterinarian (but, alas, I am allergic to cats and afraid of birds), PR agent to astronaut (but, alas, black holes terrified my five-year-old self), from magazine editor to chef (but, alas, I wouldn’t be able to eat the food I prepared), from the next president of the United States to the next creator of an HBO show (but, alas, Lena Dunham got there before every other eccentrically creative twenty-something New Yorker).
Now, as a junior in college, some of my friends already have internship and job offers from their dream companies. I have peers who are Internet famous and actually famous from their creative outlets such as acting, writing, and singing acoustic covers of Drake. And with so many other young, passionate, intimidatingly talented and brilliant figures out in the world with whom I am expected to compete, how can I begin to assert my professional dominance when I have no idea what my ideal job is?
My parents, along with being generally great people, also happen to be holders of jobs that allow them to impact many different communities—basically my dream as an indecisive, nonexclusive career searcher. However, it’s difficult to express my concerns when they come from different experiences than my generation. When I was applying for ten colleges, I asked how many colleges my father applied to. His response was a quick “Rebecca, in my day, applying for college was different. I applied to four schools—Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Columbia was my safety school.” Easily relatable, right?
Despite the vast difference in generation, job market, and creative competition, my parents did, at a time, have the same worries as I do. Am I fulfilling my creative, personal, and intellectual desires? Can I take this job and still ensure the wellbeing of my current and future family? Can I put hostessing in a restaurant on my resume? Am I making the right choice or will I regret this? My parents still have time and time again been there to give me advice about how I can simultaneously take risks with different job fields and fulfill my creative desires—and, given the highly intense job hunt, these still apply.
- If you’re interested in everything, apply for everything. Given the intense competition, you’re doing yourself a favor by taking the risk. You may find an opportunity you didn’t picture yourself in before, and it could be a step closer to determining what is right for you.
- Do what brings out the best in you, not what will put the best in you. Life’s too short to go with what works for other people. Be inspired by the jobs you are applying for, and imagine ways you can contribute and learn from the process rather than what will give you the best “skills.”
- There is no such thing as a useless job. You know what’s useless? Listening to people who discourage you from applying to a job because it won’t look good on LinkedIn or isn’t a big organization. True, my friends thought my working as a hostess over the summer was dismal compared to my research internship, but it helped me learn how to multitask and work in high pressure environments—which is great, valid interview material.