The theme of my past week has certainly been “new perspectives.” My mom drove 800 miles to spend Thanksgiving with me. We had a great time outdoors, rollerblading, running and exploring Victoria. The most important thing we did though, was talk. She provided a different perspective on my relationship. This led to me talking to my boyfriend in a deeper way. He, in turn, showed me a entirely new way of looking at my relationship with my parents. I’m not sure that any of the perspectives are true, but that’s kind of the point. The way that I see things is not the truth; it’s clouded by my perceptions and beliefs. I was proud of how I was open to new perspectives over the past week. I learned so much about the amazing people around me.
But this is a blog about work, not relationships (at least most of the time). So, I will focus on the new perspectives about work that I discovered this week.
Firstly, I am grateful because I found a new friend in a similar (unemployed) situation. She is also an engineer and she was looking for a job in space (just like I was two years ago). However, she had a very different approach than I do. She wants a job in space and is willing to chase that chance with any space company in Seattle. I’ve been a bit stuck because I’ve been trying to find the “perfect job.” Last time I chased space and came away disappointed. But, in truth, she helped me see that I was chasing perfection and was disappointed. (Yet I’m still chasing the perfect job in a way – so what did I learn?!)
We both are avid travelers, so she showed me the error in my thinking through a travel metaphor. She compared jobs to different places to visit. Each has benefits and disadvantages. We both have wanderlust, so it inevitably becomes time to find a new city every few years. It doesn’t mean the old city wasn’t perfect or that the new city will be. It’s about making the most of where you are.
It was a pretty deep talk that we had while hiking 8 miles!
I continued my thought train with my dad later in the evening. He also provided a visual metaphor. I have waiting to chase what I want to do because I want to be sure its the ‘right thing’. My dad compared it to waiting for lightning to strike – as if someday I would wake up and know exactly what I wanted to do. I have quietly nursed the hope that this will happen, but it’s a bit naive (and enervating). We talked about ways that I could start exploring different jobs. He also re-iterated that I can change jobs multiple times over the new few years. The next one that I take does not have to be the final form. I can still change.
I want to develop more flexibility. For so many years, I have had an ultimate goal in mind that I have chased with savage ferocity. But I tend to ignore any obstacles or doubts. I want to be able to change my course mid-journey – not realize that I’m disappointed at the end.
Anyway, I have appreciated the perspectives from my friends and family this week. It’s been illuminating and energizing. Now I’m excited to start discovering what I like by doing part-time jobs and my own projects, instead of analyzing every career to see if it seems right.