by Bradly Baird:
I cannot seem to get my career right. Why?
Every job that I have had since I finished my undergraduate work in 1990s has been an unhappy experience. I worked hard at these jobs, accomplished many things, and still felt at the end of the day as though I wasted my time or just felt empty about the work that I completed (zero satisfaction by any of it). I am now in that same position with my current employer. I come home at the end of everyday completely exhausted - feeling as though I am just making money for someone else - and I am at the end of my rope.
All of my friends and acquaintances from college have found stable careers and seem to derive at least a little bit of satisfaction from their work; many even seem to enjoy it. So, what is my problem? Where does my inability to find this satisfaction come from? I am unable to answer either of these questions and now I am thinking that perhaps I need some sort of therapy.
I maintain an incredibly fulfilling religious and spiritual life, enjoy a fulfilling life at home with my family, and experience hobbies and interests that endlessly fascinate and interest me (not to mention the fun of writing every month for Trip M). If I can get the personal aspects correct and feel a tremendous sense of peace and joy therein, where am I getting it wrong with the professional? I just don't know.
I thought last week that I might not be cut out for the regular business life and started looking around at homesteads in Utah that I might purchase and try to become self-sufficient (like those nutzos on the "reality" show, Alaska: The Final Frontier). But, after a few minutes I came to my senses and realized that I couldn't do something like that to my family.
So, blogosphere, I put it to you. How do I figure out this professional stuff? I am open to any sort of advice from anyone out there (especially if some of you might have a particular expertise in this field). You can put a comment on this post or, if you have something deeper to say, send me an email. I am open to any ideas and thoughts because everything I have attempted thus far has failed.
Bradly Allen Baird is the father of two amazing children and has been married for almost twenty years. He served a mission in Finland, though he was really supposed to serve in Uruguay. His professional meanderings include everything from education to economic development, to human capital management in the IT industry (hopefully this one sticks); and spends his Saturdays hanging out with the missionaries in Provo, or racing back and forth between his children's activities in tae kwon do and elite cheerleading. Bradly also survived an MBA program; developed a somewhat limited interest in music, theater, film, urban planning, judaica, liberation theology, politics, israel, and latin american history; studies the influence of graphic imagery on public space; wrote a thesis about Leonard Bernstein, is obsessed with the American Symphonists, and reads publications like The Tablet and the Jewish Daily Forward.
Image credit: James Yeung.