It’s OK, you really don’t need a career – here’s why…

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We’ve had it drilled into our heads since we knew what a ‘university’ was, we’ve been steered away from children before 30 and we pretty much have no idea how benefits work.

We are the generation that haven’t really had an excuse not to have a career, to aim high, to keep going, because our academic and professional successes will be exactly how we will be deemed a success by our peers and parents. Or so it feels.

Was the word happiness ever really mentioned in there? Not really.

But, we appear to be fighting back, having had enough of battling our way to a career. Because, guess what, success in the workplace doesn’t make you happy. Who knew?

I’ve started hearing it over glasses of wine with friends, murmurs of it on personal blogs, that we kind of don’t want to keep leapfrogging our way up a career ladder, we kind of want to stay put.

We’re quite happy settling for a ‘mediocre’ job if it means we don’t work overtime, don’t spend all weekend engulfed in stress and worry and don’t take our work head home with us.

And this isn’t from people who have been out in the professional world for a decade, this is people who graduated university about three years ago, and have thought FUCK IT ALL, I want a life, I want happiness, I want children, I want to stop my entire existence revolving around commuting and emails and meetings, I want happiness.

I’m included in all of the schpiel above, naturally.

Yes, I’ll be honest, it’s mostly girls I’ve been hearing it from. I am forever grateful for the strides of previous generations for gender equality, but I don’t want the pressure of having to work as hard as a man in an office. It’s just not the way I’m built. It’s not the way we’ve ever been built.

What I am saying is, take the pressure off yourself, think about what actually makes you happy, and if it’s the things that don’t involve work, then that is perfectly OK.

Remember, nobody ever died wishing that they had worked harder or for longer.

If you want to take off to travel the world, want to settle down and have a family, or just want more time to spend time with the people who mean the most to you, don’t beat yourself up.

Going upwards in a career really isn’t everything.

  • Totally agree! I am currently not working (was a teacher for ten years – moved to the US – currently happier than I have ever been)!
    As my dear grandmother always said “when you are on your deathbed, you never wish you spent more time at work”.

  • I couldn’t agree more, thank you for putting a feeling into the perfect set of words. It is scary how people I know are in competition with each other over who has the better job, but ‘more importantly’ how fast they can climb the employment ladder. I don’t ever want to be a manager, or a CEO or whatever, I quite like the little job I have now, and the one I really want isn’t too high up the career ladder either, enjoyable with minimum stress. xxx

  • Reblogged this on ~ Strange Made Me ~ and commented:
    I’ve never reblogged before, but this was too brilliant not to. We spend so much time moving further and further away from being ourselves and doing things that make us happy, all for money and having a better job than *insert person here*. x

  • Love your blogs, Hannah, keep up the good work xx

  • Iloveredlipstick

    I can’t tell you how much I relate to this post! Well I can, clearly, as this is the point of me commenting but yeah, moving on.

    I don’t want to live to work, I want to work to love and unfortunately these days people seem to look down their noses at those who have other priorities in life than their over inflated title and how high a rung they’ve reached on the career ladder.

    I want to enjoy the home im earning the money to pay for, spend lovely evenings with my boyfriend on the sofa rather than cooking dinner, doing washings, shower then bed! And I’ll be damned if people tell me this makes me boring and unambitious!

    Your time is best spent making the ones you love happy, not wrestling with a photocopier that doesn’t understand that you have refilled the BLOODY tray with BLOODY paper, dang nabbit.

    However, I’m preaching to the converted… Love your blog Hannah, keep up the amazing work!!!!

  • This post really resonates with me – there is so much pressure to “get a career”, and to get a degree. All my friends who got a degree are in the same position as those without one – struggling to find a decent job. Getting ahead in our working life at the expense of our happiness is not the best way to go. Better to spend time developing a career that we love and balance it with time with loved ones as much as we can. 🙂


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