Why do we always seem to think a career is more important than ANYTHING?


I grew up watching a lot of my friends have more than me (cue my X Factor style sob story). Why wasn’t I swanning off to the US for a summer holiday? Why didn’t I get a grand for good GCSE results, why did I have to pay for my driving lessons? The list of things I felt entitled to could fill an entire novel. It *probs* will one day. So I grew up knowing that I wanted money to be able to pay for all the fancy, glossy, golden luxuries I’d seen other people have and felt like i;d been denied.

Even after uni, my first priority was making money. I’m sure I’m not alone in that, the impatience of wanting to escape the budgeted student lifestyle as soon as possible. ‘I’ll take a job ANYWHERE’.

‘But Hannah, that job clearly says it’s in the Midlands. Do you even know anyone in the Midlands?’

‘No. But I have to do this, I have to apply for jobs in the middle of nowhere because I NEED a job’.

Ok, so I never ended up in the Midlands, but my point is that the need for success, the need for career fulfillment came before anything else. Came before having those closest to me as part of my everyday life. Came before what would really make me happy.

It’s viewed as weak in our society to enjoy our home comforts. To not want to leave everything behind in pursuit of a big glossy career far away. But would you rather have a job close to your support network that brings in enough money to support your lifestyle, your occasional sunny trip to Greece and your monthly Topshop habits, or would you rather have a job that sounds like you’ve just announced that you single handedly saved the lives of 6420863 orphans lives, live in a house made of diamonds and own a cattle of 14 unicorns every time you open your mouth? Oh, but you’re lonely too. You have the dreamiest job but you’re a long way away from the people you love most.

Which would you choose?

My theory would be that it would be the one you didn’t have. We have an innate drive to desperately want what we don’t already have, to yearn for more instead of appreciating what we do have.

I’d pick the former. I’d take my glory days in journalism and move out of London so that I could surround myself with my network of happiness and support.

My people who make me, me.

We forget that a job was only ever supposed to be something that supported our families. Something that ensurde we had a roof over our heads and dinner on the table, not something that took over our entire lives and cut down our human interaction to nil.

Just think about it.

But if tomorrow I was offered the chose between a hefty pay rise or the ability to do my job closer to my support network, I’d know what I’d choose.

Because that 15-year-old may not have had the same pretty belongings as others, but she certainly had a lot of friends and a lot of fun (note: too much fun) and she was certainly never as lonely as some days I seem to be.

  • I agree that a career isn’t everything and that you have to be close to the ones you love but having a job that brings the things you require may make your life miserable. I think that we strive to do something that we enjoy in our life, afterall we do spend a heck of a lot of time at work and this has to be enjoyable otherwise it will be dreadful. I think there needs to be a balance between being happy at work and at home.

  • Interesting post and I totally understand where you are coming from, but couldn’t that also just be taking the safer option? If we never venture away from home and all that is safe, we might never experience what could be better. Yes it could be worse, but at least we have tried… Of course we all want an amazing job that is right on our doorsteps, but often the world doesn’t work that way and I know a lot of people who have been forced to move far away for work, but who have found it has actually been a wonderful opportunity for them to make new friends and create a new support network while maintaining the one at home 🙂 A job can be just a job, but a career can mean following your passions and doing something you love, which can mean so much more than just paying the bills, and those who love you should support you even if this work takes you away from them for a short time.. Loneliness is never nice, but we have it in our own power not to be lonely, if you move away and stay in mourning the loss of your friends and family, you won’t get the opportunity to build a new and bigger life.. I don’t think it is weak to enjoy home comforts, I think it is important to allow yourself to indulge in them, but doing this all the time could just be mollycoddling ourselves… xx

  • I love this post. My last job was hellish. Made me upset, angry and even started to affect my relationship. Luckily, we eventually moved away, so I had to quit (I should’ve quit a long time before this). Now, I’m lucky enough to be able to take some time out and figure out what I want to do with my life and what will make me happy. Cos, really, that’s all I want in life, happiness!

  • I completely agree with the sentiments in this post – I felt I ‘had to’ go to London when I graduated (I came from a small Suffolk village) to further my career, to get the best prospects. 6 years on I’m not entirely happy with my job and some of my friends who were brave enough to stick around in the small counties have ended up with really great jobs which make them happy and allow them to have a sustainable lifestyle – something I think London doesn’t provide. I’ve recently moved out to the Shires & commute into London but as I get older, having other people’s definition of a successful career has become less important to me. Being loved and supported is so much more important

  • you might be right.. they say no one looks back on their death bed and says ‘i wish i’d worked more’ but there’s a balance isn’t there…. http://thewanderlusthasgotme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/what-i-learnt-from-carrie-bradshaw.html

  • The thing is, at the moment, I’m in that place where I feel like I need that one particular job. In doing so, I’m stressed, miserable and tired. I think, once I’ve reached the goal I seem to think is unattainable, I wonder if I will be happy.

    I definitely do not enjoy my job at the moment. I think the terrible three moods I listed above are caused by that too. You work to live not live to work, but at the same time, if I quit, I’d have no money!

    I live very far away from my family, and it’s just me and my boyfriend, so I’m at a loss! I love where I am in life, just not the job, and I’m there 5 days a week!

    I’ll get where I want to be some day!! xx


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