I landed my first "real job" right after graduating at a company I was initially excited about. After a few months and a shift in my duties, I soon found the work monotonous and too far removed from what I wanted to be doing. I studied marketing at LIM College, a small, private college in the heart of New York City with a focus on the fashion industry. I never wanted to be the next Anna Wintour, but I wanted to work in the fashion world. It was exciting and glamours and it was what I was drawn. The trends, the designers, the art and passion that goes into fashion. It's not all glitz and glam, and sure the work isn't always going to be exciting. It can be caddy and tough, but my experiences were always positives one.
One of my greatest internships was at Town & Country Magazine. I was only interning once a week on Fridays, but I always woke up excited to get into the office and see what I could help with. I would grab my coffee on the way and walk across town on 59th Street right along Central Park. I started my internship in the fall when the leaves where changing and the trees were showing off. I can remember a specific day on my walk to work when I thought to myself, "Mary, can you believe you are walking along 59th Street in NYC, coffee in hand, on your way to organize clothing and accessories from some of your favorite designers to prepare for a photo shoot?" I was in awe of my situation and so incredibly excited to show up at a job where I was unpaid and running around all day organizing and collecting garment bags. But I'll tell you what- it never felt like work. Every time I stepped into Heart Tower and stared up the steep mammoth escalator to the half a dozen elevators that lead to Town & Country, Cosmo and various other magazine offices, I was giddy.
|Photo of Central Park on a sunny fall day on my walk to Hearst Tower.|
Fast forward to last week. My days of sorting Oscar de la Renta shoes are long gone and I stare at a computer fixing issues on the backend of a website for hours at a time.Work that was tedious, stressful and most of all lacking in drive and creativity. Don't get me wrong, I am not afraid of hard work, but I am afraid of mindless work. I had only been working this job for 4 months, I loved the people, but the job duties were stressful and non stop issues arose every hour it seemed. There were too many issues to uncover and solve in a day. Day after day, I would leave defeated, rattled, and feeling like a failure. The stress turned into anxiety and the anxiety kept me up at night. I was getting little sleep and when morning came I dreaded the commute to an dark old office.
Sunday, January 14th rolled around and work was looming only hours away. I could not fathom the idea of going into work the next day. The thought of it made me nervous and so anxious I wanted to break down and cry. I was unhappy, stressed to no end, and saw no way of bettering my situation. I did something I never imagined I would do and something I am not completely proud of. I wrote an email stating my resignation. At one am on Monday, January 15th, I threw in the towel.
I am not a quitter. I have worked in jobs I didn't enjoy in the past, but over the course of a month or so, this job was breaking me down. This was not a decision I took lightly and I considered the consequences and all the people I would affect and disappoint. But, with all that to consider, my mental health, well-being and happiness were far more important to me.
I grew up in a family full of hard workers. My father owns a business and my mother is a lawyer. At a young age, a strong work ethic and desire for success was instilled in me. But I think there was another piece of the puzzle that was not always stressed in our society, and that was to find joy in my work. This is no fault of my parents, I think this is a characteristic of America. I have come to realize what a strong emphasis there is to finding a job and earning a paycheck, but I think being happy with what you do is just as important, if not more important. Before I started working full-time, I would tell myself "I want to find a job and do what I love." That certainly fell to the wayside as jobs were hard to come by and the feeling of need to find a job outweighed the need to find the RIGHT job.
I am ready to work. I am ready to throw myself into a job. I just want it to be the right job. I think I get so hung up on the idea that a company wants to hire me that I forget that I should also want to work for that company. I have certainly accepted jobs because I felt I needed to more than I felt I wanted to work there. It's important to remember, I get to choose the job just as the managers get to choose me, if I am the right fit. I am making myself a promise to only apply to jobs that I can see bringing me joy. Sure, there will be tough days, but the good days will outweigh the bad if I am doing what I love.
Resigning was a very difficult decision. It was a choice I made with a heavy heart, but once I made the choice I felt a burden was lifted. You know that saying that's been around (and is so clique), "You only live once." Well, I have realized it's true. You only live once and I did not want to live another day feeling overwhelmingly unhappy and unfilled. I want to find my dream job. Honestly, I do not know what that is. I have so many interests from food to fashion to anything surrounding creativity. And maybe my next job won't even be in the marketing field anymore. One of my favorite quotes (another clique) is "Not all who wander are lost." I am wandering right now. My path my not be clear, but I know what I want and just as importantly, what I don't want. I may be wandering, but I am not lost. I am at just beginning my journey.
|I still have the issues of T&C that I helped with during my internship.|