I knew I was in trouble.
Into our seventh month of sessions, my productivity coach was shaking his head. “In three months, you’ve moved to three different countries, switched job three times – I’m a little worried,” he said. And he had every right to be. A few months ago, I was an assistant manager in a retail operation in the Philippines when I received an invitation to work in marketing in Thailand. Then I quit that same job to move to a more profitable teaching job in Vietnam which I’m now starting to loath. All in a span of three months. Talk about a jet setting job hopper. “You have to start settling down to one job or you’re always going to be nowhere,” he said.
A blogger said the same thing. “What do you really want?” she said in exasperation. “You have no direction in your life!”
I was feeling despair and depressed. It did seem I have no direction. After I quit teaching for 6 years in China, I couldn’t be satisfied in a job. I’ve tried freelance writing and public relations when I was in Chile. Then did retail in the Philippines. After did marketing in Thailand then took a step back again as a middle school teacher in Vietnam.
The problem is every time I started a job, I started thinking about the next job I was going to have. I couldn’t be satisfied with it. It was like going through Carrie Bradshaw’s closet only it wasn’t full of haute couture but work positions. And I couldn’t just merely try one on and opt for another. Switching jobs isn’t as easy as pulling down a zipper.
Another thing that makes me sad is that every time I “try on” a job, it was all to pursue writing. Whether getting jobs where I can get a solid income while I build my freelance business (like retail and middle school teaching) or writing was related in one form or another (like marketing) – it was to do whatever it takes to just write what I want. Sadly, it took many wrong paths for me and a hard dose of reality to realize that in order for me to happily write it will have to be a hobby for now (as I cannot gain a solid income from it yet) and it has to be writing topics that I know and want.
That still didn’t answer why I couldn’t settle on a job yet. And I was getting down on myself on not being like most people and envisioning a very sloppy career path of being unhireable. Not knowing what to do next – I turned to Google.
And as usual, Google has all the answers.
It led me to this book called The Renaissance Souls and a website for The Multipotentialites. They were about souls like me who couldn’t settle on one job because they have a vast array of interests. They are very happy and content to jump and explore all the skills a new job offers and when they are bored with it, they can’t wait to try the next one. This means they go through life exploring all the abundance the world has to offer and each time they do, it’s like a fresh and exciting start. Like a first date. Because of this they are never bored and they continually acquire and build up new skills.
They are the Leonardo da Vincis of this world.
I was excited and thrilled because it fits me. There are people like me out there and what do you know? – they do manage to survive and be successful all the while nurturing and satisfying their hunger for their multitudes of interests. Want to salsa dance, fly a plane and do inspirational speaking while juggling a stable job and family? No problem. You can do that. Afraid you’ll never be hired because you flit from one job to another? These resources tell you to be on a career path that will complement many interests at the same time give you time to purse others as a hobby.
I have already a copy of the book The Renaissance Souls and it has satisfied and bring to light all the concepts I’ve been blogging about since I quit China. My need for Divergence and Convergence. The push for experimentation and trying out of an “interest” for 30 days before going to the next. Of not knowing where to live and it’s okay to bump from one country to the next and not settle in one forever. For the first time, I feel truly alive and enthusiastic knowing I can devour hungrily all the wonderful interests the world has, that it is okay not to settle in one country forever and most importantly, learn and grow because there is just so much to explore.
In the meantime, I will be blogging more about the book after I’ve finished reading it. Then look for a career counselor to help me out (if you know one who works with Renaissance Souls, drop me a line!) and find a community of fellow Renaissance Souls (you know you’re out there!) to connect with.
The knowledge that there are people like me who goes out there to pursue their myriads of interests and succeeding gives me what I’ve been longing to have these past two years – HOPE.