Pay The Bills . . . or Feed My Spirit – Can I Do Both?

So you make ends meet by commuting 40 minutes a day – one way – to what your sister-in-law calls a ‘dead end job’. She’s a big shot on Wall Street, climbs the corporate ladder in her ‘career’, and gets periodic bonuses that could fill your refrigerator for 6 months-and then some. You are happy for her, even though she keeps telling you that you could (and should) do so much better. She just doesn’t get it.

Is this simply a matter of semantics? Does it matter whether the means by which you make financial ends meet is by way of a ‘job’ or ‘career’? It might. It might not. It depends upon how you define personal satisfaction.

To many, joy is fed by time and effort invested in a ‘career’ which, to them signifies a work situation that feeds the spirit and helps fulfill personal and professional potential. How about a job? Can’t it be fulfilling? What if your job is easy, not too demanding, pays the bills and leaves you enough time and energy for hobbies and/or other investments/events which bring you joy?

“As long as you maintain a balanced mind, body and spirit, who cares what you call your money earning experience?”

Short term and long term goals are very personal. We are responsible for our own choices and decisions regarding how we spend each moment of our life. There is no right or wrong; there is only personal happiness and fulfillment.

You are lucky and on the best path for you at this moment in time if you:

  • awaken each morning with a sense of purpose, comfort and joy
  • consider yourself blessed
  • can make ends meet (with a bit left over to save for a rainy day) and a lifestyle that permits you to feed your mind, body and spirit
  • feel satisfied, overall, with how each day begins, progresses and ends

Labels are meaningless. If you love what you do each day, it does NOT matter whether it is labeled a ‘job’ or ‘career.’ Isn’t the point to enjoy whatever in your life ‘gets you going’ (be it gardening, reading, writing, any hobby or creative outlet then, as long as the bills are paid and you have a solid roof over your head)? If so, then whose business is it what you do or how you do it (as long as it feeds the universe with positive energy, and is legal, moral, and ethical as defined by the culture in which you live)?

There is, however, a problem with your job OR career if you:

  • awaken with a sense of dissatisfaction, frustration or fatigue on a regular basis
  • feel bullied and/or disrespected throughout the day
  • have a personality that hungers for adventure or independence, and a drive that makes you itch for upward mobility where none exists
  • often dream about being your own boss one day with this goal nowhere in sight if you remain on your current path

If you are not fulfilled in your ‘job’ OR ‘career’, you already know you need to:

  • update your resume
  • apply for additional certification in a field of your choice (if necessary)
  • sign up for a course or two in order to prepare (if you seek upward mobility but lack credentials)

Satisfaction and joy are important for a centered mind, body and spirit. Not everyone needs to chair a committee or open a company. It isn’t everyone’s dream to climb the corporate ladder, publish a paper or teach a graduate course.

If you have the luxury of vacationing – enjoy; however, if you ‘need’ that vacation because it provides an escape from a life you dread, take stock of whatever you desire or lack, and what stands in your way of fulfillment.

Life is to be embraced with joy, and it is up to you to find your joy – no matter HOW it presents. Bottom line: if fulfillment isn’t in your own backyard at this point in time, check out the resources below and tap into them that you can plan your next move.

Click on the links below for some guidance:

Resume templates

Interviewing techniques

Finding your dream job

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