There’s a lot of career bashing these days.
People are saying that having a career is dead. Down with the career. Boo.
So, I have to ask, replace it with what exactly? A calling, an adventure, a purpose?
Is this simply a question of semantics? Are we quibbling about a word because of the meaning that we have ascribed to it?
Are we putting down an entire word because we happen to not like the career we’re in?
What exactly is dead about the career?
According to Merriam-Webster, a career is a “job or profession that someone does for a long time”.
A career can also mean “a period of time spent in a job or profession”.
Or try this for size: “a field for or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement”.
Or this: “a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling”.
People have writing careers. Acting careers. Careers in journalism. Careers in law enforcement. Careers in health care. Careers in the arts. Careers in business. Teaching careers. I can go on…
Which to me simply means these people spent time learning about and progressing in their chosen fields or areas of work.
Perhaps, it’s the career path that people are objecting to.
The idea that there is one path that you’re supposed to traverse—and that this path is pre-designed and prescrived—may be what’s getting people tripped up.
I suspect that the changing of the times is the culprit her. Our parents and grandparents had limited opportunities—compared to us, that is. They didn’t have as many choices. And what was available to them wasn’t necessarily practical or truly attainable. For them, getting a chance to pursue one career path was golden.
Today, we hear of people having more than one career in their lifetime. One after another. Or simultaneously.
Jared Leto has an acting career, a singing career, and a film editing career. All at the same time.
Joanna Penn had a consulting career. Now she has a writing and a speaking career.
My previous dentist is both a dentist and a singer. Simultaneously.
So I say, have a career.
Have two, if you want. Pick a path, or two. Or try on different ones for fit.
It’s not important what we call it, or how many we have.
What’s important is we commit to our chosen field(s).
What’s important is that we do something that moves us toward your goal. And that we don’t let our fears stop us.
What’s important is that we don’t use our current career as the excuse for not going after the one we want.