Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Path to Where?

Do you ever feel like you are on the road to somewhere where you have no idea? I mean, like you don't know where you are going career-wise and although you have options, you don't know which ones to take? Well.....that is how I feel.

Ugf, who knows why sometimes I feel like this and other times no, but I sure wish I could stop feeling like this.

Back in college, I had clear goals, I knew what I wanted to do and how to get there. I was motivated to all ends to achieve those goals. The annual scholarship process helped me really consider my goals and document them. But then I came to Chile and my life changed, my outlook changed and my plans changed. Since I have graduated and have not had the need to really reflect on my goals and how I plan to achieve them. I feel like I use to have everything so clear and that kept me motivated to keep going even when things got difficult or boring or whatnot. And when I achieved my goals, it felt sooooo good.

Not that the changes that came out of study abroad in Chile have not been for the positive. They have....I would never give up what I learned during that year, meeting my husband or anything about it. But at the same time I feel like all of those changes were so dramatic in comparison to my previous goals that I can't get myself back on track. Now I don't know what to do with my life....where to go, how to make it fit with our international lifestyle that will always be there, etc. Do I want to stay in the same sort of position that I am in (financial accounting-related) or do I want to go the tax route (another viable option) or do I want to throw accounting out the window and do something all together different (event planning has crossed my mind a time or two)? All require an investment in furthering my studies or gaining more experience in order to be come successful.

There is that word: successful. What does it mean anyway? I know they say that each person should define success to them and go after that, but well I have to say that as a perfectionist, defining success becomes a pretty unattainable goal. I mean, I happen to be one of those people who when they do something, does it 100% or doesn't do it at all. I know this is a weakness of mine that I have to work on in the fact that I need to learn to take risks even though I am not 100% sure because big wins come with big risks. As Jenny mentions in her post, doing something is better than nothing. I have tried to implement starting small....but seriously, my perfectionist side gets to me and unless I can devote enough time or make official a new idea, it sadly goes stagnent. I want success, for me, to be having a career that I that I wake up in the morning excited to do and one that I don't want to stop doing at night....but I also want to be able to live financially well. I have this right brain-left brain battle constantly going on. It is like when I was deciding what to major I go for dance/ballet because I love it or do I got for accouting/business because I am good at it, like it enough and it is practical? I took the practical always, choosing what seems like the logical and more stable career.

Then there is this other issue that plays a big role in what I am feeling: I want to be the boss. For those of you who know me, maybe this is no surprise to you. But, really, I want my own company. I want to call the shots. To be honest, I am tired of being the bottom rung, so to speak--always having my work reviewed by the higher ups, not being able to make decisions without consulting a plethora of people, etc. I mean, from one angle, it is obvious that things should be this way....I work at a multinational company that has certain policies and procedures in place and these things have to be followed. But on the other end, I just want to have that control. I have been working since i was 15 and a half and I feel like that is enough experience, even if it isn't all considered "professional". It would be a dream come true to have my own business and it be viable financially. The next question to conquer would be what kind of business? Well, I have about a million different ideas about businesses that I think would be good to start.

Does this boil down to a question of too many options? Maybe.....but, I also can't seem to shake this sort of lost feeling that I have in that I want to know where I am headed. I want to decide where I am headed and move in that direction. Of course I know that plans will change, but I went from having a detailed plan to not having one and well, I need to find a middle ground.

It doesn't help that we are in between two countries all of the time. We think we know when we will head back to the US....but of course it is really all dependent on the economy, the visa application process, and a ton of other things.

Sorry for the ramble.....I tried talking to Christian about these things and while he is a great listener, he was not so good at giving me the feedback I need. I think I need to find a mentor who would be open to discussing these topics with me. I have some in the States, but the distance makes it kind of difficult to maintain such personal relationships. I mean, I just don't feel comfortable contacting them and dumping all of this stuff on them. And here in Chile, well I just don't have a mentor of that sort. I have my friends who are also great to talk to, but we all have busy lives, some may be feeling the same way and while talking about it and generating ideas with them is good, it is hard for us to get the chance to get together and talk. Forget about phone conversations.....with calls being at least US $0.50 per minute, that just isn't an option. Which for now leaves me with my blog. And all of you out in the blog-o-sphere. So thanks for being there. I needed to get this off my chest.


Maeskizzle said...

These are definitely good questions to be asking. It's good to find your path.

I think you might be stuck in your logical left brain on this one. What does your right brain have to say about it? Is there anything in particular that inspires you? Business ideas or future possibilities?

I'd say give it time, but you've been in a state of inquiry for awhile it seems. Perhaps you just need to choose a path and if you get down it and realize it's not the right one, choose again?

Good luck!! ;)


Lucie said...

Don't worry! You're not alone! I think these are normal feelings for anyone who is finally done school and venturing out into the world. It's scary and it's good to ask questions. This period of instability and wondering is pretty common at the beginning but just take comfort in the fact that one day you will be somewhere living a stable comfortable life and will be looking back at the journey that brought you there. The journey is the part where you learn the most about yourself and about life.

I'm in the same situation as you and finding that my once concrete goals are now changing and becoming fuzzier and I don't know what it is I want anymore (career wise). So just enjoy the ride and keep working towards whatever it is you feel "pulled" to! Good luck!

Mamacita Chilena said...

Preaching to the choir my friend!

I studied Sports Management and sometimes wonder if I should go back to that instead of photography, a field in which I had NO experience in when I started. But I am my own boss, which as you said is pretty much awesome. However, then I wonder, would it be more satisfying climbing the ranks of a big company? I think what is nice about having bosses is that there's always someone there to kick you in the ass if you're slacking off or pat you on the back if you're doing well. With my business, both of those roles have to be played

I don't know, there's a lot to talk about on this subject. But I'd definitely be down for a little career oriented happy hour one day. We'll be back in Santiago soon so I'll send you an email.

Emily said...

Umm, yes to career happy hour! Sorry I'm so late on commenting...I've had this post marked since I first read it and kept putting off actually commenting because I couldn't figure out exactly what to say.

Basically, I feel you 100%. I know my current job is a good first step, but I don't know what I want to be the second (or third) step, and I'm not really sure how to figure that out. And of course there's the whole US/Chile issue, plus questions like when will we have kids, what will Rodolfo do for a career (since that affects me too), all that family stuff. Growing up is fun! I think it's great that our generation is really trying to tackle these topics head-on rather than just floating around waiting for life to happen, but it's also kind of stressful and uncomfortable at times.

So far I feel like if I take some time to consider all the factors and options and then just let them marinate, I'll get a little tiny answer - I would love to sit down and solve all my "problems" at once, but that doesn't happen. I haven't had any huge epiphanies yet, but there have been little moments of "ok, I want this to be included in my future." For now, that's enough progress to keep me sane because I figure over the next few years, as those moments accumulate, I'll get a better idea of what I want my future as a whole to look like, at which point I can start figuring out how to get there.

PS. Love Jenny, she is so wise - did you know we were in the same sorority together at UCLA?

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.