Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A year and a half

since I wrote this post, and not a thing has changed, except now I've been at my job for four years instead of two and a half. I still do not know what to do. I appreciate advice, but I just don't know how to follow it.


  1. I hear you about being in a rut and not knowing how to get excited about your career. Trying to find one's calling is extremely challenging, especially when you might have passions that don't translate well into money-making ventures. It happens to a LOT of people. As one of your previous commenters said, though, at least you care. That is a start.

    My first piece of advice: Figure out your five-year plan. Where do you want to be in five years? What would you like to have accomplished? Doesn't have to be career related, necessarily, but this'll help you focus on some of your goals. And they can be small, too. Just a wish list of things you'd like to accomplish in the next five years. The idea is to find things you'd like to do/try that you might get excited about. *Maybe* you can find a way to translate your goals into a career change. But even if not, it gives you ideas about fun things you can occupy your time with while you're in your less-than-engaging job.

    My second piece of advice is: try a career counselor. They know how to draw out of people the skills that they have and then give them options they might not have considered before.

    Beyond all of this, I think the key is just to get out there and try something - anything - different if you simply feel like you're just crossing pages off the calendar. You can't assume change will come to you, you often gotta go to it, no matter how tough it might be to get out of your comfort zone. I got a fortune cookie fortune once that said "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." One of the most helpful 'fortunes' I've ever gotten as far as kicking me in the pants. Hope it helps for you.

  2. Hey Matt,

    "Advice" is to be taken with a grain of salt, we're all muddling through and Dr Phil makes me sick, but I agree that yes change is good, more importantly tho the fear and adrenaline that come with change is good. I know this sounds like an inspiring romantic comedy but it's true that fear in change is often what accompanies movement, and it is better than fear in the midst of stasis. But also, massive variety can simply be good too. I mean that sometimes the 'machine-gun' approach, of working very hard on several things at once, can be useful. Your photos for instance are wonderful: I come to this blog for your photos as much as for anything else. Make a portfolio? Go on foot to galleries to show them this? Talk to other poets to show them simultaneously during readings or other events? And simultaneously apply for journalistic work, write articles freelance, or if you don't want to do this, scatter the seeds even further: most won't take, that's fine, but some will. It can be a question of probability.

    Just two questionstho, I may have missed these in other posts but: what's your job at the moment? And why have you ruled out leaving New York? You could always come back to New York. Mightn't this be a limitation? Be well,

  3. Hey Nicholas,

    Yeah, photography is something I'd like to get into, but I feel like I need to learn a lot more about it first. I'm nervous about what a real photographer would think of my stuff. They would probably be able to sniff out the fact that I always just use the auto settings, for one thing:) But yeah, maybe I'll work on that this year.

    I've been working as a temp in the files department of a law firm for the past four years. I carry around papers and boxes from room to room. That's literally all the job is.

    The reason I say I couldn't leave New York is because I just love living here, and I'm not sure there's anywhere in America I'd like more. Plus, it is hard to come back if you leave--securing a job and a place to live simultaneously would be a nightmare.