Well let me tell you future employers, I have relevant experience…

Sometimes I wonder if she is happy, if her meetings are making great substitutes for her friends, if she is just as sad as I am to see her tell her friends she cant hang out because she was too many places to be. Sometimes I want to cry for her when she is too worn out to talk to her mother on the phone and she does not want her mother to see her negativity. I know she is hurting because she wants to talk to her best friend who needs her, her friend from home who has just become very sick. She wants to be everywhere at once but she can only be where she has scheduled herself to be. She hears it day in and day out, “You have everything going for you,” “Who would not want your life? It is absolutely perfect.” And all she can do is sigh and agree because she knows complaining will not give her more minutes to the ones she has already lost at meetings. Crying wont supply her the energy she has already lost. She loves what she does, but she needs to learn to put down the books, put aside the planner, and take a step back and reprioritize.

April 29, 2009 (One year ago today)

If you are looking to do what I did last year let me give you a few warnings first: A piece of paper will never hold your hand. Your planner will not curl up next to you or fix you a cup of tea. Your meetings won’t even flinch when you try to tell them about your day and when you try to take that same piece of paper shopping with you, it won’t be honest about how that black top really looks.

Perhaps you have met the stunning piece of paper I was referring to, his name is “resume” and he is a pretty big deal. Or so they say. Of course I don’t discard the importance of past experience or relevant skills but I think sometimes we tend to put aside people and the real essence of life to give ourselves up to this piece of paper. We pour ourselves daily into perfecting this piece of paper, into being top-notch at our work and at the head of the game for the job search. We stress and cry and pull our hair out over meetings and events and things we “committed” ourselves to.

Well, if these are the things that really matter then why don’t they read off resumes at funerals? How come we don’t sit around the table with our girlfriends and spill over each others’ latest accumulations of relevant skills?

That post above was written one year ago in separate blog for my magazine writing class. Although I was supposed to be keeping the content to “plagiarism issues” somehow the blog got me to see that I was unhappy, overtired and that I was spreading myself too thin. I was put nothing into my relationships, I was going to sleep lonely. I was waking up with no real reason for waking.

The hardest part can be admitting that we are unhappy with the way our lives look, to come to terms with the fact that we are indeed lonely or spending too much quality time with our resumes and planners.

I met someone this year who completely puzzled me; he was one of the first people who saw right past the walls put up by my full agenda book and bullet points on a resume. He looked right into my eyes and told me that I was tired and that I need a little fun in my life. And he said that is all he wanted to help me with. Help me let my hair down once in a while. He still does not know how that meant the world to me.

We all need these little reminders, be it a person we are close to or our own tired selves look back in the mirror. We all should use these little check points and dare to ask them daily: Am I happy? Am I having fun? Am I making everyday worth it? But even more difficult than evaluating our lives with these sometimes hard to ask questions is having the courage, when the answer is no, to take a step back and make a change. This change involves all the active verbs employers won’t ever look for on a resume: searching our souls, finding our bliss, cutting some slack, gaining a hobby, letting go of negativity, forgiving ourselves, vowing to move forward. Now that is “relevant experience” if I do say so myself.

We live in a culture where dedication to our careers and setting goals is expected, but is any of the success worth it if we cannot attest to being happy with it all? If we cannot take a night off, slide off of the paper and step away from the planner…

Dare to join me?

23 thoughts on “Well let me tell you future employers, I have relevant experience…

  1. “Some women chase men, and some women chase after their careers. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember: your career won’t wake up and tell you it doesn’t love you anymore.” -Lady Gaga

  2. I believe in happiness over a crazy job that I would hate! You have to believe that you will never be “in love” with your job, you can like it a lot at times, but you don’t WANT to be in love with your job, because as it drags on you’ll fall out of love with it. Don’t do what you LOVE, do what you enjoy and are good at. Something you can put away at the end of the day and turn your hearts desires to something truly lovable!

    1. Totally true Margarita! I think it is important to be able to separate yourself from your work at time but to make sure that it is a job that you are happy doing. So key. Thank you for coming by!


      Hannah Katy

  3. I had this revelation about a year ago. I was in law school working myself to the bone. I was so unhappy. I reevaluated and left that life. I am now so happy. I am following the dream I want and creating a blissful life. Happiness is now my goal, not any other kind of success. Happiness is the only kind of true success. This post was awesome. Your writing is always inspirational!

    1. Holly, that is crazy! Good for you for having the courage to follow a different path that fulfills you, I don’t think many people could actually do that… That in itself is a huge inspiration to me. Thank you.


      Hannah Katy

  4. First of all, that’s my pic of you, Molly, and Celia via Skype, right? YAY!

    Secondly, you’re right: if you’re not happy, little else matters. And God’s not happy either. I learned that during my 1 year of teaching in ’95-’96 (in NYC!) when I woke up feeling like I was hitting a brick wall…over and over again. God was making it clear: ‘you’re not happy and neither am I! Do what you love.’

    Life is good now. And just like the ‘Life Is Good’ mug says that I’m sipping from now, “Do what you like. Like what you do.”


    1. “Do what you love” love love love it. I just put that advice in my last Provoc column actually.. Thank you for encouraging me to do the same… From you I learned how important it is to follow my heart and I am soooo happy that I did!

      And yes, that is your picture. That was one of the BEST days.


      Hannah Katy

  5. Love that little flowchart!! You’re ABSOLUTELY right… if you don’t like something, change it. Too often we can become too afraid to change things, switch up the routine, take risks… but we all have the power to make the choice to take action in shaping the life we want rather than sitting (dis)content with how things are just because they’re comfortable.

    1. Isn’t it cute?? Ha I found it through Google images. And you are so right as well love. I always admire your free spirit and your ability to hold tight to your faith and see things through, even with your crazy job search you were keeping your head up and forging through.. staying upbeat and positive! Thank you for that, thank you also for being such a source of happiness in my life.


      Hannah Katy

  6. When I was pursuing an education degree, I was seriously unhappy. I hated my internships, hated the stress, and basically hated everything to do with teacher (except the kids…loved the kids).

    And now, with journalism, I love it. I have an internship I absolutely adore (even if it’s not journalism and more marketing), I love my classes, and I could see myself being fulfilled with this profession.

    A resume doesn’t define us. Life experiences do. But sometimes, life experiences can be found on a resume, don’t you think? (Not all, but some.)

    1. Totally in agreement with you. Some of the most awesome experiences of mine have been able to fit on a resume as well, it just makes me nervy and causes me to take a step back when I am so preoccupied with finishing something just so I can type it onto that piece of paper.

      I am so happy you love journalism! We should chat about it sometime, I am in love with it also.. I hope you continue to find that same kind of fulfillment in the future.


      Hannah Katy

      1. I agree! We should find fulfillment in other things as well. Things that maybe wouldn’t look so good on a resume and offer a different type of life experience.

  7. How perfectly relevant this was for me to read today. We are so much more than words on a piece of a paper! While I am perfectly content in my current position, I know that someday I am going to want more. I am going to want to pursue what truly makes me happy–writing and photography. That time hasn’t arrived yet, but it will someday, and I am looking forward to a whole new sense of happiness.

    And jumping on the bandwagon, I LOVE that flowchart!

    1. Thanks Ash. Great to hear from you! And I look forward to the day you are able to cultivate your writing and photographing abilities.. You are so talented!


      Hannah Katy

  8. You’re so right with this… what people strive for, above and beyond everything else, is happiness.

    If you’re not happy, your job or money don’t matter. Money can’t buy you happiness.

    The important things are the relationships in your life… even though it might be nice to be remembered for something, most people will always treasure meaningful moments and relationships above everything else.

    Have you seen “Before Sunrise”? It’s not just a brilliant chick flick, but it also has a lot of wisdom.

    1. I feel the same way, relationships trump any job. I think it is important to remember to give our time and energy to those relationships more than we do our work.. That is something I need to coach myself with at times. And no I have not seen that movie, I will have to check it out!


      Hannah Katy

  9. What a great post! I especially like your point that resumes aren’t read at funerals. I’ve been working so hard the last few years on my professional life. In January, I made a promise that 2010 would be my “year of fun.” So far, I’ve checked 4 things off my bucket list & it’s only May! I’m so much happier.

    1. That is so good to hear Jan. I need to get on to drafting a true bucket list, so then I can actually start crossings things off.. Thanks for coming by.


      Hannah Katy

  10. wow! thank you, you really enlightened me. I was in a job I didn’t like and now that I don’t have a job I want to go back to it. Reading this made me think twice. Why would I want to suffer doing the same thing again?

    1. Very good question. It must be so tough especially not having the job but I think you should hold tight to what you really want to do, life has a way of working with our passions and guiding us to unexpected places. Really glad this post found you at the right time.


      Hannah Katy

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