Career crisis


It’s Labor Day weekend, and my friends are in career crisis.

We’re in our 30s, and the job landscape keeps shifting. I’m lucky: I found a job that I love after losing a job and a workplace and a newspaper.

But for those in my circle, work (or lack of it) has become a prison.


This has been building for years, this discontent, this malaise. If you’re grinding it out with little recognition and heaps of abuse, why bother?

I’ve been there. It can poison the other parts of your life, no matter how good you’ve got it.

I don’t know if we’re too tied up with our work lives. For me, work is important, but I’d gladly focus on marriage and family if those were options right now. But the day job can become a nightmare off the clock.

I listen to their horror stories: bad bosses, bad employees, annoying coworkers, fear of the future, indecision over how to make a living. I sympathize, empathize, proselytize.

And I count my blessings.

How do smart, hard-working, decent folks get stuck in crappy jobs? How do they get out? How do they find the right fit?

I suggest networking. I suggest reading “What Color Is Your Parachute?” I suggest sticking it out, running to a job rather than from one.

I tell them to vent to me as needed.

And I pray they find something good, or something good finds them.

Life’s too short to be doing something you hate, when Labor Day is every day.


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