Pandemic Pause: When You're no Longer Passionate about your Profession
Updated: May 17
Let me first say that I have heard my share of horror stories about jobs during the pandemic. Mostly that people just weren't finding work. That wasn't the case for me. I was finding gigs, but a lot of them weren't good. Fortunately--the silver lining, if you will--is that they finally made me say to myself, "what the hell am I doing?"
Since my late 20s approaching mid-30s, I have almost always chronically been chained to a desk, sometimes without benefits and hardly any time off. I haven't taken vacation in almost three years.
I took a job with a pharmaceutical company during the second half of the pandemic. Things started out OK, until I was working 12 hour days, no overtime, and sometimes weekends. It was, unfortunately, all too familiar.
I've made a promise to myself and everyone I know that I'm not doing that anymore. I'm not sacrificing my life for money. On top of that, I've realized that I have not chased my dreams in a long time. (Working on several writing projects I started but never finished.)
Sometimes it seems like the most important thing is money; that you have to have a high-paying job, no matter what it is. That even if you're miserable and wasting the best years of your life, as long as you're putting funds in the bank, then it shouldn't matter. After all, nobody likes their job, right?
I no longer believe that, and I won't live that way.
What I do believe is that I can find something else that makes me happy. Of course, I realize this is sort of a loaded statement because in a sense, you need a job (sometimes, any job) to be happy. (Why? Because you need money that provides basic necessities to live, which in turn, make you happy.) However, you can't be happy at your job without a healthy work-life balance. And even more than that, you can't be productive and successful at your job if you are not passionate about it.
There are a lot of people out there whose lives are swallowed up by their jobs. They're just working a job because it's a job. I completely get it. And I get it because money is so important. It's necessary. That was me.
But if you have another talent--another dream--and it's always been on the back-burner, please start thinking about the "what ifs." You deserve it. I'm doing the same myself right now, and I'll be following up later, here.
Life is too short.