In our twenties, we focus on building a Resume. On that piece of paper, we highlight our experience to show our worth to future employers. We overemphasize the relevance of what we have accomplished. We exaggerate the importance of our university activities and job tasks to make ourselves seem more valuable.
I went to undergrad, participated in extracurricular activities, completed internships, and created a Resume to reflect this in order to get my first job. What was the goal upon graduation? The same as my classmates: we wanted to put our degrees to use by working in the field in which we studied. That’s what we defined as success right out of college.
Three years later, I have written my Resume to show that I worked in my field of study. It exemplifies what I’ve learned and accomplished. It shows that I did what I was supposed to do.
Typically, at this point in my life, at age 25, I would either be working toward advancing in the company in which I was working or looking for a new job somewhere that would continue me on my career path. If I had been interested in switching companies, I would interview secretly while working at my current job so that my employer didn’t know and so that I did not leave until I had another job lined up. If I left without something else, I would have to explain the gap on my Resume to an interviewer someday. I would run the risk of seeming irresponsible if there was a gap between employment. In the United States of America, it is very important to show that you’re always hard at work.
Instead of continuing on that path, I’ve chosen a different road. I quit my job without a new one lined up which means I am running the risk of being perceived as irresponsible. Here I am with no job and not much of a plan. I’m moving to Australia on a work and travel visa. I have a hostel booked for the first week in Melbourne. I have no job and no prospects. I have no housing arrangements. And oddly enough, this is the most calm and centered I’ve felt in a very long time. I’m no longer in need of convincing myself multiple times per week that working in an office is right for me right now. I was lying to myself, but I was doing what I was supposed to do.
Now, I am going to focus on building experience that actually excites me. Now is my time to build a TRAVEL Resume, because that’s what I really want. I want to not only go to as many countries as possible, but also live in some. I want to get the full experience, first hand. I want something real and something new. I can’t sit in an office right now.
After debating this decision for months, I decided that if I didn’t do it, I could regret it, and regret is a big fear of mine. Now is my time before more real world responsibilities pile up. I’m avoiding those. I want to travel now, while I’m young.
“The most dangerous risk of all – the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” -Randy Komisar
We don’t know what’s to come. It could be the end of the world tomorrow or more likely, we or someone we love could be in bad health when we finally have the money to do what we want. I want to do what I want, while I CAN do what I want. I don’t have much money saved, but I’ll live simply and I’ll figure it out. Lucky for me I have a wonderful, supportive home base that I can always go back to, so to me, this choice is worth the risk of spending the money I’ve saved and explaining an employment gap in the future. I have no idea what my future career will be, anyway. I hope this year helps me figure that out.
If you’re feeling unsure about what you’re doing with your life, think about it. Really think about it. Drive yourself crazy thinking about it. I did. It took awhile for me to admit that I was unhappy at my job. I really liked the people I worked with. I really wanted to want that life. But you have to be honest with yourself. If it’s not what you want, then leave the life you’re supposed to have and make it up as you go. After all, it’s your life. And for my fellow twenty-somethings, I hope you pursue your dreams. If you’re unclear of what those dreams are right now, I hope you are brave enough to just do whatever it is that brings you joy.