I’ve been debating whether or not to write this post, because I hate to structure a story around a negative. But I feel like there’s so much value in honesty. So, here’s the truth: I’m currently experiencing a wave of career dissatisfaction.
For me, there are a few factors that have lead up to this point… For one, I’ve been blogging for 13 years in total (!!!), and it’s been my full-time job since late 2011. That’s a long time to do anything, so it’s only natural for there to be ups, downs and dips in motivation.
I also turn 30 next year, and I’m currently going through my Saturn return, so clearly I’m at a key point of transition.
But, beyond these two very personal factors, I also think that the blogging and social media industry has, for the most part, become a stifling and somewhat-unsettling environment.
The Instagram Issue
Everywhere I turn within the “influencer” community I’m hearing similar stories from my friends and peers. They’re tired of chasing likes on Instagram, and measuring their worth in numbers (numbers that, let’s face it, no longer mean much, because it’s so easy for people to inflate their follower counts).
There is such a huge appetite for the industry to revert back to content that provides substance, point of view, personality and authenticity. Yet little seems to be changing. And everyone’s content has started to look the same (tea outside Peggy Porschen, time-lapse videos of people getting dressed, etc).
So I’m starting to question whether there’s still room for me to grow and thrive within this space.
(FYI, the fact that I’m privileged enough to be in a position where I can make a living via social media, and then complain that it’s not fulfilling enough, is not lost on me. And a part of me feels incredibly guilty and ashamed for feeling this way.)
What comes next?
I can’t imagine that I’d ever stop blogging and podcasting altogether. But I’ve now reached the point where I want (and need) something else to occupy 40-50% of my workweek.
I’m ready for the next chapter of my career to begin. The only problem? I’m struggling to define exactly what that chapter will look like…
When it comes to ideas and inspiration, I currently feel completely paralysed. There are lots of things that I’m passionate about, but nothing is currently calling out to me (or, if it is, my brain is in such a tangle that I’m unable to hear it). And the more I try to force a lightning bolt moment of clarity, the more confused I become.
A few weeks ago I was reading Busy Philipps’ book, and in one of the final essays she writes about a point in her career when she became completely disillusioned by Hollywood and the auditioning process. She was just about ready to throw in the towel, but then a SoulCycle class switched her mindset. Busy writes:
One day, in SoulCycle, as I was sitting on my bike, my favourite trainer Angela started talking about being grateful in the waiting room. “I’m not saying you haven’t been in the waiting room before!” she yelled at us as we peddled away, “I’m not saying that you don’t deserve to skip the waiting room altogether. But here you are! And you need to be GRATEFUL in that WAITING ROOM! BECAUSE THAT DOOR IS ABOUT TO OPEN AND IF YOU ARE NOT SITTING THERE IN GRACE, YOUR NAME WILL NOT BE CALLED! BE GRATEFUL IN THAT WAITING ROOM!!!”
So that is what I’ve decided to do, for now: be grateful in the waiting room, and sit tight until the next chapter is ready to begin. Here’s hoping a bright idea isn’t too far away…
Have you also experienced a period of career dissatisfaction before? Did it lead to a change in direction, or did you ultimately find your mojo again? Or are you experiencing similar struggles right now, and feeling equally as confused? Share your stories in the comments section below…
Photos by Kylie Eyra