Sunday, August 10, 2008


I was coming home from work at around 5am when one of my customers spotted me on the train. We exchanged “Hello” and took our seats on the train. I had a book in hand ready to delve into the pages; however, I did not want to seem rude. The conversation began with the highlights from the previous night. I informed him that my night was very slow as far as work. He told me that he went to a birthday party at club Mansion. He mentioned that he “hated the club” but his friend’s birthday was there and he wanted to come out and support. Next, the discussion switched to careers and past work experience.

So, here’s my dilemma: I mentally cringe inside when someone inquires about what I do as far as a career and what I’m currently working on as far as projects. Why? I’m sure you’re asking as you continue to read this post. Well, I am a writer. But no one and I mean no one is content with the response, “Oh, I’m a writer” showing a smile and changing the subject. No, that’s never enough. The follow up question to that answer is “Well, what do you write?” This is where its gets tricky. People define you by what you do. Hell, I’m sure they even unconsciously judge you by your choice of work. At this point, I get nervous and think to myself, “Shit. What do I write? What am I doing with myself? Where is my career going?” I’m still searching to categorize myself as a _______writer. Therefore, I really can not give the person inquiring a solid answer. It makes me uncomfortable. I’m still trying to find my own niche. The most painful part of it all is what if I never find it and I’m still Restless…Restless with my half-baked, half-full career. I feel as if my GRIND to entrepreneurship has made a complete stop. I’m not sure where to go next.

My customer, as usual, asked me the same notorious question. The question that has me tongue-tied about my career.

“What do you write?” he said.

“Well, I’m qualified in a few areas but my expertise was in public relations. But, I’m not sure if I want to do that anymore. I don’t know,” I said unhappily while shrugging my shoulders.

The conversation continued about my educational background, past jobs, editorial magazines, and a few more sentences that ended with me saying, “I don’t know.”

Then he said, “How long have you been out of school?”

“Long enough,” I quickly commented.

“And your still saying ‘I don’t know’,” he brought to my attention.

“Well, yeah because I don’t know. What else should I say? I’m still sorting it all out.” I said.

I was relieved that we finally stopped talking about me and focused on his career and life experiences. I learned that he is in finance, went to college in Chicago, finished his senior year in Greece to study internationally, worked for Lehman Brothers up until last week, and has now taken a new position as VP at some bank. In addition, he is supporting his 21 year-old sister who will be going to college in Chicago as well.

I had to admit that I was impressed. He definitely sounded like he had it all figured out. He was confident but not arrogant at all. His story was motivating.

The train stopped and the doors opened.

“Is this your stop?” he said.

“Yes, it is.” I got up said my “good-byes” and bolted for the steps to get ahead in the cab line. I knew that I could only blame myself if I truly fail as a writer. I guess feeling Restless got one good thing out of me. It got me to write this post for my blog and I am happy that I decided to do it.

Food For Thought: Have you ever felt restless about your career? What did you do about it? How did you overcome it?

I welcome your comments as I am sure that they will inspire me. So, please don’t forget to type your opinions in the comment section.


  1. When you don't like your current job situation/living situation - or any situation and someone asks about it you feel as though you will be judged. In order to change your situation you need to look at what you need to do in order to get where you want to be. What company would give you the most experience? Even if you want to work for yourself it’s always good to start somewhere – gain more experience. Look up networking groups that are doing what you want to do and join one. There are tons in PR companies. You need to work at one of them. Then you will be happy to describe and talk about what you’re doing for work. If you start at the bottom you may need to get a second gig - at least you’ll be doing something that will look good and ADD VALUE to your resume. Once that happens there will be no cringing. I knew what I wanted to do early and I took positions I didn’t necessarily like but knew those positions would put me in the right direction and added value to m y resume for what I aimed to do. You should do the same. I have to say – some folks that are restless and want to do this or that haven’t put themselves in the right path – they get too comfortable in their current position and complain about not achieving what they want.

  2. I've had a few starts and stops over the course of my professional life. I've had 3 entirely different careers and some would say I've been successful in them. Investors Business Daily, a Financial Publication, spent years analyzing leaders and successful people in all walks of life. They found that most have 10 traits that when combined can turn dreams into reality. I've had this posted on my desk or somewhere close by for years. I bet I've read it 200 hundred times.

    1. HOW YOU THINK IS EVERYTHING: Always be positive. Think success, not failure. Beware of a negative environment.

    2. DECIDE UPON YOUR TRUE DREAMS AND GOALS: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.

    3. TAKE ACTION: Goals are nothing without action. Don’t be afraid to get started. Just do it.

    4. NEVER STOP LEARNING: Go back to school or read books. Get training and acquire skills.

    5. BE PERSISTENT AND WORK HARD: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.

    6. LEARN TO ANALYZE DETAILS: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.

    7. FOCUS YOUR TIME AND MONEY: Don’t let other people or things distract you.

    8. DON’T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE; BE DIFFERENT: Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.

    9. DEAL AND COMMUNICATE WITH PEOPLE EFFECTIVELY: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.

    10. BE HONEST AND DEPENDABLE; TAKE RESPONSIBILITY: otherwise, Nos. 1-9 won’t matter.

    I hope you find value in this. I have. Maurice :-)

  3. Yes, I have felt restless plenty of times about my career. Everybody is always saying that you can have whatever you put your mind to. I have thought about becoming a successful entrepreneur so many times before, I feel like I should be there by now.I have written and thought out different business plans; tried to map out every detail and still, my big break has not come. On top of that, my plan was still not crystal clear.

    So many times I have been frustrated, compared myself to others and complained about my current situtation. But, then, I had to realize that this is all part of a learning process. Everything that I have learned has brought me to where I am today. I could not do any of the things that I'm doing today had I not learned from my past experiences.

    I believe that the key to success is to persistence. You have to keep going until you find your success. You may not know what type of writer you are now but, if you just keep writing it you will come to you and so will those editors & publishers.

    Tiff :)

  4. Joi, you're such a writer! Keep pitching. It's a good and true answer.