I started off this year thinking I was living my fantasy life.
I had just secured a full time position at a large media company, which actually boasts the highest trafficked newspaper website in the world.
My fantasy life involved living completely physically and financially independent of my parents in the city that I had fallen in love with during college (Los Angeles), and with enough disposable income to indulge more often in life’s hedonistic pleasures and purchase nice things for myself now and then.
My new job has afforded me all of this, whereas I was once supporting myself with rather meager unemployment checks and food stamps, while living under my parents’ roof.
Six months of unemployment (with a couple ephemeral positions held that didn’t work out) was spiritually crippling as I began to hate my own dream — as that of a journalist and media personality — and envy my friends who are engineers, nurses, pharmacists, financial analysts, etc.
I began to learn more about the suffering of my industry due to disruptive technological innovation — with companies going under, people losing their jobs, and the relatively low average earning potential. ON TOP of the poor economy, handicapping mellennials at the starts of their careers.
Due to my desire to prosper and flourish in the real world, I turned a suspicious eye upon the burning passion with which I had been pursuing journalism and honing my craft through internships and mountains of unpaid work in other passion projects over the last few years.
Perhaps that was naïve.
After all, living a fulfilling life, absolutely, if you ask me, requires taking care of your fundamental survival needs and experiencing what life has to offer outside of work — travel, concerts, theme parks, outings with friends and family… all of which is predicated on MONEY.
So beginning December 2013, I was suddenly making more money than I ever imagined I would at this point, and I was living and working in West LA five minutes from the beach (a far cry from the middle of nowhere, where I thought my next job would take me).
As a showbiz reporter, I cover entertainment and pop culture, though my job description does not involve venturing out into the field and conducting interviews so as to put forth my own original reporting. Instead, I sit in an office and rewrite others’ original works or base my writing on what I see in paparazzi photos.
The job has freed me from worrying about my basic survival needs. I have felt my self esteem rise significantly — no longer feeling like an outcast, like a child stunted in my growth.
And I am able to turn my attention toward loftier pursuits that are more fulfilling on a higher level.
What is my dream job? That is the question. Is the job I’ve always wanted — that of a correspondent in a visual medium — worth pursuing?
And the answer I think is probably no — unless I go about it in a manner that is creative, strategic, and aware.
I managed to restore my faith in my own dream through education and enlightenment about the changing my face of my industry and what’s being born from the ashes of the failing old business models.
People are building their own brands and rallying audiences by utilizing the tools that the Internet offers. Stars are being born through the means available to everyone.
Through the development of an entrepreneurial spirit, I feel realigned with my dream. Perhaps I can create my own leverage in order to distinguish myself.
Then again, if we’re just talking cold hard business sense and what makes the most sense economically, I probably wouldn’t be pursuing a career in this field.
Something else I certainly picked up on while holding down a stable job in an office for over a year, is that life isn’t really worth living unless you follow your dream, listen to your calling.
However, it was developing a sense of business savvy and an entrepreneurial spirit that has given me the courage to pursue that path, despite the odds.