“I never have time to do what I want.” Linda said as she described her 6 day per week job. On her 7th day, she didn’t rest. She did errands, housework, and, often more work. A 28 year old from Fairfield, Connecticut, Linda’s temp job as a twenty two year graduate from Conn College in New London, CT had become a full time job and with a promotion a more than full time job. Her “success” at transitioning from a liberal arts student – an art history major at that – to someone with “a real job” made her continue day after day, until one of her college friends said, “Your job is consuming all your time. You are no longer interesting.” She meant it half-kiddingly but since the truth stung. And, I should add, Linda did not like her job.
As Linda narrated her tale, she concluded that she did not like her life because her job had started to dominate her life. She was experiencing an increasing form of scarcity: time poverty.
I want to be clear that I’m a practical person and someone who gives practical advice. I don’t tell clients to quit to back pack Europe – although that’s a great idea if you are able – but I also know that my career counseling work saves people from miserable careers and thus miserable lives. Yes, it is an investment. But it is worth it.