This assignment is far more difficult than I thought it would be.
The ideal job. I've thought about it, researched different types of positions, looked at some of the current open positions in the general field that I currently work in and even some in other somewhat related fields.
I'm not sure there is an ideal job for me. Why?
I don't think I've ever looked to the work I do to fulfill me - at least not completely. I see the work I do for wages as only one part of the work I do in this life and as only one small part of who I am. It fulfills certain needs - some practical (the ability to pay my bills), some more esoteric (satisfaction in the job I do, enjoyment of the tasks I undertake, social connections with the people I work with, the chance to learn new things, etc) - but it does not fulfill all my basic needs. I don't think I've ever looked to any one thing to do that, just as I have not really ever looked to any one person to do that (other than myself perhaps).
So - what kind of position would fulfill both my intellect and my creative spirit - yet still leave room in my life for all my other passions (art, music, dance, reading, writing, film, dogs, performing, etc). I don't want a position that fills all those needs if it means that I would not have the time outside of "work" to pursue them in other ways not related to work.
I think, perhaps - part of why I'm having such a difficult time with this assignment is that somewhere in my not quite conscious thoughts I hold the belief that if I figured out what that dream position was, was offered it, and accepted it - that it would become the sole focus of my life and I don't want a sole focus in my life (other than living that life). I think there is also the fear that no such job exists or that if it does exist I either would not get it or I would get it and then the company would close down or move and I would either loose it or have to make a choice between where I want to be and what I want to do.
One way or the other - there are obviously several competing fears that are standing between me and writing a description for my idea job.
So - how do I face those fears? How do I allow them to pass through me so that I come out on the other side of them?
I don't want to write some fantasy job that encompasses ALL that I am passionate about. I want my various and beautifully diverse passions to be allowed to exist on their own and not be combined under one title.
I want to write a description for a real job or a job that could really exist, a job that I could be passionate about doing (and doing well). Work that I could be engaged in, find enjoyment in, find intellectual stimulation, find opportunities to express my creativity, collaborate with other people (who are passionate about what they do) - but not be so completely caught up in and involved in that I find that I don't leave room for the other things in my life.
Perhaps that is really my greatest fear - that I would have to give up one of my other passions for this "ideal job." Interesting... that was my greatest fear about applying for this OMET program as well. I almost didn't apply because of it... not because I was afraid I wouldn't be accepted - I knew not being accepted was always a possibility but I've learned how to cope with disappointments like that. No the reason I struggled so with my decision to apply was that I was truly afraid of what I would have to give up in order to get the most out of this experience (and to find success in it).
So - what did I give up? I gave up spending 2 evenings a week at the dance studio and being part of a dance troupe - and now I find that I am a much happier person for it as that studio and that troupe were not very healthy places to be (emotionally). I gave up going to Bikram yoga 3 or 4 times a week (lately I don't even get there once a week). I gave up going to the cinema 2 or 3 times a week. I gave up several novels and other books every month (pleasure reading that is). I gave up going to out of town dance workshops and performances. I gave up some of my high level of involvement in the "local arts and performance scene."
Now - what didn't I give up...? I still dance professionally (performances at least twice a month), I still do yoga (just do it at my house now), I still go to some group fitness classes (just at the gym which is closer than the yoga studio and less expensive), I still paint, photograph, draw, write, and read (although some of it is "for school" but it is still very satisfying). I don't see as many films right now - but I know that will change once I graduate.
Ok - so - in some ways going back to school was like finding my idea job... and I've made it work - I've given up some things but also figured out which things I was willing to give up or put on hold and which I wasn't. AND - I've found a great deal of fulfillment in the work I've done for school - which has more (much more) than made up for anything that I gave up.
Perhaps most significant - of the things that I did give up I now have enough distance (literal and figuratively) to be able to see which ones I want to work back in and which ones I'm happier and healthier without... which relationships were pulling me down and holding me back. That's pretty friggin significant. Pretty friggin great and amazing too. (I wonder if that's how you spell friggin)
So - what would happen if I figured out what my idea job is and then found a way to do it? Given what has happened this past year - would I really give a bunch of my other passions up, never to return to them? No - very likely not. Would I find some new and different outlets for some of them? Very possibly. Would I find that some of them don't have as positive an impact on my life as I thought? Maybe. Would I discover some new passions? Very likely. Would my idea job today still be my ideal job in 3 or 5 years? Not bloody likely (as our CEO would say) - I don't think I'm built that way.
So.. really... what
I so afraid of? Nothing is permanent and attachment to anything at the expense of other opportunities is not really that healthy - it certainly isn't the way to enlightenment or to joy for that matter.
Part of evolving and growing is being able to let go of the old and the comfortable to make room for the new.
Up until OMET, I moved through my life adding more and more things (hobbies, relationships, passions) without ever letting go of much - or only letting go of things that I somehow felt were "complete." I just kept adding and adding and somehow found room for it all. This last year I've learned that sometimes there isn't room for it all... and sometimes things are past complete and I just haven't realized it and so have not let them go when I should have.
So - where do I go from here? I still don't have my idea job description written. I'm still not sure I know what it is. I think I need look at it as my ideal job for the next few years... rather than my idea job for the rest of my life (didn't realize I'd been thinking of it as something that permanent until just now). Writing a description for my ideal job for the next few years is a much less weighty task. I already feel a little better just thinking about it in those terms.