I am talented at almost anything I’ve ever set my mind to. Which in third grade used to be my claim to fame. But lately “potential” has been feeling like my own private version of a witch’s curse.
The calamity of my resume can only speak to one thing: “she went wherever the vibes took her”. My employment history is starting to look like the skill set of an overly enthusiastic theatre kid – it’s a mess.
The major problem I face is that I find so many things so dang interesting! Content producer? Absolutely. Plastic surgeons’ receptionist; been there! Or there’s the ever-real option of dropping my entire life like a custard tart and starting anew as a Legally Blonde revamp – Barristerially Brunette. (But I’ve always struggled with barrister v barista, and I’m not sure where I’d buy a fluffy feather-tipped pen in 2023).
I have about four different resumes on my desktop, dripping with seemingly unrelated experiences and skillsets.
You might not think you need someone with a 200-hour yoga teacher certification to their name when hiring a legal dictation assistant. But wouldn’t they be better than a similar candidate without it? Isn’t that just more bang for your buck, Jonathan? Think of the breakroom morale! That’s a nama’slay if you ask me.
When I was a kid, I was told I could become anything I wanted. What they failed to mention was that unless I picked something at the ripe ol’ age of 14 and then tailored my whole education around it I’d end up here – trying to convince the director of Goldman Sachs that my knowing where the best online sales are at all times would make me a perfect financial investment consultant, and my brief history as a stilt-walking sunflower in a circus or having dated half their finance hires under 45 gives me a fiscally optimistic outlook that’s great for investor retention. (OK, the last one might be a stretch)
I’m acutely aware that I only have about 80ish years on this rock, and I can’t reconcile wanting to have every experience and trying every career from baker through candlestick maker (skip the butcher for now), with committing to one profession that delivers me the Aussie dream of owning an increasingly smaller and smaller piece of dirt with a Hills Hoist out the back.
How did doctors know they wanted to be doctors, and how did psychologists know that all the study would be worth it?
The early morning news in the pandemic used to make me spiral and spend most of the day doomscrolling online. But now it mostly makes me snort-laugh matcha out my nose and delivers me hours of social comedy to share with friends. Blaming financial stress and lack of home ownership on avocado toast is now so solidly baked into the current Australian zeitgeist that it should be on the 2030 remix of the national anthem, in my opinion.
“It’s like nobody wants to work these days”, says Kimberly Kardashian. I can promise you we do, Ms K. But we also want to be paid a liveable wage from a four-day work week and have a lunch break that’s long enough for a gel manicure AND a sandwich. These are our terms, you have 24 hours to respond.
Success seem solidly set around compromising your youth for a stronger financial future. It’s true, the best things in life are free, but no one has any time to enjoy them because the best hours out of the best days are spent keeping the economy boat afloat while affording a rental with three other people aged within a five-year range of each other who share relatively similar ideas of how clean a bathroom should be kept.
I saw some salient advice on a TikTok video before writing this (I will not be shamed) that featured words to the effect: “everyone has to work, so just pick something that pays in the bracket you want to live, that you don’t hate, and do that.” Not a horrific idea, but I’m not quite sure it’s delicious enough to set my heart on fire. Or have I missed the mark completely? Are people’s hearts out there burning for what they do? A flicker, even?
It’s obvious that I’m feeling slightly existential about the whole career thing, but I refuse to believe that there aren’t other twentysomethings out there that also wish hiring universally was just a competition to see who can whack another candidate off a greased-up log with Hello Kitty boxing gloves on; winner gets company health insurance! Now THAT would be true meritocracy!
At this point I’m left with very few responsible career options outside auditioning for reality television. So if you see me on next season’s Fboy Island, just mind it. Until then, I’ll be out here juggling having to live with paying for the thrill of really living – is anyone else out there feeling the same?
Jeremy Moineau is an actor and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. She is a regular panellist for diversity in business thinktanks and guest speaker at events