September 16, 2019

An open letter to everybody who has a problem with my career

To whomsoever it may concern,
I am not a label you can stick to your box file.
I am not an acrobat walking a tightrope.
Meandering, unusual and uncategorised,
I am that candidate you dislike,
Who doesn’t tick your boxes,
The outlier who scares your system,
An enigma you question the sanity of.

For I am not a straight path;
I am but the ebb and flow of life
Walking lanes none else dared
Trying things out for just a lark.

For sometimes it is in those gap months,
In those miserable failures of side projects and attempted glories
That you learn that a career is not something you can craft.
That learning and experience comes in more ways than one
And that two months or two years at a job is not the criteria
But how much you gave and created
And how much you evolved in all that, that matters.
And sometimes life catches up with problems and pressures,
And yes, you buckle to balance, support, reconfigure, sustain;
Sometimes you stay still to simply survive, not thrive.

Don’t look at my two-pager with scepticism!
It hardly tells you the tumultuous tales
Of eating or watching films for a living
Defining the future of work, life or learning.
Cruising lives with fictional characters
And willing designs to manifest on paper,
Or how I gathered stories like flowers
from the thousand dreamers I met.

Talk to me about my life.
Don’t force fit my journey into 500-word cover letters
Of repeated same-olds
But ask me to brew you some magic
Put me to work and test my mettle.
Let not my growth be defined
by little check boxes of closeted thought
Let not my life and future be determined
by myopic visions and words like compliance and certifications.

And not just me,
But look at people as people, not job-fulfillers.
Jump into their shoes and grow up with them
Through careers that spanned
many hats, many places, many masters.
Forget the format
And understand that it is the journey that matters
And never a piece of paper.
A career is what a person shapes out of a potter’s wheel
And before you master a piece of art,
There will always be plenty of broken clay.
But oh what a fascinating collage even they make!

Originally published at
© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall