Earlier this year I read Jon Acuff’s book called “Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job.” Acuff wrote the book because he realized how much we in our culture we find our identity in what we do. I’ve realized the past few weeks that even though I’ve fought against it, I do the same thing. But when you’ve spent literally your entire life preparing to be one thing, only to find yourself stuck doing something else to scrape by after graduation, this identity doesn’t really cut it anymore. Acuff calls this the “I’m/but” generation. “I’m a _____, but I want to be a ______.” How often have you heard that? What’s your fill in the blank? I’m a retail sales associate, but I want to be a PR professional for a charitable organization.
Acuff’s book is about figuring out what you feel called to do and how to get there. About two months after graduation I found myself losing touch with my passion and calling. In the middle of my mental wrestling match, I received an email from a friend. She was in the middle of wrestling with her own questions related to branding her design business and wrote to ask for my insight into what exactly it is that she does. In responding to her email, I found myself getting more excited than I had felt in a long time. And I found myself thinking about my own answers to the questions she was asking. What do I really want to do? Why? Here’s what I came up with:
I’m a communicator. What I do is content creation: sharing stories with people for the purpose of connecting them to the information, ideas, and opportunities that will inspire them to change their small corner of the world for the better.
I’m a communicator because it’s what I believe God has gifted and called me to do. I want to work for a charitable organization; ideally one that works in Africa. And that is the starting place. Remembering what I love and why was a very important step. I’ll keep working hard to get there, even as I work hard at my day job as a sales associate. And I’ll probably review Acuff’s advice about this process in Quitter.
What do you love? What are you going to do about it? How are you going to get there?