I love Career Day. I love it because I love talking about my work as outside general counsel, and I love meeting people. I got to design my business, and my job is helping other people design their businesses. It’s a great job! I inevitably sign up to present at Career Day.
After I sign up, I remember that I’m a little intimidated by Career Day. My job can be hard to explain to kids. What do I do all day? I help businesses start up, wind down, and address the issues in between. Sometimes I have trouble explaining it to adults, much less children. As I was preparing my Career Day presentation I was nervous. How do I summarize my job? More importantly – and channeling my inner second-grader – why did I choose my job?
We all face these questions regularly. What do any of us do all day? Why did we choose it? How do we see it in the greater picture of what everyone else does? We dedicate years to our specialized education, we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, we spend years climbing corporate ladders or creating new opportunities. It’s not easy or quick or always fun.
To me, the answer is clear – we find meaning in work.
We contribute a part of ourselves to our work, to our success and our clients’ success, to doing what we do and doing it well. We want to tell other people about our jobs, because it reminds us that even if work is a grind sometimes, we’re doing it for a reason.
Career Day isn’t just good for kids. It’s an exercise in self-reflection. It’s a chance for us to remember how many other types of jobs and career paths there are, and to think about how they all fit together. The best part, I think, is getting to answer the question, “why did you choose your job?” If we can’t answer that, perhaps it’s time for a change.