Last week, I had my first job interview in many years. I had done a couple of internal interviews with my former employer, but this latest one was for a company that I knew very little about for the most part, but the position sounded perfect for me. To say that I was nervous would be a massive understatement.
One thing that came up about my résumé during the interview was the fact that I didn’t have a job history listed. It was mostly packed with all of my web design and development skills – things like software and programming knowledge that I wanted to make them aware of. This was due to the fact that in the nearly 15 years that I had been under my previous employer, not once was I able to take part in anything related to web design and development. (There was a time when I, as a lowly billing rep., did call someone out on a really poor design flaw negatively impacting the UX that they eventually fixed much later on, but that doesn’t count.)
Thinking about it now, I guess that I’m simply starting over in terms of my professional career. That’s what I’m trying to convey by not listing past job experiences. It’s because I don’t feel that it’s relevant for where I am today or where I want to go. It’s as though I’m a graduate looking for my very first job, and I kind of am in a way. Not since obtaining my Web Diploma from an online program that I enrolled in have I actually worked in the web design and development field aside from building a few websites and then starting my own business.
It’s been nearly two years now since I was let go from my previous job and a little over one year since I officially established my web design and development business. I’ve realized that life is too short to be stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. I have talents that I need to expand on and use to the fullest. I feel that I can have a very productive and fulfilling career doing what I love to do. Right now, though, I need more experience on the marketing and business side of things before I’ll be able to really make my own business work.
I really don’t know if it’s considered a professional faux pas to not have a job history listed on my résumé or not. Especially at my age. When it comes right down to it, though, I’m not going to let it bother me. I refuse to lose any sleep over it because what’s done is done. Things will all work out the way that they’re meant to. I truly believe that as I’ve seen it happen time and time again in my life.
You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs
The above quote is from the commencement speech that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs delivered to the graduating class of Standford University in 2005. If you have never heard it, do yourself a favor and watch and/or read it here. It’s a truly inspiring speech and one that I refer back to a lot when I’m feeling doubtful about the paths I’ve chosen in my life. I feel that the quote’s inclusion in this article is also very appropriate being that today marks the fourth anniversary of Steve Jobs’s death.
I will readily admit that I have considered giving up my dreams and settling for the “safe” type of job again. I think a lot of people in my position have at one time or another. However, I don’t want to be just a number ever again like I was in the last few years of my Corporate America gig. I want a job where I can bring value and be valued in return. It may take me awhile to get there, but I refuse to settle. I will succeed and do what I love, for that is the only way that I too will be truly satisfied.