My family will be the first to mention the number of jobs I had in high school. I worked at almost every shop in a small strip mall at the edge of our town. It started out at a furniture shop that I worked at for 2 years (and then again for right after high school), when they hit a slow season they suggested I find some more work elsewhere so I moved across the street. I then worked for a deli, a lingerie shop, and a dog store all in the span of about two years. That didn’t include the house sitting, babysitting, dog sitting, and volunteer work I also did. Needless to say, I’ve always liked having things to do.
In college I found a similar route, working for a variety of jobs until I landed as a graphic designer for the school newspaper and fell in the love with the staff there. And after college, I jumped around from job to job usually staying for a year or two until I knew I needed to find something new. My wanderlust in the form of work was too strong.
What’s interesting is how much grief I got for switching jobs. From friends and family, I was told how this doesn’t look good on resumes, how I need to find something and stick to it. But there is too much that life has to offer for me to just settle for anything.
Gary Vaynerchuck has said, that you should go get as many jobs as you can in your 20s to figure out what it is you don’t like. Our process of elimination doesn’t start with landing on what we love but eliminating the things we don’t love.
Now, as I grow the art side of my business and start working on my first collection of patterns for home decor, I’m learning this lesson all over again. I create, constantly, and as I go I start to weed out the things I don’t like. The shapes, colors, content that I realize don’t feel like me. I’ve tried it, I experimented, but in the end, I figured out what I don’t like so that I can get clear on what I do like.
This same principle applies to so many areas of your life. Whether it’s finding a career you’re passionate about, like I was searching for through my 20s, or making decisions on who you are as a brand. This principle can also be applied to your aesthetic in your wardrobe or home, it can even be applied to the relationships in your life.
Try things. Analyze them. And then get clear on what it is that you don’t like, that didn’t work for you, so you can begin to get clear on what it is you do like.
Like all great things, it’s a process that takes time. But when you start living intentionally, you’d be amazed at what you can create.