Slave for hire

Joey ate fudge for breakfast.

I just graduated from college and have been offered a full-time job with a great salary, but it’s not in the field that I spent the last four years preparing to work in. I applied for a full-time job in my field, but was later told the position was downgraded to a part-time internship because of the economy. There is a chance, come January, that if enough contracts are signed I might be hired, but it would still be part-time. I called the company that I want to work for and let the person who interviewed me know that I received a full-time job offer. She congratulated me, but did not fight to hire me as I had hoped. I really want to work in this industry. Do you think I should be willing to take an internship? Or should I take the job doing work I find satisfying but that I’m not passionate about?

Oh, honey! Always go where people know your worth. The internship guarantees “elf”-esteem. You will feel overworked, underestimated and invisible. That’s a formula for resentment and passive aggression. (Yes, Santa would rather eat than give those elves performance evaluations). Take the full-time paycheck with health benefits and add some cred to your résumé. After hours or on weekends, volunteer for a nonprofit in a job slot that relates to your dream career. After two years, apply for jobs in your career of choice. In the meantime, save as much cash as possible. If your preferred profession is so volatile that employers downsize full-time jobs into internships, you will need financial freedom to ride future career waves.

That said, I must admit that your expectations are fascinating. What inspired the idea that the interviewer would fight to hire you? If you possess a strong sense of your capabilities, well, great. But it’s possible that you don’t have a realistic view of your training or work history. Unfortunately, junior high and high-school students are indoctrinated to believe that if they get into a good university, they are guaranteed success in their chosen field. The reality is, some employers are impressed by the names of certain universities, but actual work experience trumps a degree from a fancy U. If you and your future boss share the same alma mater, your résumé might be shuffled into the stack of top candidates for interviews. But in today’s job market, it’s the well-rounded candidate with actual work experience who nabs the cubicle.

I am heartbroken over losing a job that I poured everything into. I was the first person at my desk and the last to leave. I took pride in my work and loved my job more than anything else in my life. I am despondent and do not know where to go or what to do. I have plenty of savings, but I am not at all interested in traveling. I just want my old job back. Please help me.

People who love their jobs to the detriment of all else in their lives have made work their idol. Remember, an idol is not really divine or holy, it’s an illusion that is worshipped as God. So although your job loss is as devastating as a death, it is also necessary for your spiritual evolution. Of course, that thought is probably too painful to consider right now because you are mourning the loss of your self-image and facing fears about your self-worth. Once this period passes, you will see that this radical change is an invitation to new life. Get yourself into therapy immediately. You deserve strong support while you become acquainted with the person that is being born among the ashes of your past.

Meditation of the Week

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen,” said a 7-year-old boy. Of course, it’s not necessary to open presents or even to be with anyone else. Just sit in the quiet and listen: Love streams live in every moment of every day. Is your mind quiet enough to listen?