Career Success and Cluelessness

By Cathy H - 1:38 AM

After much panicking and worrying for the past year, I finally landed a mediocre office job in a small downtown office 2 weeks ago. When I got the job offer, I thought everything would be brighter and I would feel fulfilled everyday because working full time leaves fewer room for invasive thoughts about existential crisis and other anxious career related matters. Now I've realized, not only did I sell myself short in terms of wage and what my goal even was in the first place due to desperation in thinking I needed to take whatever was offered, I also understand the concept of "corporate slavery". It often feel like my life is turning to what author Sylvia Plath has quoted "“What horrifies me most is the idea of being useless: well-educated, brilliantly promising, and fading out into an indifferent middle age.”

Growing up, I never thought I was the smartest and knew I could never even touch subjects related to math and sciences. I was horrid at them, and now reflecting back, I didn't really think about what my passion really was before choosing my university degree. I feel like throughout my whole existence, I've felt like a massive failure with all these potentials, all these knowledge I could use towards something, but yet I'm also underachieving because I truly believe it is what I deserve. To be honest, I feel like a very incompetent person 90% of the time, but I know that I will be absolutely good at something. I still don't know what it is.  I feel that I'm taking the path society has set the norms for, but it is deeply unfulfilling and quite depressing to be honest.  It also saddens me I did not think about things career wise due to crippling anxiety and feeling like I'd fail anyways.  Never did I think after my degree, I'd take on a mediocre job completely opposite and random from things I care about. It's depressing I'm playing a very menial role, starting from the bottom, completely seemingly insignificant tasks for my employers.  It's disheartening feeling incompetent on a daily basis to be honest and quite exhausting to feel like I'm always lightyears behind everyone else.

I'm always missing something they have, maybe the motivational drive, the connections, the passion, the experience they accumulated after multiple years through work and volunteering while I sat on the bathroom floor wondering where I was going with life in my university years.  Something about me, my skillets, my competence always felt off and out of range. 

But of course, that's a delusion because there always exists a "but" in every situation and the ego is never going to 100% satistified with anything.

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  1. Hello there; I just stumbled upon this and you took the words right out of my head. I'm also 23, and graduated with a science degree. To a certain degree, science is fulfilling in a way because you're constantly learning new challenging material, but I also know my heart is not really into it (basically, I pursued it because of the clear path and stability, and of course, my parents had some influence). The problem is that I want to do something meaningful and valuable, but I'm not entirely sure science is the way I want to do that, and writing/photography/film/creative work (the things I'm truly passionate about) is so ambiguous I don't even know how I can make a living out of that. Anyway, thank you for sharing this; it's nice to hear your genuine thoughts when everyone around me looks like they have it under control with their new jobs (while I'm still jobless and have anxiety attacks/existential thoughts every night, haha). Your concerns are very relatable. Have a lovely day~

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! Honestly if anything I realized this year that no on really has it under control. I too on the surface seem to have everything mapped out, friends always say I have it together. But than I feel like...a potato 90% of the time. We just kinda present our highlight reels to the world and hide our uncertainties etc. but I think as long as you actively try to pursue something related to your passion or starting somewhere... I realize that can be a success...