It’s a tough question to answer. Especially if the person posing it is a customer of the company you’re currently working for, a family member or an authority. The truth is, everyone has their own definition of a ‘real job’ so it’s almost impossible to give them the answer they’re looking for.
The term “real job” can be chalked up to a career, which begins to define your life. Instead of being a student at X or an employee of X you become a part of something. Whether you fall into that career or create your own is up to you.
Lets look at the three main components of a truly fulfilling lifestyle:
1 . COMFORT
Where do you find comfort? Is it in money? A 9-5 job? Social status? Rather than defining ‘comfort’ as a place where you feel safe and relaxed, think of it as a place where you belong – where you feel comfortable being your true self. So could that be at the top of a mountain in full gear, clinging onto your handlebars for dear life, clicking into your bindings on a bluebird powder day or being swallowed by a barrel?
Everyone is searching for comfort in one way or another. It’s the end goal – and factors into what will become your “real job”.
So to begin, kick-off your answer with where you feel you belong – your “comfort zone”, because no one, not even a career expert, can tell you that you don’t belong somewhere if you truly believe it.
2 . HAPPINESS
What makes you happy? What puts the biggest grin on your face? If you were to close your eyes right now and imagine the most exciting experience you’ve ever had, which gets your heart pumping and your cheeks tingling, what would it be? The reaction to other people’s happiness can be entertaining to watch. Again, everyone is searching for happiness, so when we see others find it we either congratulate them or feel jealous. Factor what gets your blood pumping and your teeth showing into your “real job” too.
3 . SKILLS
Do you already have, or are you currently learning, valuable skills, which will help you build the life you want to lead? What are you gaining from your current situation? The “real job” question often comes up if the person asking you doesn’t think you should be doing what you’re doing. Whether they believe you’re destined for better or they just don’t understand what you’re doing is irrelevant, because both are impossible to argue with. Life isn’t wasted when you’re learning, so use this in your answer too – how is what you’re doing right now moving you closer to your goal?
AND THEN… DROP THE MIC
In conclusion, when you are asked
“So, when are you going to give all this up and get a real job?”
calmly and politely explain where you feel you belong, what makes you happy and what you’re currently gaining from your current situation, which will help you achieve the end goal and enjoy the reaction.