I slipped my arms out of my suit jacket, stripped off my navy tie, and began undoing each button as I paced towards the 1990 Ford Truck I had rented for the day. I hauled down to San Menlo, California earlier that morning, about 6:00 a.m., to interview for a senior accounting position. I slicked back my hair earlier that morning in order to tame it. As I peered into the side mirror, I didn’t recognize whom I was facing.
The interview was engaged with a very formal firm. My interviewers appeared very professional and portrayed the stereotypical business look: polished, clean-shaven, well spoken, and unauthentic. I’ve been in this environment before, a few months ago, but it felt unaligned with who I am now: the clothes, the people, and the conversations.
I veered out of the parking lot feeling assured in my interview abilities but uneasy about my imminent fate. A cringe surfaced along my face when I stepped foot back into an office; corporate gigs just feel unaligned with my authenticity. The people, who I come in contact with, actually enjoy their jobs and duties. On the other hand, it’s a real drag for me just to complete the day. After my period of performing corporate work and even longer periods of introspection, I acknowledge that I am not one of them.
An hour or so later, I’m wandering down the sidewalk with a thick super burrito in hand, heading towards the Santa Cruz beach. I pass stragglers lounging on the side of the curb, landscapers trimming the lawns of the wealthy, and servers tending to the demands of tourists. These roles in life are a few of my alternatives if I choose to not pursue and land down an office occupation. With them, one has the benefit of spending most of his or her day outdoors. However, I would remain unfulfilled with my work. Whether it is my conditioning or an innate trait, I believe my work in the future needs to be more impactful. Every man needs to be something, but it is up to him to decipher and develop who that is.