When your interests pull you in ten different directions, it’s difficult to choose just one career path. I get it. Like me, you’re Mixed, you want to try it all! I’ve been a dancer, conference organizer, teacher, and now, a designer and the founder of Mixed. After having time to slow down during quarantine and reflect on your workplace in light of the BLM Movement, you might have started re-evaluating your career direction. Here’s what I’ve learned about reeling in all my interests and crafting a career that engages every part of me.
Forget your interests
Don’t let your interests or skills lead the way on your path to finding a more fulfilling career. Last June I was packing up my classroom and getting ready for a summer vacation that had no definite end in sight. I had no idea what I’d do next. With a thorough list of my interests and skills on hand, I searched LinkedIn for job openings. My search spit out a bunch of different positions from a wide variety of industries, so I eagerly began sifting through job descriptions. But my excitement was quickly worn down by the dizzying array of leads. Instead of helping me hone in on what I really wanted to do, I felt scattered and unfocused in my search.
Find your values
Go deeper. Find your values. Look back at all the different jobs you’ve enjoyed in the past and try connecting the dots—what is the common thread that ties all those experiences together? When I looked back on my seemingly random string of experiences, I realized that at the core of everything I’ve done, I loved making people think, feel and take action. When I identified these three core values, my past didn’t seem so random anymore. More importantly, it offered a clear guide in helping me find work that would be sustainable in the long-term. Your interests are an expression of your values—interests may come and go, what you want to do will change, but your values will remain consistent.
Develop a better relationship with time.
You don’t have to be everything at once! We live in a time when you can have 5 completely different careers in your professional life. You can be a teacher for 6 years, a marketer for 5 years, a writer for 7 years and still only be in your thirties! There is so much time to satisfy all your curiosities so don’t think you have to do it all at once.
When I left teaching last June, I never expected to end up here. Design wasn’t a field I ever considered, but once I discovered it, I felt an immediate click. Designing allows me to think strategically and creatively to communicate ideas. I designed Mixed’s brand to provoke thought around our complex, nuanced identities and I design products to make you feel beautiful and confident. But most importantly, I want to inspire action, to make you DO something. Yes, Mixed offers a line of accessories and housewares (clothes coming soon!), but my goal is actually not to get you to shop Mixed. My goal is to inspire you to be all of you, to craft a lifestyle that honors all your Mixedness. And hey, if you want to do that while wearing Mixed, that’s pretty cool too.
I don’t think of myself as a ‘designer’ or ‘founder’. I’m someone who loves to make people think, feel, and do. Mixed allows me to live out all three of my values and has offered me so much flexibility in how I embrace myself and approach my work. So if you’re looking to make a career leap, get grounded in your values and the path to fulfilling work will become much more clear.