Tag Archives: career change

Career Trajectory: Quarter Life Crisis

One of my friends shared a link to this article today on Facebook called the Asian American Quarter Life Crisis. I wanted to share it with my friends and Matcha Bunny readers because the story truly resonated in me. My parents have always been incredibly supportive but not without also stressing the importance of education, hard work, and persistence. And so, I could especially sympathize with this: “Most of us have been raised to think about our futures for as long as we can remember.  It starts with math workbooks.  Gifted summer camps.  Endless SAT prep.  All for the sake of fabulous college applications, which lead us to the best universities.  The best internships.  The best (read: most lucrative, most prestigious, most stable) careers, which usually fall somewhere in the vicinity of medicine, law, engineering, and (corporate) business.”

When I tell people about my latest life decision to leave the office and become a line cook, I get generally positive feedback about this lofty idea of pursuing my dreams. “Good for you!” they tell me. But their well-wishes are always tempered with hesitation that they “would never be able to do it” themselves. And it’s not cooking that they refer to… it’s giving up financial security and stability. (Of course, I’m referring to acquaintances, coworkers, clients, etc. My close friends, my family, and Honey Bunny are and have always been genuinely supportive.)

But one person I told — one of my old mentors, an SAT tutor from high school — had something a bit different to say: “In today’s economy, it’s not easy for a person to quit a secure job. But you did it! And you did it for the right reason: to follow your heart. I’m really, really proud of you. You’re an entrepreneurial artist–and I suspect that you have found your calling in life.”

If you asked me where I thought I would be five years ago, this life… is nowhere near anything I could have even begun to imagine. Come to think of it, five years ago I was this close to signing a three-year contract to teach English in Japan. And now at the restaurant, we’ve been taking on more and more stages, so it would seem that I had seized the perfect opportunity to be hired with a bit of seniority.

Just taking a moment to reflect on how funny life works out sometimes. :)