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DEAR HARRIETTE: I was offered a position that pays well, but it has nothing to do with the field that I’m interested in working in. A family friend recommended me for the position, and after a couple of interviews, I was offered a full-time job in the human resources department of a hospital. My real passion is photography. My last job was right up my alley, but it didn’t pay a living wage. I’m conflicted because I need the money, but I don’t want to veer too far off track from my goals and interests. Should I take the job? — Next Steps
DEAR NEXT STEPS: Sometimes a job serves a particular purpose other than career fulfillment. Perhaps this job is here for you so that you can pay your bills and save money. Perhaps it frees you to pursue your photography on evenings and weekends. Look at your whole life and map out a plan that affords you space to do what you love as you take care of yourself. Many people have to piece together more than one way of making money in order to pursue their dreams. In order for that to work long-term, you have to be willing to look at your job as a positive in your life, even if it isn’t exactly how you want to spend your time.
Your big-picture plan may be to turn your interest in photography into a full-time career. If that’s the case, refine your skills and search for opportunities. Meanwhile, be grateful for what you have, and put your all into the job so that it will be yours as long as you want it.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I’m passionate about weight training because of how it completely changed my life in high school. Weight training made me stronger not only physically, but also mentally. A man I’ve been seeing for a few months recently told me that he finds my muscles “kinda masculine,” but also that he doesn’t mind at all. This hurt my feelings for obvious reasons. No cisgender woman wants to be considered masculine. I’ve been skipping the gym lately because of how much those comments wounded me. I’ve still been seeing the man, but it’s been hard to get his comments out of my head. What should I do? — Weight Trainer
DEAR WEIGHT TRAINER: Is this the right man for you? This is a real question you should ask yourself. The fact that you are diligent about being strong and healthy should be appealing to your partner. It sounds like he is either intimidated or turned off by the work you have been doing on yourself.
Tell him how his comments made you feel. You need to be honest with him. Pay attention to how he reacts. If he truly is not as interested in you because of how you are sculpting your body, that’s a sign that he may not be your perfect match. What you shouldn’t do is stop exercising because he criticized you. Keep up the great work!