My Job Looks Great on Paper, so Why Doesn’t It Feel Right?
Photo courtesy of Sonny Abesamis.

My Job Looks Great on Paper, so Why Doesn’t It Feel Right?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Work

Have you ever had a job that seems perfect and checks all of the boxes, but just doesn’t excite you, for whatever reason? In today’s vlog, I reply to a post Jens made in the Puttytribe forums recently.

Jens has been offered a new job opportunity that should give him more of what he’s looking for, the company has a great reputation, etc. But, in his words, he just “doesn’t really care…” The new job doesn’t make him want to shout yeah!

Let’s dive into this a little:

Your Turn

What gives you a sense of meaning in your life? What are your Whys? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Did you know you can ask a question to your multipotentialite peers just like Jens did? Check out the Puttytribe and join our supportive community of over 600 multipotentialites from around the world:


  1. Melania says:

    Happy birthday Emily! You are wonderful! Saludos desde Argentina! ?

  2. Maritsa says:

    Happy Birthday, Emilie!
    I’m, for the first time in my life, trying to discover “THE” meaning…and trying to know myself. Because I don’t. I’m 37 years old and I feel so old, so tired. Jens has talked about his job, well, my problem is with graduation. I’ve got 3 graduations and 1 Master’s Degree, and…I’ve never worked in any of these fields! When I finish a course, whatever it is, my interest goes to other things and I want to forget that previous knowledge. I was in a job interview and the interviewer put that very clear: I’m unstable. Actually I begin a very sick process of “ranço”! “Ranço” is a brazilian portuguese word for something like rancidness! That thing becomes over to me after some time and I don’t wanna talk about it, read about it, see it…I don’t feel the way I feel when I first started. It’s sad, I feel sad and guilty. I’ve watched your video on TED Talks and I began to feel better about myself, but I’m still confused and guilty…mainly because I’m unemployed and with no courage to look for a job in any of the fields I’ve studied for (until now). I don’t know what is wrong with me. I feel like a coward, a 37-year-old-very-old coward…but I’m here, trying to feel less unstable and looking for “THE” meaning of my life.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Maritsa,

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I can tell you that what you’re describing is something a lot of multipotentialites have experienced (present company included. I have no interest in ever using my law degree. :)

      There’s more to say, but this is kind of a big discussion, so I’m going to send you an email and we’ll go from there.

      Thanks for being vulnerable and opening up, and for being here.

      xo Emilie

  3. Nela Dunato says:

    My “whys” are almost exactly the same as the ones you mention – creating things from scratch (yay projects!), and encouraging people to embrace and celebrate their quirkiness. I suppose that’s what attracted me to your work :)

    My previous job was “great on paper” too, but I was so deeply unsatisfied that I completely lost passion for design. After a year of working for myself, my passion came back. When thinking about this topic, I identified these 5 elements of fulfilling work:
    1. Values – being aligned with the client’s or employer’s values
    2. Purpose – seeing how the project or job makes a positive impact
    3. Variety – crucial for multipods if we are to survive working full-time!
    4. Leadership – having creative and executive control over projects (Research in the UK found that people with little control over their work get depressed and suicidal.)
    5. Ownership – feeling *proud* of work well done.

    Perhaps this list isn’t exhaustive, but it does have a lot in common with the qualities you’ve mentioned, perhaps we’ve just attached different labels to them.

  4. Eva says:

    First, let me wish you a very Happy Birthday! Secondly, I love your video and the content you shared. Awesome. . . .

    I wanted to share and it has been put forth in some of the comments above, that our view of satisfaction and success is determined by our own values and needs. Our perspective on our career is the sum total of our experiences, education and expectations. Living a life of Purpose is a lifelong process.
    Just like any company, which defines its purpose, vision, mission and core values, we as individuals, need to do exactly the same. It’s not easy or comfortable but it can change your life. Cheers!

  5. nicola h says:

    I was inspired by a TedTalk in which the presenter talked about Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. (I like that acronym as AMP but avoid using it as it sounds waaay too commercial)
    This presenter was talking about how to construct a working environment in which the employees feel called forth and are inspired, rather than oppressive management from the top down.
    This applies to me as well – I thrive on AMP, but on many levels at once.
    I agree that meaning is important. If it doesn’t have meaning, I find it difficult to want to perform.
    Thanks as always for puttylike.

  6. K.C. says:

    HAPPY 34th BIRTHDAY Emilie!! Man how I wish I could go back there, hindsight is definitely 20/20. I hope you have the best day and that you truly reflect and appreciate all that you have accomplished in a ‘short’ amount of time, and God willing what you will continue to accomplish. As always thank you for all you do and for allowing me to join you on your journey! :) Luv you!

  7. Carlijn says:

    Happy birthday Emilie. Intersting video content, thank you!

  8. Heather says:

    Happy birthday, Emilie! Working my way through “How to Be Everything!” and “RBusiness.” Feel so empowered! Thank you for your encouragement!

  9. Cynthia says:

    Hi Emilie! I just discovered your TED Talk and you made my weekend even better. It was great to hear there’s someone, or someones, out there who think as I do. I’ve been like this since I was little. I was always a beginner and always felt “weird” about not finishing something right, but I know a little bit of everything. You just gave me a career, a MULTIPOTENTIALITE, you just made me feel empowered in a world full of specialists.

  10. Hal says:

    Belated Happy Birthday.
    I 1st saw your TEDx talk a couple of years ago. I rewatched it several times since. So very glad to have found a description of me that I just couldn’t find until your TEDx talk.
    BTW, I turned 60 last month. FInding that I’m Multipod has helped me understand so much more about what I can do. It’s never too late to find out about yourself!

  11. Jens says:

    Hi Emilie
    (Jens here :) )

    Thank for debating and giving your point of view on this topic. I like your concrete takes on the challenge, I find that is most offen whats missing. Everybody is saying: Start doing what makes you happy. But sometimes thats not so easy as it seems to figure out.

    The Puttytribe peeps has done a great job already opening my eyes to new perspective and would recommend people in my situation to join the community. Im still a newbie in exploring but not disappointed what I discovered already.

    Hope you will comment on the Emilies story and your take on it. Great to read the comments. Emilie sums up my situation perfectly


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