Editor’s Note: This week I’m passing the career advice torch to Career Contessa’s Editorial Director, Kit Warchol. Kit’s an LA girl and knows a thing or two about managing friends, careers, and finances, so she was a natural choice to tell this story when we came up with the concept. Enjoy her fantastic advice!
When you attend a liberal arts school and befriend aspiring writers, artists, and musicians, something happens after graduation: people don’t move on to law firms or tech companies. Instead, they take day jobs at restaurants or freelance as production assistants in the name of their passion, spending every free moment between shifts rehearsing with their band or painting in small corners of tiny studio apartments.
Unlike many of my friends, I don’t have a clear creative calling. This isn’t so much self-deprecating as it is realistic – there will be no film deals, gallery shows, or record label contracts for me. Instead, I headed down a much more traditional career path than anyone I knew At 22, I took a full-time gig with benefits. And by 25 (through sheer luck, honestly) I’d stumbled into the kind of job that paid so well, I could afford to shop exclusively at Whole Foods and drink $12 green juices every morning if I wanted. By many standards, I’d made it. I’d actually find later when I was burnt out and creatively unfulfilled that I hadn’t. But at the time, expendable income felt glamorous and I was ready to treat myself.
Here’s the problem with this scenario: none of my friends were there with me. Suddenly, I was the odd kid out who’d skipped ahead into a different tax bracket. We’ve talked about the importance of honesty when it comes to talking money with friends, but when you’ve lucked into financial stability, how do you make things fair for everyone?