11. Are You Succumbing to the Nostalgia Bug?
I tend to wax poetic about a barista job my husband tells me I actually hated. So how do you know whether an urge to return to a former field is misplaced nostalgia for a hazily recalled "simpler" time in your life or everything coming full circle? Noah Pinzur, a Chicago-based finance associate, told me that he was returning to a startup after years at a large bank because he remembered that he "enjoyed working in what was essentially a startup environment in 2003," adding, "l loved that environment." It was the specific job responsibilities and roles that he missed. Going back to a former field can also offer, ironically, a chance to move forward as a person. After working as a medical technician, Deirdre MacNamara left the field to bartend and write. Seventeen years later, she's working as a medical tech again and "determined to make this go-round work better." She said: "Now, having worked in other fields and living through friends' illnesses and seeing my dad through his final days, I'm much clearer on what it is to be a patient or the loved one of a patient. I want to use this opportunity to strengthen my skills and make a living, yeah, but also to test my humanity skills."