Thanks to B for that intro and to Sachin for his insightful post, which was indeed food for thought!
Interests, aptitude or financial security – oh my! Quite the dilemma…
No doubt it becomes an even more trying issue when you have a number of varied interests and aren’t quite sure which one you’d like to pursue, when you’re skills may or may not be marketable, and/or when you have a sneaking suspicion that a predictable/banal/secure job might crush your soul (just a little bit – even if only around the edges).
It doesn’t help either when that dreaded beast (Career) Anxiety (which I’ve often imagined would appear as a walrus toting a briefcase, should it be so inclined as to take material form – go figure!) lumbers over your thoughts, your plans, your imaginative inklings and does it’s very best to crush them under it’s lumpy, bulbous belly. It barks and honks at you (“What if?,” “Is this the right choice?,” “Could this be an awful mistake?”) and refuses to clean up after itself when it leaves…..What a horrible house guest!
Well, I’m not sure what combination of “interests, aptitude and/or financial security” it’s best to go with (particularly in this economy!), but in hopes of finding some kind of answer, I’ve made a concerted effort of late to seek out the counsel of older folks – you know, those who have already settled into their careers and who seem satisfied with their choices. Curiously enough, many of them have instructed me to follow my “passion” or to “look into my heart” to find an answer.
I’m still not sure how I feel about this advice. Do you buy it? What if your “heart” has taken a vow of silence?
One colleague with a very enviable career path offered these consoling words: “Don’t worry, I didn’t figure it out ‘til I was like 40. You just gotta keep trying different things until you figure it out”.
I’ve decided to take comfort in that.
I suppose a career is as much a work in progress as is anything else… if all else fails, look for Plan B and refuse to be taken hostage by any walrus you should happen to bump into (particularly if it’s of the imaginary variety!).