I just remembered this great discussion that my English class had in my junior year of high school. We were reading the book “Into the Wild” and we were talking about how likely it is that we will be able to do the things we loved when we became so-called “adults”. There was this one guy in my class who stood out so much with his answer that I still respect him for it to this day.
He said somewhere along the lines of, “Is it better to have a career in the field of your talent, or is it better to have a career that you love?”
So, would you rather go into something that you do well at, or would you rather go into something that you love? Talent and embracing that talent are totally different concepts. I still think about my classmate’s statement whenever I think about my future. Now that I am a college student in the most opportunistic city in the world, what will my decision be?
I know that I don’t have to choose right away. I should keep my options wide open because you never know how tall of a mountain you have to climb next. Especially in New York City, I know that I’ll be influenced by a lot of engagements and events going around me. And I have to be honest, my mind is quite whimsical. Sometimes I can control my mind, but sometimes it leads me away to a place I do not expect.
Sometimes, I even create a mental venn diagram to see if I can have a career that I do well at and that I love. So far, I have found several, but the one thing that is stopping me from making my first step toward those options is that they are mostly idealistic, and as I start to grow more realistic, I can’t see myself succeeding in those careers. You may think, if she does well and love that job, then she’s bound to succeed! That is a very, very flattering thought and I thank anyone who thinks that. But the thing is, (and I like to be realistically negative here with my point) the chances of succeeding even with heavy doses of passion, conviction, and talent is quite narrow today.
When people choose their careers nowadays, they do it for the sake of their future. I mean, who wouldn’t? Some people really hate working with numbers, but if that’s what will bring in the most revenue for yourself, then what is stopping you from submitting yourself to that career? The answer is, nothing. Nothing is stopping you. Maybe your happiness and self-doubt. Even if you have a bachelor’s degree, you are not guaranteed to land a job right away. Even if you graduate from the best school in the world, you are still not guaranteed to land a job right away. It’s all about connections, people say. The romantic sense of the American Dream is diminishing.
I still have hope, though, that after college I will be able to adjust into a lifestyle that I have ultimate control over, whether or not I land a job in a field of my interest.
To be truly honest, I would rather choose a job that I am talented at because I think I might be able to become fond of that field. Even though I might find a lower paying job that I will love, I believe there is some love poured into your talent.