Passion Vs. Practicality

Me: So what are you majoring in?
Friend: Economics
Me: Oh wow. Mind if I ask why?
Friend: Well my Dad did it, so that’s what I figured I should go into. And I won’t have a problem getting a job. (I really don’t know how he figured that, but class began before I could ask him about it).

There is a constant question plaguing eighteen to twenty-something year olds; some people still find themselves pondering it way into there thirties and beyond. When it comes to a career, do you take a certain path because it’s what you genuinely love to do? Or, do you do it because it brings in a good paycheck?

It has definitely become something to think about, especially with the economy still being somewhat lop-sided. There is no way of fully knowing which particular markets will flourish/suffer and whether or not jobs will be available within a certain profession. It’s a big gamble; some people take four years and more worth of schooling and spend the next decade trying to get to where they want to be. Some live paycheck to paycheck, working odd jobs to support themselves while deep down they would rather be doing something that actually means something, not just trying to make ends meet.

In the Entertainment industry (and by this I mean any type of music, movies, art or writing) it’s very much a hit or miss type of deal. I don’t know how exactly writing and publishing works exactly (at least not yet anyway) but I’ve heard that the literary field in itself is difficult to break into. First you have to get an agent and find a company for your work to be published through. Then, aside from the PR stuff and all that, you have to go through a tedious editing process and make sure that whatever you’re writing is good enough for people to read it. And if it doesn’t sell? In a lot of cases, it’s kind of back to square one. 

In a nutshell, it really is all up to you.

From sixth grade up to my sophomore or junior year in high school, I was constantly tossing around ideas in regards to the kind of career I wanted to have. When I was thirteen I wanted to do something that involved helping people; I figured maybe psychology was the way to go. Yet as time went on, I began to grow less and less fond of therapists; not the practice in general, but rather having to sit in a chair and attempt to explain myself without getting anywhere. I didn’t think that I had the patience for it either. 

Over the years I contemplated other ideas: marine biology, because I had this rather dreamy-eyed notion that I could go to school in Florida. Hey, why not work with Dolphins while I’m at it? But I decided that I wasn’t going to Florida, so that went out the window. I can’t remember when the others came about, but there was journalism, photography, etc. For a short time I considered nursing, but at the same time I’m not a fan of hospitals. At all. 

The one thing in common? None of them made sense to me; I couldn’t see myself working in any of those fields for a long time and genuinely enjoying it. Writing, on the other hand, is a different story. 

Which goes to show that when it all comes down to it, it’s best to do what you love and what makes you happy. Granted, some people are comfortable with a job that they could care less about, as long as they can support themselves. But as my Dad put it, “You may not be the richest person in the world, but there’s no sense in waking up in the morning for the sake of money if you’re going to be unfulfilled at the end of the day.”

 I realize that kind of thing is what some people have to do; but if it’s not what you truly want and you have other options, why put yourself through that kind of thing?

Of course, I myself wonder what exactly will happen five to ten years down the road (in regards to my own career). I do know that I want to be a published author more than anything, but I’m also looking into being an editor for a publishing company and/or possibly something with public relations. I can’t say for certain how it will pan out, but I believe if you’re confident in what you’re doing and work hard, you’ll end up somewhere.

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