Story by ELLEN BECKER, Managing Editor—
They come from grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends and professors.
Depending on who I’m talking to, I’ll sometimes make up an answer that sounds good, just so the person will stop asking, but most of the time I just say, “I’m not sure yet.”
After I graduated with my bachelor’s, I had to make a decision. I either had to start searching for a job, or apply for grad school. I decided on grad school.
I had always wanted to get my master’s. It was just a bonus that I got two more years to decide what I want to do with my life.
But now I’m nearing the end of my time here at UCM, and I’ve started thinking to myself, “What DO I want to do with my life?”
I recently posted a status on Facebook that confessed my lack of future plans, to which I received quite a few comments from people trying to encourage me, and even some from older adults who say they’re in their 50s and still don’t know what they’re doing.
But one comment stood out among the rest. A friend from high school posted a link to a blog called “How to do what you love.”
The author poses the question, “How much are you supposed to like what you do?”
He goes on to say that “unless you know that, you don’t know when to stop searching. And if, like most people, you underestimate it, you’ll tend to stop searching too early. You’ll end up doing something chosen for you by your parents, or the desire to make money, or prestige—or sheer inertia.”
My bachelor’s degree is in broadcasting, and I’ve tried almost every aspect of it. Running cameras, editing video, producing audio, anchoring, reporting and everything else in between.
Lots of my family friends assume that I want to be an anchor, or reporter. Most of them just think it would be cool to see me on TV. And at first, I thought that was what I wanted, too.
However, I really love the production side of broadcasting as well.
Some people might think sitting in a tiny soundproofed room producing audio and editing videos all day sounds horrible, but I enjoy it.
I find immense satisfaction in seeing the end product of hours of my work being played on TV or the radio.
The author of the article said what we shouldn’t do, is worry about the opinion of others. “You shouldn’t worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world.”
He goes on to say, “Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.”
I’ve finally found that to be happy in life, I’m going to have to do what I like to do, not what would make others think more highly of me.
I still don’t know what I want to do when I graduate, and who knows, I may end up reporting or anchoring at some TV station, or being a DJ at a radio station.
But odds are, I’m going to have to try quite a few different jobs before I find the one I love.
The author said, “Don’t decide too soon. Kids who know early what they want to do seem impressive, as if they got the answer to some math question before the other kids. They have an answer, certainly, but odds are it’s wrong.”
Not everyone is able to find a job that they can’t wait to get up and go to in the morning. And it’s not going to be easy, but it’s my goal in life to find that.
To quote Confucius, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”