"How did you come to do what
And so successfully...."
"Choosing what we do for a living -- or having it
choose us -- is, as American author Po Bronson observed in his bestseller
What Should I Do With My Life?
"one of life's great dramas." There's usually a Greek chorus (the parental
unit), an unexpected twist in the road (can't get into medical school) and a
crisis or two to be overcome.
For some there is unbelievable success -- think of
the founders of Google, so young and yet so rich, for others, a life of
desperately unsatisfying activity, and for most everyone else , something in
between -- good years and bad, fulfillment and drudgery."
To continue enlightening YOURSELF whether you are a
youth, young adult or one who was youth and young adult one time please visit
the web site Canadian
Globe and Mail ....or
click on the next line to enlighten YOURSELF on this
EVER ENLIGHTENING PVAF WEB SITE.....
It's not what you do,...
it's how you got there
By JUDITH TIMSON
Globe and Mail :Wednesday, May 5, 2004 - Page
In Toronto, the careerist capital of Canada, when strangers meet, they don't
say "How do you do?" They say "What do you do?"
It is a question that drives many people crazy because they don't wish to be
defined by or awarded status or demerit points on the basis of their work.
I say it's all right to ask the question if you follow it up with a much more
interesting second question: "How did you come to do
what you do?"
It is then, not in the simple job description, that character is revealed and
destiny described. The real estate saleswoman confesses she wanted to be a
forensic pathologist but was not steered to the right university courses. The
lawyer shrugs and says he had no clue what he wanted to do and law school seemed
like a good idea at the time. The entrepreneur admits he had this crazy idea
about starting a small radio station. The highly capable nurse still laments her
family did not have the money to send her to university.
Choosing what we do for a living -- or having it choose
us -- is, as American author Po Bronson observed in his bestseller What Should I
Do With My Life? "one of life's great dramas." There's usually a Greek chorus
(the parental unit), an unexpected twist in the road (can't get into medical
school) and a crisis or two to be overcome.
For some there is unbelievable success -- think of the founders of Google, so
young and yet so rich, for others, a life of desperately unsatisfying activity,
and for most everyone else , something in between -- good years and bad,
fulfilment and drudgery.
If you ask people about their professional regrets, they usually involve
something they didn't do, as opposed to something they did. "I didn't try out
enough things when I was young," says one businessman.
Sometimes I think people invest their careers with the same mythology they do
their love lives -- the great passion, the career that got away, now looms
larger than life. Which is why, in their fifties, many people go looking for
that career spark they left behind. And which is why the word "passion" is today
popping up in more and more career consultants' marketing come-ons.
We understand, because of our own convoluted life circumstances, that there is
no one moment when we fall in love with our work and stay that way, but we don't
demystify the process enough for students .
It starts early in schools. "When they have a career day at my daughter's
school, they usually haul in the parents and that's a narrow spectrum -- a
handful of doctors and lawyers," says one Montreal woman who wanted to be an
architect but ended up with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. On the other hand
it's difficult to convey how vast the possibilities are without overwhelming
Because of changing work patterns, we now get it that when you choose a career,
it most likely won't end up being exactly that job or even that career for life.
But how helpful is it to tell someone starting out, actually agonizing over the
choices, not to worry because that job won't be around anyway 20 years from now?
The graduates in good shape are the ones who emerge even hungrier to learn.
That's what a great education should really foster: a big appetite for learning,
and just a little bit of bravery.
A few years ago, a high school student in the neighbourhood was doing a project
on careers, and she called with a good question: "What did you want to be at 16,
and what are you today?" I warned her my answer would be boring -- in short, I
became what I wanted to be. "Out of 16 people, you and only one other person
answered this way," she said.
It's not surprising that we don't all become what we think we want to be. If we
did, it would be a pretty dull world.
In the meantime, on the bumpy road to getting there, there's always humour. A
teenager I know -- tired of adults asking her all the time what she wanted to be
-- decided at a recent family party to just mutter the words "brain surgeon" to
any adult in the room.
I thought it was a great idea until, at the same party, I came upon a guest who
actually is a brain surgeon and he laughed when I told him her plan. "I went
skiing recently, and on the chairlift someone asked me what I did. When I said
neurosurgeon, he wouldn't believe me."
What kind of a world is it if you can't get instant status points for being a
brain surgeon? I guess it's a world in which you might as well do exactly what