3-2 Passion and Work Part 1

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We often face real challenges in our life between what we want to do, our passion and what kinds of opportunities there are out there in the working world. We're often encouraged to follow our passions by well meaning people, friends and teachers, especially who don't themselves have to suffer the consequences of long term difficulties in getting a job. There is no one single answer to all this, but there are thoughtful ways to address this challenge as you think about your career and your approach to life long learning.

  • زمان مطالعه 3 دقیقه
  • سطح ساده

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We often face real challenges in our life between what we want to do, our passion and what kinds of opportunities there are out there in the working world. Let’s take me, for example, as a young person. I had an absolute passion to study linguistics and to learn another language. Like many young people, I was a little headstrong. My father, on the other hand, kept saying, you can’t easily get a job in linguistics. He nudged me towards learning something science-based. After all, he had had a great career as a veterinarian. I couldn’t afford to go to the university on my own back then. College loans weren’t easily available, but there was one way to learn the language and actually get paid for it and that was to join the army. That’s why at 18, I began studying Russian at the Defense Language Institute. I was convinced that my father was wrong. And somehow, I’d find a great career for myself doing what I loved, but that’s also how I found myself at age 26 in a career dead end. Although the military taught me a lot, when I decided to leave the military and return to the civilian world, I discovered I’d inadvertently put myself in a sort of trap. There wasn’t a lot of call for people whose only professional skill was the ability to speak Russian and who knew little else. Much as I love the Russian language, I had put my focus on developing one single skill without thinking about how much that skill was really needed in the working world and without thinking about whether other skills might complement and enhance my ability to get the kinds of jobs I wanted to have. This is part of what I call the Passion Trap. We’re often encouraged to follow our passions by well meaning people, friends and teachers, especially who don’t themselves have to suffer the consequences of long term difficulties in getting a job. Friends after all, often want to make you happy right now. So, they’ll often tell you what they think you want to hear. Teachers have a job teaching about their passion. This means that they benefit from encouraging you to take the classes and even aim towards their professions even if the chances of you actually getting a job related to that profession are minimal. On the other hand, parents, much like my father are often only focused on your finding a successful career. They can be less concerned about what you feel are your internal passions, especially if they, themselves have had a difficult life and they know how hard it can be to make a comfortable living. This push and pull between our internal passions, and the needs of the working world isn’t something that just relates to young people. We often feel these forces throughout our lives. There are internal desires, the external needs of the world and many different influences from our family, our friends and our teachers and mentors. There is no one single answer to all this, but there are thoughtful ways to address this challenge as you think about your career and your approach to life long learning. Thinking visually about your talents can be helpful. That’s what we’ll cover in the next video.

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