"I've been thinking about interior design, or maybe architecture. Because I really like math, but I also want to be able to do something creative. But then I'm worried about job opportunities, I know it's ridiculous to try to get a job in those fields."
I had a hunch, so I asked, "Do you have any programming or web development experience?"
"It's funny you ask that because earlier this week I started teaching myself to code online. I like it!" Her face lit up.
"And have you ever heard about interaction design?" She smiled. And then proceeded to tune out the rest of our session because it's clear I had hit a nerve and she just wanted to go google.Read More
"The money would be amazing," my friend said, contemplating an offer from a Large Tech Company. "I mean, I think the job would be rough. And there is no such thing as work-life balance there. But I could do anything for a year. Right?"
Maybe. How precious is a year to you? What is important to you in life? People I meet get stuck A LOT on the dilemma of practicality versus passion. What happens when you have student loans to pay down, and a desire to start a social enterprise or nonprofit? What do you do when you have a family who needs your support and you want to start your own business? What if you have a great stock options offer but you know you'll find the work boring? Do you take the money or do you hold out for something else? And how do you figure that out?Read More
Last week, I went to the doctor and came back with some not-great news. I have a health profile that includes a Big Scary Illness, and occasionally I have a situation where my doc says "Heads up, this doesn't look good". I'm in the middle of one of those scares right now, and there's an internal battle that goes on in my brain in a situation like this:
1. "Crap I'm going to need lots of money and really good health insurance." (ie, a nice stable job!), and
2. "Wow life is short, and I should make the most of the time I have by doing what I love." (ie, pursue my passion now while I can!).
It's the ultimate battle: do I prioritize practicality or passion in the face of a life situation that makes me need and want both?Read More
"My mom said I should be a librarian because she knows someone whose daughter is a librarian and said that's a good option," my student told me.
"Do you want to be a librarian?" I asked.
"I don't know...", she broke eye contact.
At least it's obvious that she's pursuing Mom's goal instead of her own. Some of us are working on a far more insidious type of career choice....the one made through more subtle clues about what our parents or family members want of us. It's more common that I work with a student who says, "My parents are worried about what kind of internship I'll have this summer." Or, when I ask "How did you decide you wanted to be a doctor?" the answer is "My dad is a Neurologist," which, I have to remind the person, is not actually answering the question.Read More