Today I RID this book about career choice.
I talked to my 16-year old daughter yesterday about her college/major choice, and it made me reflect upon my own.
I went to Creighton University because of its stellar pre-law program, as I fully intended to become a lawyer.
A few weeks after being in school, I turned my direction to marketing…and towards the path of advertising where I’ve made my living.
It makes me wonder…what if I hadn’t listened to that instinct? What if I were so dogged in my beliefs, and so stubborn…that I had continued down that path? My hunch is…I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today.
So…as I RID this book, I remind myself to listen to those instincts.
They’ve served me well. Very well.
When I saw “What I got rid of today” and “Life and work” I wondered what was left.
Seriously, I earned my degree in electronics, but I spent more time in the school than I did working in the field. It just wasn’t me. I’m a novelist turned fiction editor, and that’s where I would’ve stayed without the technical background to expand into all kinds of technical editing.
But most important, I was one of only three white people in my graduating class. The rest were black. What I learned at school, and what I use every single day from that experience, has nothing at all to do with the electronics.
I am endlessly interested in vocation — literally, calling. I’ve been a writer since college (journalism, books) and often wish I’d chosen an easier path or one that pays a lot better. But my calling is to find and tell amazing stories.
I think the larger culture’s emphasis on status and money often destroys our wish to do something that matters more to us. I see many students heading off to law or med school with heavy hearts because it will make their parents happy.
My new book is about what I learned, at $11.hr retail, at 50 after losing my newspaper job in NYC. The work was terribly hard and that was sobering. But it also taught me how much I love talking to strangers, which made me a good salesperson. Until you veer off the path, you may never discover transferable skills.