MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

March 10, 2011

Backing Into a "Career".

"That's the field in which we choose to work." – Joseph D., (former) IT Project Manager

That line was a common phrase used by a manager I worked under many many years ago. He often used it when we (the staff) would gripe about having to work OT, the weekend, change project direction in mid-effort, etc. I knew Joe wasn't being a ball-buster (he could be but if he was it usually was because he was getting flack from above and just passing it down the food chain). Overall, Joe was a great manager. One the best I have ever worked with. He long ago retired and in the fullness of time passed away. He was a good egg in a basket of many rotten ones. But that's a topic for another time.

This line, however, does encompass a lot more than it seems on the surface. That is, the idea of "choice" in the work we do to earn a living.

While it is true that great many people, surely the majority of people, who work (seemingly a smaller number these days) do so in a job or field that have chosen to enter.

Some do the work because it interests them.Some because they have a passion for the work.Some because they want to learn skills they believe will be useful later in greater efforts.

But for some people what they do for a living is more a default answer rather than one of wanting or chosen decision. For a great number of reasons life can twist and turn a person and they end up in a job or a place they don't want to be but have little choice (at least for the time being).

Even in a chosen field or industry, while you may have chosen that vocation it doesn't mean to wholly wanted to practice your work at that specific company or venue. Perhaps that was the only job you could get at the time. Perhaps it's a 1-horse town you live in.

The idea that you guided your life and efforts to specifically be at the very place you are right now out of pure choice and wanting to be exactly there doesn't always hold true. Many people spend their entire lives never really finding what they like to do as their life's work. Or, they are unable to find a way to make their passions into their life's work (at least not to the point it will pay the bills).

Yet at some point while you are searching for yourself you still have to pay the bills. It is regrettable too that sometimes that cold reality gets in the way of finding your true purpose in life. But that's also reality.

So when Joe used to say about the "field in which we choose to work" I often had to laugh inside. While I did choose IT, it wasn't for a great passion but rather a lack of other options that could reasonably pay the bills. And I certainly didn't choose to work that that screwed shop (Joe not withstanding) but rather was about to get laid off due to a merger (more like take over) and had nothing else to fall back on.

A choice isn't always chosen by you. Sometimes it's chosen for you.


Grace. said...

My sister always wanted to be a nurse. But she didn't get into the nursing program she wanted, so she enrolled in a four-year college instead. She still intended to be a nurse, but an economics course turned her onto the allure of managing money. Then a graduate school for international business got sued for discriminating against women, and as a result, fully funded scholarships for female applicants. My sister never did become a nurse but she did wind up an international banker making seven (yes! seven!) figures. She just retired at age 60 and still professes amazement at where she ended up. She would have been a great nurse, but she turned out to be great banker as well.

MasterPo said...

Sometimes opportunity comes in disguise. Glad it worked out for her!