I have been having a feeling since the past few years if the career that I am currently working hard at reaching the top of the proverbial ladder is something that I really want to be doing. It makes perfect sense financially and socially but does it make sense for me as an individual and on a personal level? Not so sure.
So I asked myself these questions –
If I had all the money I need, would I keep doing what I am doing?
Does my current career give me immense happiness?
Does my current career give me the chance to sit back after I am 50 and proudly state that I actually made a difference?
Unsurprisingly, my answers to all those questions was a resounding NO!!
I believe this would be the case with almost 80% of us if we ask ourselves these very questions. If you are able to answer yes to even 2 of them, I would be extremely jealous of you. Trying to figure out why this was the case turned out to be extremely easy.
As kids, we were never encouraged to pursue our dreams or passions. Instead we were always pushed to take up careers that were “booming” at that point of time or fields of study that was considered to be “socially acceptable”. There were courses that was “sure shot” in getting you a 6 figure annual income and colleges that guaranteed “100% placement”. Then there were the courses that would ensure that we reflect our intellect and careers joined because it was what our family was into. Careers chosen for matrimonial value and universities selected for resume value. Very few of us just went and studied a course because it was what we felt most driven by or embarked on a career because it fuelled our passion.
Sad state of affairs really…
I do not claim to be any different, although I did try to break away from the norm and do what I loved. This passion seeking lasted for a few years before I returned back to accepting the “approved” path and being a part of this whole machinery. My passion for food and alcohol sent me into the world of hospitality (where I excelled as a bartender) but then the pressures of living up to what my peers were doing prompted me to do an MBA and join the corporate world in the field of Marketing. That is where I am now.
At the age of 31, most will argue that it’s too late to change. While some of the brave will make emphatic statements like “It’s NEVER too late.” I am not sure where I fall but I did take time out to think what would I do so that I can answer yes to those questions.
Primarily, “If money was no concern, what would I be doing now?”.
The answer came to me almost in an instant. But then I put a little more thought into it and dug deeper into who I was and what gave me most pleasure. This is how I came up with the 3 careers I would have had if I were to have answered YES to those questions.
1. ZOOKEEPER/ANIMAL EXPERT
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love animals; especially the big cats. I have visited the zoo too many time for a guy my age to shamelessly admit and Animal Planet and National Geographic are the channels I have on my favourites on my TV. No, don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of becoming a vet. I want to build a life around conserving, studying and interacting with animals. That is why being a zookeeper is high on my list. If I had to dream a little bigger – A wildlife conservationist working with the big cats in some reserve.
I was the weirdest kid in school when I made this statement – “I love history!” I always found history to be the most interesting of all subjects I learnt. The mystery that surrounds it is something that has always kept me awake at night coming up with probable hypothesis from how the pyramids were built to what exactly happened at Mohenjo-Daro. Mythology continues to be one of the most preferred subjects I like to read on and interpret. Just imagine travelling the world and studying ancient history and finding answers to all those questions we have.. Gives me goosebumps every time I think of it.
Writing has always excited me. Be it short stories and essays I have done as a kid or the screenplays and storylines I developed for short films as an adult. I may not have the best command over the language but I always managed to put my imagination across through words. The attempt at being a blogger is one of the ways that i am trying to live out that life. Writing for films or becoming a published author is another life I would happily jump into.
Not sure if I will every take that step and go after one of these and finally establish myself in the field, but the fact that I have these listed out gives it a little more probability. Hope in the next 5 years I will be able to answer YES to at least 2 of those questions.
What about you? “If money was no concern, what would YOU be doing now?”