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I would like to comment on what I perceive to be a paradoxical moment in life; Career choice.
I am 21 years old, just graduated from business school with a bachelor of commerce (Marketing focus) in Canada. I am now set free in the world to make impossibly large decisions in terms of what to do with my life.
Do I pursue marketing positions where I will do things I am not particularly interested in?
Do I pursue being an artist, which I don't see as a viable job choice?
Do I have a purpose? Do I have to have one?
What makes one happy? Money or doing what one loves? Can a man be happy in poverty? Does one even ought to be happy at work?
Work is work after all. Maybe we are not owed to love what we do. I don't think anyone loves accounting, but somebody has to do it. In this economically volatile world I would be lucky to even get my office job even though I have great marks and some ok experience.
When I was younger I was so much more dreamy. I felt like wealth was my destiny, happiness was a given. But I am older now, graduated, and dreaming doesn't work as well. I am so much better now at art, at responsibility, cooking, networking, dressing. But it just doesn't seem good enough anymore. Whereas before I was such a dreamer that I could lift off straight into the clouds, now I can't find any evidence to believe. I just feel too old for all that, too smart perhaps? I can't feel like I know enough to make my career decisions.
The paradox is, how could such important decisions fall into the hands of people most unequipped to make them? How could people as young as me even make a call? We know nothing, yet we must decide what course to take for the rest of our lives. Hardly seems like a formula for making a good choice.
If only we could live out our lives, and THEN make a decision. That would make more sense I reckon. Only then I will be equipped with what is required to solve these questions. But in reality, by then, I will have already made my choice, be it right or wrong.
Anyways, tomorrow I am going to a Pepsi recruitment session for a marketing position. I think I do wish to get the job. It will give me a bit of a purpose, which maybe be what I seek at the moment. Maybe I am ready to shed the feeling that I am special, that I will be famous, and that I can shake the world. Maybe I understand now how replaceable I am...
How were your decisions made about your careers? How did you feel? Were you confident? Just share some thoughts on the subject.
(I would like to mention that I am not experiencing any sadness or dismay here. Just confusion and a lack of direction. I am not complaining)
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 17th, 2012 at 06:17 PM.
You mean a dilemma? I am sort of in the same position as you. Everyone wants to draw well, and many will stop drawing because they don't see a point in drawing in the long run. It is just like any other subject in school, which students might do less well in because they don't see the point of them in the long run. The important question is what is your goal in drawing well, is there a point to it? What is your goal in marketing? Do you like drawing for yourself or for others?
If I were you, being a person also interested in marketing, I would probably take that marketing position, since it might be more stable of a job. For me, my dilemma involves physics and art, and I know I will take a job in research or tutoring of science, as long as it is stable, when given the chance(after I graduate).
My psychology professor once said, "if you aim for the skies, you fall on the clouds, but if you aim for your front porch, you fall on horse shit". He is really old and has connection with inventors. He gave a lot of sound advice, but most importantly these advices make sense to me, and it might not for others. You want to make as great of an impact on human society given your profession. You want to strive to leave a mark, such that the generations that ensue will look up to you as a model. That would be aiming for the "sky". If you don't succeed, at least you would have overcame more challenges and difficulties than if you were to aim for your "front porch", and you would have still achieved more. All of this is to say, you can try to tackle both at the same time.
Last edited by Vay; January 17th, 2012 at 05:58 PM.
Twinkle, twinkle little star
I don't wonder what you are
For by spectroscopic ken
I know that you are hydrogen - Ian D.
If you enjoy the art side of things, just do it as a hobby. Maybe if you get good enough and still enjoy it by then you can try to pursue it as a career?
Slothboy, that is the reasonable compromise I am trying to pursue. Right now I have a few portraits that people have commissioned me, but I am also trying hard to find my marketing job.
Vay I agree completely about aiming high, but I just feel like I know too much to be optimistic any more. I feel like I lost that youthful confidence and naivete.
I used to feel like I am number 1 in the absence of all evidence. I kind of miss that stupidity..
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 18th, 2012 at 09:39 AM.
Dont worry too much, enjoy your 20s, work hard, earn enough money to be independant, itll happen.
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Yea but I am tired of enjoying stuff. I am enjoying things all day man, and it makes me a bit angry. I have it too easy. Yea I had student jobs in telemarketing and stuff, but if they stressed me out I just quit...
I guess I am tired of my life being so easy.. I just want to contribute already, I want to stop being a 21 year old lazy piece of shit sponge that consumes his parents resources all day and night.
"I want to stop being a 21 year old lazy piece of shit sponge that consumes his parents resources all day and night...Yea but I am tired of enjoying stuff. I am enjoying things all day man, and it makes me a bit angry. I have it too easy."
What the fuck? Youre 21 and youre whining about your parents paying for everything??? Well theres your problem my friend, tell them to cut you off, see if having no food or money for rent doesnt motivate you.. get a job, pay your way, self respect comes as standard.
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Buddy, I'm 23 and getting a Marketing degree while also drawing on the side. My plan is basically to have drawing on hand as something that heals my soul after a long and arduous workday of making people hate themselves and their lives so they buy things. Eventually I figure I'll just become good enough to make money off my art, but I'm in no great hurry. Just chill out, life isn't a race. It's not a choice between marketing and drawing, you can do both.
If drawing is important to you, you'll find a way to do it no matter what your day job is. If it isn't, you'll find an excuse not to.
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
- Ray Bradbury
Welcome to almost being an adult. You will have to strike a balance in your life between making money and doing what you want.
Money provides opportunities that being poor doesn't. If you want to be an artist be a successful one not a poor one. Poor artists die early, suffer more trying to make ends meet.
Don't let money control you but don't discount its ability to free you from bad situations, provide you with the means to promote your art professionally, and cover the basics in life.
I'd say stop worrying about what career choice to make -- you're "career" will probably change several times in your life, anyway, so don't feel like you're making a pivotal decision at 21 -- and just focus on getting a job so you can be independent and self-sufficient.
Just pick something and go; the more time you spend worrying about it, the less time you have to live life. If you're not happy later on, then you'll know to change. It will happen, I'm pretty sure.
I've met people who were accountants, that then later made their living hand making violins to also becoming a traveling nurse. Life isn't as short as you make one choice and live with it.
Last edited by JFierce; January 18th, 2012 at 03:25 PM.
Yeah, coming from a decent family and having the luxury to ask these kinds of questions usually ends badly. I guess that's another paradox.
I absolutely do want it and I did my best at the recruitment session. However the entire thing was in French, as were the interviews. I don't really speak French well at all. But nevertheless, I answered everything, embarrassing and pointless as it was.
Well I feel like to get good at something you need to put decades into it. If you keep switching around, greatness will be hard to achieve, no?
And I have to say, whatever I end up doing, I want greatness.
I am starting to feel like maybe I don't even have any choices in front of me.I am trying my best to find a job, going to career advisor meetings, went to a networking cocktail on Friday where I spoke with company representatives. I got 6 business cards and they took mine. I sent them an email as soon as I got back home. Allthough, its only monday, only one of them answered.
In terms of art, EA Games and Ubisoft didn't answer my applications, and I don't know anyone working there.
So I feel like now, that what I do with my life is to some degree up to other people. Its almost their choice. I am stuck and can't really do anything in either field.
Some friends want portraits done, because they liked the 2 commissions I did recently. So hopefully that will keep my hands full.
But the sense of purpose I crave might not come for a while...
I have learned just a couple of things about maintaining motivation:
Education is and should be continuous, study what you want to study, and then move on to whatever else you want to study that interests you People I've met who stop educating themselves seem to flounder...
Treat your art like your best friend and your grandest romance: Its hard when you are hungry and confused and young to prioritize and know "what to do" but if you treat art like you treat a lover, (make time for it, get it gifts, saturday night dates, little doodles mid day) even when things are bad (when you feel insecure, and alone, and scared) art can be your best friend. Sometimes I sit and draw and cry because I'm frustrated and mad and hurt from myself, so the art is the only one that CAN comfort me.
Don't blame anyone but yourself: Granted, there are things that people do to you that suck; maybe your parents will cut you off; maybe you don't get into the program, job, etc. that you wanted, and you can't control that, but being honest in assessing what you could have done better will get you soooo far and improves your self esteem Once you feel in control of your own life and destiny, you will be so much more productive and you will start respecting your results.
Look Back/Reflect: You may feel unaccomplished now but you have only been legal for 3 years-ish.??Look back at what you were up to when you were 18 and see how much you have grown as a person...in only three years!!! Imagine what the next...let's say 60....are going to be like...you will be such a different person by then! It's ok if you feel like complete shite right now. Enjoy the uncertainty, you won't always have it.
There's a lot of wisdom here. I can take advice.
Anyway, you just graduated from business school. You have the knowledge and the skills to market. Don't just toss it away. Take advantage of it.
Maybe you should seek a position that won't consume too much of your time, even though the pay will be less, as long as you can support yourself and draw at the same time.
I might be one of those people who has no problem sponging off of society, I know for sure that the moment the education system hands me a square hat with a tassel and kicks me out the door, I'm headed strait for the dole office, even if I can get on it for a month before I get some better paying work ('cause I'll be fucked if I'm working for less money than I can get fo' free), I'll be happy. Its not because I wanna 'get my taxes back', its because I'd be an idiot not to take advantage of my government if the opportunity arises to do so legally.
Oh, and for me, my ultimate goal is just to have my work (be it art or writing) to be appreciated by an audience of like-minded people. (BTW, this isn't me saying I would never "sell out" on an audience, cause I might, if the conditions are right).
My work is not about my feelings, nor is it about 'challenging contemporary visions of the current plutocratic society', I draw/write what I like, and what I hope other people like, and if I can make a few quid off the back of that, then great!
My 2 cents.
I have hesitated to just open up in this thread, but without mincing words you could think of me as the 30-something adolescent who tried to blaze his own trail and failed miserably.
See, the way it happened for me is that when I was a younger man I locked horns with a highly educated, psychologically formidable older relative. He was well intentioned but very caustic and verbally abusive about wanting me to become a graphic artist. He kept telling me that I would never make it with creative art and that I should just give it up. He kept saying that people with a fraction of my talent were making big money in graphic design and that I would enjoy it.
Because I was irrationally proud, I decided that going to school under his terms would be compromising myself in a way that I refused to abide by. So I basically just smoked weed for years and dreamed about the awesome graphic novel that I would put together someday.
Eventually, after some nervous breakdowns and some bad car accidents I did start a comic, but I only did 20 pages, and it was a totally different story than what I had wanted to do. I hit my head really hard in one of the accidents and I had to relearn how to do a lot of normal things so my mind was a lot different by then.
Life isn't painful because there are no miracles. It's painful because occasionally miracles do happen; just not all the time. You see someone live the dream, and you want it too. But the point is- the miracle isn't guaranteed. Giving up solid employment and a good education to do art is almost suicidal; unless you can really kick your ass every day to work harder than anybody in a cubicle.
I didn't have that kind of motivation. Anyway I'm going back to technical school now, so I'm happy about that. But the point is, I should have just gone to school in the first place and gotten an easy graphic design job. It probably would have led to the miracle of me learning new techniques and socializing with the right people to make that graphic novel.
That's the secret!
A peer just added me on LinkedIn. We used to work together at telemarketing as part of my very first job when I was 15-16. I re-met him at a case competition cocktail this Friday. He was part of the undergraduate team. I was part of the spectators.
So he adds me, I open his profile and it is really, really hurtful to me. He is VP of the financial association at my university, he is VP of the stock simulations, he has a full scholarship, he has a GPA of over 3.75 over the entire course of his school (I had 3.6 for the past 1.5 years, that is all A-'s, so he must Have all A's), received the golden key award (top 15% of students), and got invited to be a member of the The International Honour Society Beta Gamma Sigma which recognizes great business students internationally.
I didn't even go to school compared to him...
Why does it hurt so much to be pushed off my dumb pedestal I made for myself, where I figured me an intelligent human being just because I got a few A's here and there and never even participated in any student politics or extra stuff? It shouldn't be so awful to realize you are just normal. Unless I am a psychopath or something, because I find it painful to imagine not being great..
An underachieving psychopath. What a bad combination..
Last edited by Pavel Sokov; January 23rd, 2012 at 06:19 PM.
Pavel don't waste your time on envy; it'll corrode your soul. Stop worrying about how you're doing in comparison to other people. You're not living their lives, and they're not living yours. The confusing bit about finishing school is finding that life doesn't live up to your expectations. Very few people glide through life without meeting an obstacle. You're only starting your path towards making an independent life.
Don't expect to be best in your group; just be the best you can be, whatever you choose to do. "Best in the World" is subjective. Do you really think Shakespeare is the best writer ever? So much of "ever" hasn't happened yet...
Your friend seems pretty normal though accomplished.
If you already paid tuition and took out loans to get to business school, don't throw it away. You can use that to get a stable job and become independent (isn't that what you want?)
Then, when you are independent and stable, then it would be safer to pursue art.