Every time I see a doctor, I come away feeling oddly unsatisfied.
They’re polite. They’re professional. But their diagnoses are quick and careless, with little curiosity or sympathy. Their sole intent seems to be getting me out of the room as quickly as possible so they can call in the next person and zip through them as well.
After a while, I figured out what it was: they were bored.
Imagine getting up every morning and dreading what you’re going to be doing for the next eight hours of your day. Imagine feeling that way every day of the week. According to last year’s statistics conducted by the Conference Board, 52.3 percent of Americans describe themselves as “unhappy at work,” which means that more than half of all Americans hate the job they go to every day.
Getting stuck with a career that you hate, or even just feel neutral about, is possibly one of the worst things you can do to yourself. Sadly, it’s a situation that seems to be increasing.
More and more often students are being pressured into making hasty, poorly-informed decisions based on stress and fear. Schools demand you declare a major fresh out of high school, parents pressure you with their expectations, and the news scroll depressing employment statistics to remind you how poorly the economy is doing.
Job outlook and financial stability are significant and important concepts to consider in terms of your career, but it’s horrible that they should be the determining factors in choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Questioning fellow college students on their career choices says a lot. Some are becoming engineers, but not because they love working with numbers or have a passion for progress. They’re just doing it for the paycheck. Likewise, many people going into the medical field, my doctors probably included, don’t appear to have any avid interest in medicine or display much joy in helping people.
Some students work hard through high school, college and internships, just to get the job that they think they want. But once they obtain it, they stop learning. They end up doing the bare minimum each day and never contributing anything meaningful to their field because they’re not interested in their job beyond being able to keep it.
To do great things you have to be willing to work hard, not just up till you get a degree or job, but every day for the rest of your life. And in order to be willing to work hard, you have to love what you do. Nobody ever became great by not caring.
Students shouldn’t be taught to pick jobs out of fear; they should be encouraged to pursue what they love. In the words of Stephen Hawking, a man who accomplished much through his love of science: “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”