My career path has been unpredictable and it started out shaky. What was tried and true for past generations is not my current situation. The Technology Era has arrived and has lead to a divide amongst the generations. Today, America’s youth are unfairly being accused of being lazy or addicted to our iGadgets. While the older generations are proving with their accusations they are out-of-touch with our current realities.
My parents do not understand my career aspirations or choices. What I consider to be my calling in life, what I enjoy to do, doesn’t match their expectations. To them I don’t work hard or I don’t have ambition. To them, my career decisions are a waste of time and won’t amount to anything tangible (like money). I can’t measure my achievements with dollar signs or payouts. So, they assume it is not worthy of doing, I am being naive, and I JUST need to be more practical. While this is incredibly frustrating, it’s also not easy to explain my choices because they do not understand the context.
It’s Not Realistic
We have been browbeaten into believing practical decisions will lead us to profitable outcomes. This chiding comes from our elders who think we are refusing to walk down their path. They have yet to understand their career paths were structured and they had mentors to guide them.Their career trajectory was X, Y, Z while our trajectory has manifested towards 2X-3Y+Z= WTF.
We have been warned about the Great Recession and the difficulties of finding a job after graduation. We have been warned if we aren’t realistic we will fail to achieve success and we will spend the rest of our lives in poverty. To dream at all has become ridiculed as being unrealistic. Creativity has become a dirty word that must be stomped out of existence. Creativity isn’t safe and should be avoided.
You Can Fail At What You Don’t Want
Last year, Jim Carrey gave a moving commencement speech at Maharishi University of Management. His speech embodied what Millennials are going through because he himself didn’t take the safe route and he saw first hand its vulnerabilities. He took the unknown path, he took the creative path, he took the risky path:
“You could spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment which are based in either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach…ridiculous to expect. So we never dare to ask the Universe for it. I’m saying I’m the proof that you can ask the Universe for it.
My father could have been a great comedian but he didn’t believe that was possible for him. So he made conservative choice. Instead he got a safe job as an accountant.
When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love.”
I made the decision to follow my gut, to listen to my instincts, to challenge the ideas of the safe path. In doing so, my biggest critics are those who don’t understand what I am trying to accomplish. My parents had a vision for my future and expectations of how I would achieve success. But I can’t see their visions nor their pathway. Creativity starts when you start imagining your own path. When you draw a different route on the map, when you paint a different picture, and when you begin to write the story of your journey.