We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Brianna Flaherty, who graduated in May and lives in New York City before she’ll have “to give up and move home,” is unemployed. She spends hours on Craigslist and writing cover letters. When she interviewed at a bakery recently, there were 250 others competing with her to frost cupcakes at 5:00am.
“I no longer buy into the idea that having a degree will give you your dream job,” she told me. She’s exasperated. “I see on Craigslist that my Creative Writing degree, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, qualifies me to be a receptionist.”
When asked why that would be disappointing, she echoed Sterling: “My parents raised me to do something I was passionate about.”
Here's the thing with 'being passionate' and doing something you're passionate about.
I'm all for it. BUT, if you're truly passionate, then you will FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. In other words, this drip should be writing the next Great American Novel, rather than complaining about how tough her life is with a crappy degree.
Years ago, I had a roommate who was studying to be a lawyer. As his graduation approached, he was complaining (it being 1992 and all) about how the job market for lawyers was 'tough'.
At the same time, my college roommate was opening his own law firm up in Connecticut.
I told him to hang up a shingle and get to work. His response was "Do you know how tough that is?"
So the freak what? Everything is tough. But getting off your butt and doing it is all you need to do to get started and if it doesn't work, that's a feather in your cap when you go for a job interview.
"I started my own law firm" sounds much more meaningful than "I'm washing cars while I interview at law firms."
Yes, be passionate about something and follow that passion - but be prepared to work for your passion.
Either that, or accept that you're going to have a crappy job that pays the bills and you'll need an avocation or two to keep yourself from going insane.
problem is, unless you have a lot of money, and can afford to lose a lot of it, starting up your own business is not feasible.
And that's if you have business acumen, the attitude and skills needed to run a company, something that most people don't.
You need roughly $50k to start a business and run it for 6 months.
After 6 months, there's roughly as 75% chance your business will have failed.
All the passion in the world isn't going to pay the bills, the rent, and put food on the table if you can't sell that passion to customers willing to pay for it for lack of a customer base, marketing talent, or simply an existing market.
e.g. I'm extremely passionate about landscape photography. But there's no market for landscape photographers out here, or their work. Maybe I'd sell a few shots to a postcard manufacturer each year, barely enough to pay for the maintenance of my equipment.
So there's no way I'm going to start monetising that passion, the money simply isn't there.
My daughter is graduating in May, and has a job in Chicago. When she started college she struggled to choose between a degree in Music, and a degree in Business. She went with business, and is looking forward to a very well paying career. We had several conversations along the way, as she was making up her mind. One of the key points was the thought that she could still make an impact as a benefactor, and on the board of an arts organization, rather than as an employee of some orchestra/ballet/opera somewhere. She is working towards having both a career, and maintaining her 'passion' as an avocation, and part of a well rounded life.
I would never, ever hire anyone who had spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on a "creative writing degree" to do even the most menial of minimum-wage tasks, on the grounds that such a person is by definition an imbecile.
A "creative writing degree"? Wouldn't someone interested in being a creative writer be much better off a) doing as much writing, for anyone, anywhere, even for free or minimal pay, as possible, and b) READING as widely as possible in all her spare time? Perhaps find a way to build up some unusual life experiences? A library card and an ironclad commitment to doing the work is a hell of a lot more valuable (and vastly cheaper) than this idiot's tuition expenditures.
And on this topic of "passion." I think it's become my least favorite word. Watch any reality show like Top Chef, for instance, in which not one contestant can ever go 4 minutes without raving about his/her "passion" for cooking or some such. It's damned likely that most of those people fell into the restaurant business not out of any inborn passion for cooking but rather because they needed a job. Once in the middle of it, they realized they had a talent for food and liked the work, and realized they could build a nice life for themselves with enough effort. That ain't "passion," that's what Mike Rowe would call plain old hard work. And now I'm supposed to believe all these people fell out of the womb dreaming of the next great lobster taco.
The dirty little secret is that very few people have a true passion for anything--a burning, unquenchable desire to do a certain thing or achieve a certain triumph. I don't, never have. Don't know many other people who have true passions either. I wish I did, it would have made life a lot easier for me 25 years ago.
The really insidious thing about it is the constant lecturing of young people about identifying their passions. It's bad enough they are in debt up to their eyes after college, but their elders are sending them snipe hunting for illusory "passions," which will only leave most of them in despair, wondering what's wrong with them when they can't identify their prey.
Well said! Our passion is to have enough money to see us thru life, second passion is loving to "make things". We renovated a house in a poor neighborhood, and we loved the sheetrocking, painting, and electrical work..... we lived in plaster dust and out of boxes for almost 3 years while the house was under renovation but the reward of having done the work was worth it. We don't have any wild innovative ideas - just a family trying to make it thru life in one piece - but we've had lots of fun along the way! ...and, hard work CAN be fun- if you are fairly good at what you are doing, and are doing it with people who you respect & like. (That last bit about people is the most important!!!)
"protestant work ethic", "dignity of work" are just euphemisms for "work until you drop, even if it doesn't pay enough to pay the bills, and then give thanks for the Lord for allowing you your daily meal of stale bread and murky water while shivering in your unheated hovel after spending 16 hours toiling over back breaking work".
Nothing wrong with wanting something more from life than that, thank you very much.
There has to be a balance. Nothing wrong with working an honest job, but let it provide honest compensation in return, compensation that's not taxed so high that you have no enjoyment from the proceeds of your labour.