Saturday, October 16, 2004

God wants you to be a carpenter

Yesterday I was running off of a few hours of sleep -one in the car before roughing it and catching a shower at the gym at school before heading off to class to pursue my studies: pursue my career actually. With my cell-phone as an alarm clock and my car as a nomadic shelter, I make it through. However, my level of concentration was sketchy, and by the time the day was through, I wasn't feeling very good about my budgeting skills in business class. I had to ask "so what's the difference between financing and accounting anyways?...oh so financing is like the plan that later gets accounted and becomes an issue for accountants?" Some may laugh but I've never taken business before so shut up.

I'm a PR student which is sometimes a difficult thing to explain. "I'll get to write press releases and organize stuff for businesses, helping them match goals and launch campaigns to meet their mission statements. That kind of thing." I picture myself explaining. I've been a student for a long long time. It almost feels like a career. When I come home to my parents nurturing and comfortable pile of red bricks, the ones that my great grandfather put together before my entire house had to be put on wheels (yes I'm serious) and moved down the road to avoid the encroaching city, my parents friends are sitting around the table sampling blue cheese and talking about Canadian issues. We get into the job talk and a woman asks me: "what would you do if you could get your dream job? Forget all the barriers, what is your DESIRE?" She admits she struggles with the same hesitation to answer that I do with her son. It's frustrating for her but it's even more frustrating for me. I can't guess at what I'll be doing, for who, and in what fashion until I get there. I'd like to work for some international company like daimlerchrysler I think, or be a writer for Adbusters. Still, my ideas are vague.

She told me that God has a plan for everyone. This is like the title for Bishop Desmond Tutu's book "God has a Dream", but she's not talking about world peace, just what would make me feel peaceful about not having to flounder around with occupational anxiety. There's something unique and important as a mission that we are somehow in the possession of controlling and fulfilling, we just have to tap into it. I agree with this. It just sounds so destiny-oriented. That stuff always spooks me. I can't really apply it seamlessly to the reason why I was a manager at a fast-food joint for a year. It made me do a little self-analysis though. I think it's important to make like a little graph with skills you like to do, credentials you have, and the type of environment you'd like to work in. I've always thought I'd have lots of different jobs and not have to stick to a career. However, that life-style might take me down a career path consciously or unconsciously, I don't know yet. Will I become so rigidly specialized? Will I be type-cast as "that kind of guy"? The important thing I think is to balance everything. I love having my alter-ego. I love having my friends, going to movies, writing and playing my music, and taking on new brain-children. I think if I have a life outside of the ultimate plan, it can't become too overly controlling, and I'm in no rush to become a CEO. At the same time, what I enjoy should predestine me to become more of what I want to be. With all the incentives of higher education and the $$$ incentives of the job-world, it's easy to get derailed from what you actually want to do but that's part of the learning process too. One of my profs has a too-do list that she's been working on fulfilling for more than 20 years. Some people never learn to ride a horse until they're 50. I'm lucky I didn't kill myself when I was 16 riding at break-neck speeds over the ditches and fields of Quebec, but I'm glad I did it then while I young was reckless. This article made me think of the whole career planning thing in general. Read it if you like: http://sympaticomsn.workopolis.com/servlet/Content/fasttrack/20041016/RCOACH16?section=babyGAM

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