Peter Drucker, the well-known management consultant on the subject of getting into the right kind of work, has said,
“People worry because they think a career decision is like marriage – to be broken only by failure or death. Well, this just isn’t so. You have to accept your uncertainties as normal. Only musicians and mathematicians and a few early-maturing people – the number is very small – know from adolescence onward, what they want to do. But the rest of us have to find out.”
Well, that’s good. In the world of today, there are so many interesting opportunities that it’s quite difficult for most people to make a perfect decision the first time. Perfect or not. It seems that most people largely do look upon their work as they might look upon marriage – as a permanent thing. If it’s not what a person happens to like, well, he often thinks that’s just too bad – that he’s stuck with it.
Well, not so. Not anymore. I read somewhere recently that one of the tragedies of our educational system is that it often steers young men into the more “acceptable” or “better-known” fields simply because it’s easier to get them to conform to the curriculum – then for the school to branch out into less popular studies.
Thus, the young man had dreams of being an oceanographer or expert on pollution, winds up being a lawyer or a CPA, but be that as it may, the person who dreams of more interesting, more challenging, and perhaps more rewarding work – should ask himself quite seriously.. . (and I don’t mean more rewarding than being a CPA or a lawyer that can be as rewarding as anything else.) But he should ask himself quite seriously what it is that prevents him from fulfilling his dream? No matter what field a person chooses, there’s always room.
People in that field are getting older, they’re moving up and out, they’re retiring. If a person can think of the field, he would like very much to enter – chances are he can get into it if he’s willing to make a few sacrifices. It might mean going back to school or starting all over at the bottom. But if he wants it enough, now he can get into it. Remember too that it used to be that most people in most jobs were restricted to work in the country of their birth. Today, the whole world, at least a big part of it, is available. Opportunities are literally everywhere from A to Z, from aviation to zippers. There’s a kind of work that can be congenial and interesting for just about anyone. If you’ll go to the trouble of discovering what it is and then qualifying for it.
As I may have mentioned four or five hundred times before. The luckiest people on Earth are those who enjoy and can find personal fulfillment and satisfaction in their work.
As the man said,
“Only musicians and mathematicians and a few early-maturing people – the number is very small – know from adolescence onward what they want to do. The rest of us have to find out.”