Sent in to one of our staff workers via a MySpace account:
I’m already a junior in college, and I’m starting to fear for my future. I don’t want to have a job in corporate America. I took a semester off and did an internship at a financial firm in New York, and though I could tolerate doing it for a few years, there’s no way I could work there for the rest of my life.
What do you do for a living? Is your life generally stable? I don’t understand how any of the Corrupt people can do it.
I apologize for the short letter; I would write more if it were necessary.
You need a certain amount of money to live a good life; you’ll want this to hit about $140,000 or more during your 40s.
There are any number of ways to get this. The two most basic are: work for yourself, or work for someone else. On top of this, you can also augment your income by, for example, owning property or stock.
So back up a minute: you don’t have to go back to a financial firm. You also don’t need to go back to _that_ financial firm. You have many options.
You should also realize that while it may suck somewhat to be an intern, things get better over time. As you
move up, the job gets less hectic and you have more power. You may end up living closer to the firm and having an easier time of things.
No one is going to tell you that jobs are not tedium; they are. But some tedium is going to occur in life anyway. If a rich relative handed you $20 million to retire on tomorrow, you’d end up inventing something you’d work at just as hard as a job to keep yourself from going insane.
Over time, as your career builds, it gets easier.
My advice is to consider all options and try them out. Did you check out medicine? Real estate? Law? The military? Remember, all you need is to at some point have enough money and a relatively comfortable life —
multiple options exist, and those can be augmented by the methods I describe above.
When I faced this issue for the first time, adults described it in terms of paths because they were trying to describe effects and not causes. Get on this path, and you’ll figure it out, and end up having x or y or z. It’s not that easy and it’s also not that bad.
Find something you’re good at, and explore it to see if you can like doing it. It will not be your whole life. It will take up a lot of your time. If finance isn’t it, pick something else. Aggressively, violently, obsessively pursue your options until you find one you like.
There’s no easy answer for this. I found a career that I like because I can do it well, and have augmented it with other forms of income. This means that I live well but not opulently, but my family and I are not concerned with luxury as much as the services that are necessary in a nation descending into third world status: private health insurance, private schools, life in a gated community, organic food, a rifle and friends/family nearby who are not dragged down into the abyss of stupidity like everyone else.
State your objective clearly, and the career becomes a means to an end, instead of the end in itself. This will relax your approach and make it easier to accept either having to go back to that financial firm, conquer and get powerful, and then enjoy an easier life, or finding another career you can dig.
This like all things in life is a project which requires research and effort to make happen. If you do that, you win. If you blow it off, life kicks you around and you end up a disillusioned underachiever who uses political dissent as an excuse for a disorganized life — and that’s the ground from which all hipsters, liberals, neurotics and dropped out burnouts spring.