Love what you do or do what you love?
January 17, 2017
Filed under InDepth
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Throughout a student’s high school journey, students often get asked the question, “What do you want to do for a living?” If you’re like most high school students, you won’t have an answer- common advice to students is “Do what you love.” At this point, you decide that you might want to do something related to your passion. It’s a common misconception that following one’s passion will allow one to enjoy their life to the fullest and money will follow in the long term. This may be the case for a small amount of people; however, it is unfortunately not true for the majority.
Ms. Jennifer Collins, a teacher in Oakton’s Career Center, has seen many students face the dilemma on what career to choose when it comes to the college process. From Ms.Collins’ perspective, virtually all students don’t realize what they love, so they end up choosing a major that they might not be interested in. Although high school offers a wide range of classes, there is so much more out there that high school students haven’t had the exposure to yet. “As a high schooler, you might realize what your strengths are or things that might make you tick, and pursuing your passion is great, but it’s a better approach to have an open mind when it comes to looking for majors,” said Ms. Collins. Take Ms. Collins, for example. She likes to work and talk with others, so she started out as an elementary ESOL teacher, then moved on to become a middle school ESOL teacher, and now she is here at Oakton. As Ms. Collins said, “Each experience leads to you to the next thing; it’s important for students to be flexible because interests develop over time.”
There are two types of people that psychologists categorize people into: maximizers and satisficers. Maximizers don’t like to stick with just one thing. Instead, they like to explore their options. Whereas satisficers accept whatever is given to them and stick to what they are comfortable with. Once they’ve decided on a decision, they’ll move on, whereas maximizers will dwell over their choices and compare their choices to others. It often depends on what type of person one is when it comes to deciding if one wants to take the risk of pursuing their passion. However, whichever category you fit into it is still vital to be flexible.
If you would like to keep your passion as a passion and a job as a job, Ms. Collins recommends reflecting on what you enjoy and what extracurriculars you are interested in. There are also many quizzes on Family Connection that can help suggest strengths and career clusters that you might be good at.
You may love something in high school, but there might be something out there that you might love even more. However, it is not necessary that you should do what you enjoy for a living- don’t mix business with pleasure. So, as Elena Marcovici once said, “Let’s flip this myth by learning to love what we do instead of doing what we love.”
Below are some pros and cons to pursuing a major/job related to your passion. Hover over the dots to learn more about the pros and cons.