What is it that keeps you from pursuing your dreams? When we were younger, we were often asked: what do you want to be when you grow up? The most generic answers would, perhaps, include a firefighter, a ballerina, or a dancer. Many of us soon grew up to recognize that those dreams were not achievable. That we should pursue other career paths often deemed more ‘successful’, more acceptable by society’s norms — while only some fulfill their childhood dreams. So why is it that the youth have to choose between passion and competition?
Your go-to answer might be societal norms, parental and peer pressure, the changing job market, or even financial stability. And, you are partially right. With the dynamic and uncertain twenty-first century job market , it is becoming increasingly difficult to find and to pursue a career that may have been in demand just a few decades ago. Recognizing that many of the careers we as children may have been interested in have limited and declining spots, it is disheartening to see a severe rising share of temporary jobs in the job market. This means the youth will have to swap jobs more often than ever before. You might be thinking, isn’t all this just bad news? However, that’s not all there is! With the opportunity to change jobs for the rest of your life due to the shifting job climate, youth nowadays are able to try out different jobs and exercise various skill-sets. This will not only make you more eligible for employment, but will build character in the long term. The key to taking advantage of these societal positives is to balance out your passion with the competition.
Sure, you may most definitely pursue the educational prerequisites for your ideal occupation. But as a student, you also have opportunities lined up to pursue hobbies or interests you wish to, if you put in the effort to excel in those. These can be hobbies that are outside of just your area of interest for studies, and are most definitely worth the time to invest in! Speaking from personal experience, I initially entered into University dead set on becoming a lawyer and working in the United Nations. I was initially extremely discouraged by the mass number of people in my major who also wanted to pursue the same career path. I later realized that the only way to truly do what I wanted, being restrained by societal standards and expectations, was to try different hobbies and activities — even in spite of the daunting job market.
In high school, I wished to become a journalist, but upon receiving my parents’ suggestions and further thinking, I had switched to becoming a lawyer due to “limited job opportunities” and an uncooperative job market. In order to work to overcome this barrier, I now work in multiple writing platforms, and still continue to write and fight for what I believe in, whether that be social issues or just as a hobby. In this way, I have been able to find balance between my passion and competition. This has also prevented my dreams from being hampered by what seems like a job market that only looks for specific jobs. The key is to get involved as much as you can, especially in what you love doing. In this way, you can open up opportunities you never knew existed for yourself, and still enjoy the thrill of the ride while you can.