She had to escape.
The rumble of happy chatter, the incessant comparisons, the demand to be who she’s not, was all too overwhelming for her. This life was suffocating her, this was not the plan, and she had to leave even if it’s just for a while. It had been a mistake to attend the family social event. She had gone through the years evading and tolerating them from a safe distance and now she deliberating fell into their trap by being in the same space with them, True, they all meant well except she felt conspicuous in her aloneness, uncomfortable in her identity as the family screw up.
At 29, she still hasn’t gotten it together, in their opinion. She works as an assistant in a gallery with a degree in Economics. They have the right connections to secure a job with one of the financial firms but that’s not her path in life. Although she studied Economics she found it very boring and only did it because it was the lesser of two evils, Medicine was totally out of the question also coupled with the fact that it was the condition given, if she wanted her fees paid. Her family had successful careers in the medical and finance world; mom is a consultant in a hospital, dad retired as a managing director in a finance firm. Her siblings followed suit—how wonderful for them.
Her on the other hand, loved to paint, growing up; Art class was the highlight of her primary and junior secondary school. Art wasn’t just a hobby, it is a way of life for her, and she hoped to have her work hanging in famous galleries soon. She made money from her paintings, it wasn’t much but it was enough to pay the bills and keep her going on a day-to-day basis. Her family needs to understand how passionate she is about her career and how happy and fulfilled she is right now. She is tired of the subtle and sometimes overt putdowns of her career just because she wouldn’t and couldn’t live up to their expectations. She tried to please and make them happy but it was to the detriment of her sanity and peace. Not everyone will have a life that is all worked out and put together by the time they hit 30 but at least she isn’t doing so bad, being an artist is actually a very dignified profession, they might not save lives or make quick statistics calculations, but what they do is also as demanding and tasking.
No job is more important than the other, regardless of earning potential, let me paint a picture for you, that world renown surgeon’s house, built and designed by an architectwill be furnished with furniture that a woodworker built,wall paint applied by a painter, Fridge stocked with food items bought from a grocery shop owner, electricityprovided by an electrical engineer to power those expensive devices that some engineer built in China, hope you are following this picture, what I’m saying in essence is that all jobs matter. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing.
We have become career snobs, a snob is anybody who takes a small part of you and uses it to come to a complete vision of who you are. That is snobbery. You encounter it within minutes at a party when you get asked that iconic question “What do you do?”
People probably have a set of ideas as to which careers are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad.’ There will be those jobs that you see as suitable for you and those that you don’t fancy doing. This changes from person to person, which is just as well, since competition for some jobs is difficult enough without everyone going for the same ones! However, within this general preference for certain types of work is an air of snobbery. In short, some feel that certain jobs are ‘below them.’ That they are somehow ‘worth more’ than someone with a job they see as undesirable. But, while there are some jobs that are clearly more desirable than others, these views are not always based on reality and can even translate through to what work or training you will even consider looking into! This career snobbery has even attached itself to views of apprenticeships, with many believing they are only for those who are ‘not good enough’ to go to university, or those who want to work in manual work.
With many graduates fail to find suitable work while someapprentices enjoy high rates of employment – perhaps it is time to consider it as a genuine option?
Either way, don’t let your misconceptions cloud your view, not everyone will be a doctor, lawyer or engineer – don’t be a career snob. It’s not cute.
Thanks for reading.
Till next time,