Okay so here's the deal I thought this might be more of an "activist" question rather for all the world to respond irresponsibly.
so this is my dillema... I work for a financial institution. I'm doing a four internship until I graduate from college. Next year is my year to graduate (maybe?), my boss calls me in (cool lady) and says its about time we start rotating me around the company so that I can pick which group I want to start "my professional career" with. And all that keeps swimming around my head is that phrase "professional career! Professiona career? career? career.." Of course they want to keep me because a) I'm damn good at what I do b) I'm Black c) I'm a woman d) I've been here since I was eighteen.
I work for the Corporate HR department so I know exactly how this works any opportunity for the company to look good we must jump on. But... I have nightmares of working in a cubicle with papers loaded all around, sleeping, eating, and using the bathroom all from the same place. At age 40 all I've enjoyed is this nice sportcar because I was way too busy to ever doing anything with all the money I made. At 45 I have a heart attack or stroke from all the stress. (I've seen all of this first hand.)
So this is not me... The company is great they are really in to work/home life balance but still 40 -50 hours of your week is spent taking care of someone else's B.S. I'm an extremist I can not do anything I don't feel it. This was ofcourse a great opportunity and experience now I'm debating whether its the rest of your life. But everyone else is telling me I'm stupid I have it all handed to me what else do I want?? I want my energy to be used on something I love with all my heart. I want to travel around the world see everything do everything and be everything. I'm not just being young (21) am I? Plus when the hell are you suppose to be young? So anyways... Curios about anyone else's experience or comments. Is money all we're working for? Is the life just being breed for the three piece suit, mortgage, kids, wife, and retirement??
1. "Work to live/live to work" In response to Reply # 0
Just to make ends meet you're going to have to work hard. Travel plans, kids, a bottle of evian or dom perignon, and the next thing you know, you're working EXTRA hard.
So you can choose. Do you want to work extra hard at something you don't care about or do you want to work extra hard at something that you find fulfilling?
Because no matter how you slice it, you're right, sometimes you'll find yourself spending more waking hours with the people that you work with than you do with your family. So it better be good, huh?
What's good? Is it good to do work that you know creates a social benefit? Is it good to do work that you find intellectually satisfying? Is it good to do work that maybe pays a little less but gets you home by 5:30 every day so you can spend time with your significant other? Only you know that, and oh boy, anyone who actually KNOWS what it is they want when they're about to start their senior year of college has both my admiration and my fear.
My admiration because it is so rare to be sufficiently self directed or experienced at 21 that a major life decision can be made once and for all. My fear because I wonder whether anyone who knows exactly what he or she wants to do in life that early has truly considered all the options and maybe they're just a little TOO focused.
Paper pushing, yuck. I would hate to push paper for a living. Man, I've got better things to do, I can change the world. OH, wait, you know, from the outside looking in someone might say that I DO push paper all day. But you know what? I love my work, I love what I do, I love the people I work with (and don't discount the importance of that when you're deciding what to do), and I am changing the world. Not as fast as some OKactivists would like, but just a little step at a time. I get great satisfaction from my work -- intellectual satisfaction, because it's not an easy job, and emotional satisfaction, because I feel like I'm contributing to the greater good. But still I'm pushing paper. So...
Think about graduate school. Think about getting a year in at a company that will look good on a resume and keep your options open. Think about whether there's a way to combine all of your interests in one job. Think about your priorities. There's no reason that taking this job means that you'll retire from this job. People change jobs, careers, all the time. And you're right, you are a hot commodity. Good for you not to kid yourself that everyone likes to have a diverse workforce, but don't kid yourself either that people get hired just because they're identifiably members of some minority or other. You still have to be smart, grrrl. Don't sell yourself short.
I like the sound of the rotation through the company -- that's likely to give you a better idea of what it is you want from work. It'll give you the chance to work with different personalities and it could open your eyes to interests that you didn't know you had because you were never exposed to them before.
But. But. But. Only you know. The fact that you are thinking hard about this decision tells me that you will eventually find exactly what works for you. You don't have to do it today ('tho you might, who knows?). Life is a process. You never stop growing. And work is a big part of life. So it evolves too.
Good energy going out to you. Enjoy your last year of college. Dance hard. Study hard. Stay up late to do both. Take an unexpected class or two (my best friend didn't know that she had natural drawing abilities until she took a drawing class during her last semester in college). Keep a journal. Keep asking the hard questions. Keep saying "what next?"
and keep the Peace.
~ ~ ~ All meetings end in separation All acquisition ends in dispersion All life ends in death - The Buddha
It sounds like you don't want to get stuck in the trap of working-spending-working harder to spend more and all that, which is good. That being said, I hope that I'm in your shoes in two years. Krewcial's life sounds nice, I hope that I'll be able to pull that off after graduation. See how flexible the company is. If they really want you, see if you can cut back the hours or telecommute: do the work at home in the morning and take the rest of the day off. Of course I don't know your situation so I'm just railing off things that sounds good to me, but I'm sure you'll work something out. Good luck with whatever choice you make.
And if you have the time, may I suggest you read "The Overspent American" by Juliet Schor. It talks about how to avoid the workaholic lifestyle that you sound like you want to avoid.
---------------------------------------- All great truths begin as blasphemies. --George Bernard Shaw
Thanks everyone for the love. I really appreaciate it. I have been asking almost everyone I know and no one could give me an answer that I could run with. But I guess the answer is I gotta run with myself to find the answer.
Well this is what I've decided so far. That its definitely time for a change my heart is thristy for some of the world. So...
A) A trip to South Africa next summer. B) I think I'll take an extra year in college to pursue my love of writing and computers along with my Business major. That extra year will also be spent on the east coast since I've pretty much never been outside of California.
I think the most important thing that was said is that I need to find my balance. And listen to my inner self. My mother is always telling me do what you love and money will come. I have the best opportunities in front of me and I know with out them I wouldn't be looking for more. (Thanks be to God)
Sometimes I feel as though I am in the minority not just race because that's a fact I mean with self-determination. I feel like I'm the only one pushing constantly for the answer. Eventhough the answer I know is buried deep within the earth I find that I had questions that were never known to me before my search. I was always taught my self worth reagardless of the color of my skin or sex of my body. Thanks to my beautiful family, I am motivated beyond measure. My soul tells me my life does not end here so I must keep on keepn' on.
>>My admiration because it is so rare to be sufficiently self directed or experienced at 21 that a major life decision can be made once and for all...
I was 19 when I knew that I wanted to spend my life bridging the digital divide (before the digital divide ever existed). I also knew that my job/career would echo my graduate studies in art and technology. My path was not always conscious but I was always aware I was moving it a certain direction.
My long-range goal at 21 was to start and run my own art and tech center in an underserved community, so I started teaching art to kids. Then, I started looking for opportunited to teach computer art. I discovered that most of the community-based orgs I worked at did not have the resources to support a technology program, so I started building labs in centers in NYC, Chicago, and Boston.
Now, ten years after I dreamed of doing my own art and tech program, I am working with my associates to form a nonprofit dealing with youth/community development and (guess what?) art and technology.
I could have went where the money was. I had some skills and talent but I wanted to make a difference in peoples' lives, create environment in which people could empower themselves. I hit some bumps in the road early and took more than my share of risks but it all worked out. I stayed true to my vision.
Yes, you can have a vision at 19 or 21 and still leave room for growth and exploration. Follow your heart and be true to yourself.
"No matter who you are or what your age may be, if you want to achieve permanent, sustaining success, the motivation that will drive you toward that goal must come from within." - Ultramagnetic MCs
6. "RE: Professional Career!!??" In response to Reply # 0
cant tell you what to do, but hope you get insight from me and my decisions:
since eighth grade, ive been preparing for a career in engineering. did internships w/ govt, consulting groups, f500 corp...cant say i did it all, but i did a lot
one yr from graduation, corp offers, grad school scholarships, etc. i acknowledge that while i kick ass at math (and english), i dont care for what i was preparing to do. changed my major to english
current day: BA finished, i applied and have been invited to serve as a volunteer w/ the Peace Corps. prayerfully, i move to mali (west africa) next month. ill be incorporating my engr background, but although ill following govt rules, etc...i still feel as if its on my terms.
i wont front, i miss the engr money i clocked in my internships (well, not w/ the govt), but i wouldnt trade places for the road i almost chose and i cant say my life is glamourous. i cant go too many places w/ my flossin engr friends...ive had to curb my expensive tastes, but i get by. and im happy.
i do some freelance writing while working for a corp. demon (til i leave), and in a paper where ive got a column, i sorta mention how i strive to live avoiding risk nor responsiblity and fearing lost opportunity as opposed to change.
i write all this to say only you know whats important to you and only you know what youre willing to do to get what you want (provided you know what you want) dont be afraid to take time to figure it out dont be afraid to explore options dont be foolish, either. take advantage of the opportunity youve got now. explore your company and talk to others. i know engrs who also have degrees in art and paint on the weekend. whatever you want can be done. write the vision,make it plain...then make it so.
best to you...on that note, im out
keep the faith share the wealth give the love ~b.
*a conversation w/ my daddy* D- B, go in there and clean the kitchen Me- but daddy, I didn't even contribute to that mess... D- (sigh) there are some things in life you just do because they need to be done. I mean, I don't ask the grass to grow, but it does...and I cut it
"how you gonna have a multiracial country but monoracial leadership?" -readers digest (paraphrased)
"our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. we ask ourselves, who am i to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? actually, who are you not to be? you are a child of God. your playing small does not serve the world. there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people wont feel insecure around you. we were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. it is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. as we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -maryann williamson, "a return to love"