Skip to content

How to choose a profession

    Why the advice “Follow your dream!” not suitable for choosing a job?

    Very often, when building a career, we are based on postulates like “Listen to your heart!” or “Follow your dream!”. British writer Alan Watts says that you need to understand what kind of business gives you goosebumps and continue to do it, otherwise you will waste your life. However, Oxford University philosophy professor William MacAskill believes that the advice to “follow your dreams,” taken too literally, can ultimately lead to great disappointment.

    Dream problems, what’s wrong?

    First, the dreams of most people simply do not fit into the working world. According to a study conducted by the University of Quebec in 2003, 84% of students have dreams, but 90% of them are related to sports, music and art. But only 3% of all vacancies relate to these areas. As a result, the highest competition for desired jobs is created. Also, just because you have a passion for, say, music doesn’t make you an outstanding professional musician.
    Our interests and dreams evolve over time: psychologists have proven that they change much more than we think. Think about your most important interests 10 years ago: they are probably very different from what you are interested in today. You may plan your life assuming you never want to have children, but once you’re in your 30s, your preferences may change. It has been proven that we are not very good at predicting what will make us happy.
    Thus, by following your dream or inner voice, you run the risk of signing up for activities and projects that will no longer interest you in the long run.

    So how do you decide on a career?

    The best indication of job satisfaction is the work process itself, not your dreams about it. Research shows that you should look for what attracts you directly to the work itself, and not its consequences. Will you be able to endure the routine of many hours of daily rehearsals if you want to become a musician? If you enjoy the process of rehearsal and you do not notice the time, then with a high probability you will be able to develop a real passion for this activity.
    If you want to assess your chances of success in advance, try to learn as much as you can about the job at the beginning. Talk to people involved in it, ask what drives them to success, and figure out how you fit this. Ask why people leave this job. Find out how people like you did this job in the past. It may seem like a lot of effort, but we’re talking about 80,000 hours of your life. For this, you can think a little.

    сто при построении карьеры мы основываемся на постулатах вроде «Слушайте свое сердце!» или «Следуйте за мечтой!». Британский писатель Алан Уоттс говорит, что нужно понять, какое дело вызывает у вас мурашки и впредь заниматься именно им, иначе вы бездарно потратите свою жизнь. Однако профессор философии Оксфордского университета Уильям Макаскилл считает, что совет «следовать своей мечте», принятый слишком буквально, в конечном итоге может привести к большим разочарованиям.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *