Jobs, Occupations & Career Paths: False Perceptions

Our society has a narrow perception of what we think a “typical job” should be.

So many of us unknowingly put professional careers in corporate office settings on a pedestal, but fail to appreciate careers that are equally as important yet less recognized.

Counselors, those close to us, and advisors in schools don’t question students when they say they want to go to college, want be a financial analyst, or desire an office job.

But if someone says they want to be a fireman, skilled tradesmen, farmer, etc, the following statements usually arise:

“But you are so smart, you are letting your talent go to waste!”

“You can do better than that career choice!”

Who has the right to judge the importance of a career path you choose? No one should except for you

Human communities depend upon a diversity of talent, not a singular conception of ability. -Sir Ken Robinson

From farmers to small business owners, accountants to fisherman, we need a wide variety of skill sets & abilities in the workforce.

In order to make my point resonate with you more, I’ll give you a real life example that we all know well.

The over asked question: What’s your college major?

We’ve all heard it, whether we were asked it or were the person asking the question.

Two responses ensue:

1. That’s great!….Must be a challenging major!….You should be able to get a good paying job after that!

2. Why would you go for that? What are you going to do with that degree? They have a degree for that?

These two responses are the problem. We are raised with a belief that only a select set of majors, occupations, and careers are worthy of our praise.

My outlook is different. Every career path should be looked at with praise if the following criteria are met.

  • The individual absolutely loves the work they are doing.
  • They are actively helping others through the work they do.

That’s it. Regardless of what any one else thinks, you can be successful in whichever career path you choose as long as you excel in it and work at it hard enough.

The grocery store clerk who goes the extra mile to make the customers experience memorable…….

The farmer who busts his back at the crack of dawn every day in order to get us great fresh produce……

The teacher who won’t give up on a student that others so easily gave up on…..

These individuals jobs, occupations, and careers MATTER just as much as the well dressed business professional’s does. I hope you agree. For the rest of society who hasn’t realized this yet, it’s important to drop our preconceived notions of what we think a working career should look like and open up our minds to the reality that we all provide our own unique diversity to the world. -Ryan Malinowski


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