Career or Life?


Emily Fritze, Writer

To most people getting a hold on a good career is a must. It’s what feeds the family, pays the rents, and allows for a comfortable life. But along with that, a career is also what people are doing five days a week year round. So much time is invested into a career that those who don’t like theirs are likely to lose satisfaction in their lives, while those who enjoy their career have more daily satisfaction. It becomes to some people a passion, and to others a task. And the line between the two options is clear. The goal of every child is to be an astronaut or a ballet dancer; something that they find interesting and fun. And the school years are marked with the constant question, “What will I do when I get older?” In high school and middle school kids are exposed to so many different things in hopes that by the time they are in college, they understand what they like and which careers surround those things. We are raised to expect that we will one day enjoy our careers, but as time goes on our career is often based on what we are good at–and finally, what we can do to make money.

But despite whether a career is a passion or not, it still becomes a factor that describes who someone is. When people first meet, the questions are typically, “What’s your name?” closely followed by “What do you do?” Very rarely do people answer that question with a hobby, but instead their career. But on a trip to Switzerland, I found this American custom was not as prevelant. The Swiss asked for shortened weeks in order to do their hobbies, which they were extremely passionate about. Despite what their careers were they still followed their passions, just in a different way. Their answer to the question “What do you do?” was not “I’m a lawyer” or “I’m a banker,” but “I’m a rock-climber” and “I’m a dancer.” While this may just have been the people I met over-seas, the concept still strongly stands: Your job doesn’t necessarily need to be your passion. As children, we are encouraged to believe that a job is what will make us happy. Growing up, we discover that happiness can be achieved regardless of your career.