I meet many people who are bewildered about their future plans. Due to lack of better ideas, they try to sneak into whatever work roles are available, and that can help them fetch some lucre. Although any work should be adopted as a profession, so long as it is legitimate. And so long as a job is legitimate and ethically respectable, it is fine to adopt it. But sometimes I meet well-educated people who are at the brink of giving up on their professions. The reasons for giving up are normally not always a lack of available jobs, or low salaries, personal incompetence. A common and weird reason is that the subject does not find hir (or her) profession thrilling. To my surprise, I have met a handful of people who want to quit computer science and take up something else. They find it too mundane and sometimes too demanding a profession that does not pay off so well at the end of the day too.
The question for me, then, becomes to think about a profession that is both thrilling and rewarding in some sense. Whenever I think about an example, politics comes to my mind. Politics is always hyped up in our society. It can be considered as a glamorous profession worldwide as politicians are normally found on the front pages of newspapers, even if they are being accused of fraud. Moreover, given the feudalistic mindset of our society, politics is looked up at very naturally as the most desirable profession. I have personally had a chance to meet a few very young people in their late teens, who for one reason or the other are mentally pre-occupied with the larger enterprise of politics. For instance, some people keep eyeing politics because they believe that the current breed of politicians is corrupt to the spine. Moreover, they find it incumbent upon themselves to plan their careers so as to climb the ladder of political leadership. And then, when they have the right authority, enough power, and ample opportunity, to straighten up our so much messed up political system.
In an early age, when an adolescent is transitioning to adulthood, he tries to find meaning in life. Then ambitions override the reality. He likes to fly too high. Touching the skies can become a goal. Someone must have motivated. And that motivation is now at work. The person can seek glory and fame. Many professions can sound mundane and zestless. Computer science, mathematics, writing code, doing experiments can sound more like child’s play. As the person looks to fulfill his ambitions, politics can appear such an enterprise that can lead him to the greatness of Alexander of Macedonia. Men can generally have this propensity. Whereas women, on the other hand, can still think and plan realistically.
Then there is another creed of people who seek political careers just for the opposite reasons. Such people believe that in our society, nothing can be achieved through the right means. And to become a high achiever, one needs to assume power. Entering a political party, and flaunting clout for them is something that can do wonders. And it indeed does wonders as well. Is it not uncommon that if you declare your affiliation with a well-known political party, you can get many doors opened for yourself. Any person with even a shallow awareness of our social mindset would testify this. This is how our society works. This is the norm. And this is kind of a belief.
This article is not for the third type of people, although they may also want to benefit. Crooks shall do what they have to do. But I think that I can provoke some alternative thoughts in the minds of the first kind of people or anyone who even slightly identifies with them.
For anyone who thinks about abandoning his profession as a computer scientist, or any such technical or academic discipline, just because they think that it is too mundane, unrewarding and cannot bring them fame or glory should possibly try to understand a few things. Glorious professions such as politics are not easy to undertake. They require a lot of handwork and planning. You have to meet many people, liaise with many, and ditch even a lot more. You have to spend a lot of money to climb the ladder of a political party. You have to climb that ladder so as to have an audience. The process of climbing that ladder is not easy. You have to spend an enormous amount of money, you have to coax many people. Eventually, you end up getting obliged by so many people that your decisions making becomes a function of their whims and desires.
At the end of the day, you have a bad family life. You begin to lose sincere friends. You get surrounded by so many opportunists. If glory comes your way momentarily in the form of a victory in an election or something, it passes away so quickly as well, especially in today’s too much fast-paced media life. Politics is not everyone’s cup of tea. It need not be everyone’s cup of tea. Much of the apparent glitter and glory associated with being famous and well-known is largely illusory.
I speak about politics for those of us who consider their academic professions mundane. I personally used to consider professorship of university a very boring experience of life. Obese professors, wearing old coats, roaming in balconies of academic campuses can deliver a really hackneyed image to a youngster so full of glamorous ambitions for his future.
Acting, to me, can be another professional choice that is glamorous. And indeed it is very glamorous. We all know about quite a few actors who are well known and many people like to be like them and stuff. But to become a good actor is not so easy. An actor has to work very hard at memorizing the script, conceiving the character, rehearsing it. He has to redo small scenes again and again on the set unless the director is happy with him. Sometimes junior actors even have to face bashing for not doing as they were supposed to do. There is a lot of ladder climbing that needs to be done in this feat as well. An actor needs a few blockbusters to come in the limelight.
We can think of other professions and we shall find that they are all demanding. In as much as we can consider Physics, Mathematics or Computer Science boring and bizarre, the truth is that many other professions can turn out to be a lot more boring and bizarre. Consider metalworking, plumbing, dishwashing, flying a plane, taxi driving, etc. There is a myriad of other such professions. It takes a long time to develop dexterity about these professions. Once dexterity is achieved, the profession can be dull and boring. The professional has to follow the same old routine chores day in and day out. Moreover, people who adopt such professions live in oblivion as well.
On the other hand, people associated with technical and academic professions can still try to make their professions interesting. There is an element of research associated with academia, for instance. Not many people care about it. And many just like to shrug their shoulders as soon as they hear about it. But it can make life a lot more fun to adopt experimentation in life. You can do something new every day of your life.
A long time ago, I was talking to a cousin of mine about my future plans. I had finished high school then. I remember that I said that I shall abandon my studies soon and start some kind of a hotel, in pursuit of lucre. I remember that as I revealed my true plans and ambitions, my cousin said to me that his plan was to study so long as someone could provide funds. And he did that. I took a little longer to understand that the easiest thing in the world is to study. The second easiest thing in the world possibly is to teach. Everything else requires a lot of hard work. And you may realize much later that everything else is actually so mundane.
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