↪ Don’t Choose a Career to Please Others
Do you strive for external validation, or is your path dictated by a deeper sense of personal fulfillment? Marcia Reynolds cautions against pursuing careers motivated by “cravings,” or impulses to earn other’s approval. Instead, you should seek out your “calling” —- the type of work you would do if you didn’t care what other people thought. The article is geared towards women, but I think its message applies to both men and women.
A few notable excerpts:
I also found many younger women had an irrepressible desire to be renowned. They had been told as a child that they could grow up to accomplish great things. This is not a bad message to give children. Yet it needs to be balanced by the message, “You are good and lovable even if you aren’t the best.” If not, girls are brought up feeling they have to be recognized as great at what they do or they aren’t good enough whether they choose to be a mom, a CEO, or both.
If your purpose rests on recognition, you will always be looking for “something more.” The quest is often exhausting, disappointing, and unfulfilling in the end. You miss what makes you feel good in the present.
[I]f you can’t articulate what activities give you fulfillment, you leave the assessment of your value to other people’s judgment. You end up relying on others to tell you if your work is important and good. You might think you feel fulfilled when you are just pleased that they noticed how much you know and how hard you worked.