Thursday, March 20, 2008

Too Many Choices

I have been thinking lot lately about choices, particularly vocational choices. My quest to find the perfect vocation has been a long and (mostly) fruitless search, as everything I encounter has drawbacks along with the good. My search is especially complicated because I am a generalist by nature, not a specialist. In our society, there is very little value placed on the generalist. Trust me, putting down a broad range of disparate skills on a resume only hurts your appeal, "jack of all trades, master of none" is no longer a compliment in our society. There is an incredible pressure to "make up your f*cking mind" and just focus on something!

Yet for some of us, this very act of "making up our minds" feels like a trap. With the bewildering array of things to learn about, careers to pursue, ideas to wrestle with, etc etc, it just seems plain wrong to have to limit my scope! Yet last I checked, there aren't a lot of vocation's out there for "renaissance" men and women, probably the closest you could come would be as a small business owner, where you wear many hats at once. Yet even that feels too narrow to those who want to experience it all!!! I mean, you only live one life, why spend most of it on the same thing?

And yet... The reality is that we can't have it all, we can't do it all. Not only that, but to some degree the constantly present notion that we are "missing out" may be more a product of the contemporary array of jobs than an actual reality. In other words, because we have thousands of interesting careers to choose from, there is always a sinking suspicion that we have chose the wrong one. Many folks seemed perfectly satisfied with their career "choices" back in times when they only had a dozen or so to choose from! So is our discontent a reflection that we are on the wrong path, or simply that we have a hard time believing that we have found the "best" possible vocation for our lives...

In my mulling over the issue, I stumbled across a damn good blog post, check out THIS LINK by the refreshingly blunt (albeit self indulgent) V.