How Not to get Stuck in a Dead-end Job

How Not to get Stuck in a Dead-end Job

December 19, 2016

Tajdin Hassan

Head of Marketing | The Daily Star

Do you stress after graduating or while stepping into your professional life whether your target job will end up making you content or not? No matter how skilled you are in a particular field, your interest may lie in totally irrelevant activities.

In school, we do question the need for the vicious math lessons in real life. A Venn diagram could have answered a lot if our brain had the capability to understand the effectiveness of it in our early years.

Let’s take a budding musician doing a bachelor in business administration, for example. His passion remains music and ending up in a bank job in the long run might not make him happy. On another note, there’s no guarantee that he’d be a successful musician should he choose to pursue a career in music.

In our country, certain professions are considered more attractive than others. Many students consider banking as a boring but profitable profession, and pursue a career in banking. People who genuinely love numbers and finance easily climb the ladder, while others who don’t have that interest – despite their degrees in the relevant fields – end up working hard without significant achievements. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you might end up being stuck at a certain point. This is what lack of passion for the degree you worked for does.

Why do we often see actors, athletes, entrepreneurs without university degrees being invited at graduation ceremonies to deliver inspirational speeches? They didn’t let societal pressures derail them from what they are passionate about. After going halfway through a degree programme, students often feel confused regarding their earlier decision of choosing a certain major.

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Now for a better understanding let’s consider the diagram above. As you can see, the three yellow circles represent three situational aspects regarding your profession or the path you want to adopt as a career. The first circle on top represents your passion for certain things/activities. Left circle from the bottom represents things/activities you are good at, simply your skillset. Lastly, the right one represents the market which pays well for your current activities, simply whether you have a good market waiting for you or not. Now the most interesting part begins when you connect yourself to this diagram and see whether your passion and skillset will be supporting you to choose a right career rather than a socially accepted “good” career. If A and B exist in your scenario but not C, then you end up happy but poor because C represents the market which pays for your activities. On the other hand if you don’t get in touch with B which represents your skillset, even if you have the passion and a market which values your area of interest, success remains just a dream for you and the possibility of that dream turning into reality is nipped in the bud. And the most interesting scenario is when you have both B and C but not A, and this sort of intersection is quite visible in the local corporate environment where otherwise talented individuals become less motivated despite being paid well. It’s a paradox where you have been given the privilege of having a comfortable lifestyle but at the end of the day you find your life stuck in a loop.

Though intersection of the three circles represents the winning formula of a desired career, it may not be wise to reach out for that intersection at the onset of your career. You may consider starting your career in a small organisation, as that training will make you competitive enough to pursue your passion in future. Sometimes we stop pursuing our passion as we find no potential market for it, but if you believe in your passion, it’s possible to create your own market riding on the exponential growth of recent digitisation. For example, the rise of YouTubers – whose careers have developed around their interests – has created new avenues across the globe.

Believing in yourself and being committed to your passion is the ticket to success. If the voice within motivating you is bold enough, no external influence can work against your dream.

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