Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pursuit of Fulfillment

After reading Dream Job... over at Windy City Blues, it got me reflecting about my own focus in life. Where am I headed? What do I want to do? Will I end up settling for something less? Am I comfortable with settling for something in a similar field? These are all important questions that everyone needs to ask themselves. Why pursue a career that makes you miserable when you can do something that makes your life feel complete?

For me, my dream occupation would be working down in Central and South America as a cultural anthropologist. All I want to do in my life is to help people and make the world a better place (so very cliche). I chose Latin America because I have background history with people of various ethnicities in those regions. Furthermore, I've been passionate about the area for years now. With starting my upper division courses this quarter, I've realized everything is just as fascinating as I've always found it. I don't see this zeal dwindling in the future. I don't know specifically what entity I'll work for in my humanitarian endeavors, but I can venture to assume it'd be something along the lines of a non-profit organization or educational institute. Money isn't a focus for me. The cost of living is so phenomenally low in those countries that I'm sure that even with a meager salary for a doctor, I'll be able to put money away into savings for the future.

I've put quite a bit of time and thought into this over the years. In the case of an accidental pregnancy (while still in college), I could always change my post-grad work from cultural anthropology to ethnic relations/studies. I feel comfortable with that alternative. I don't feel that I'd be sacrificing my life because I'd still get involved with working with helping people, but in a much safer environment here in Los Angeles. I'd never endanger my progeny.

Where I'm not willing to settle is that I could never work for a big corporation. Many applied anthropologists end up in either academia (which is an option for when I retire) or working for the capitalist cause. There's a fundamental disgust inside me for that choice of work. I could never work under the disguise of trying to help people when I'm actually trying to introduce a new product or drug to a country. Nor would I be willing to take kickbacks from corporations in exchange for giving them information about possible markets opening up.

When contemplating over a 'dream occupation', don't just let it be a dream. Research, come up with a plan of action and put your heart into it. We have one life to live; make the most of it.

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