In the last month, I’ve asked at least two dozen people about their dream career. What, if given the chance by the divine grace of God or good fortune, would be the most satisfying occupation you could have?
By now, you may have heard of a little movie named “Casino Royale.” It’s a small indie flick about some random British guy who is in a high-stakes game of poker and – okay, it’s a James Bond film. And it’s amazing.
You may also have heard of the power of suggestion. For instance, when you see or hear someone yawn, you yawn. This is fairly straightforward.
Combining Bond and the power of suggestion, though, is the fun part. This thought came to me while recklessly driving a Toyota Camry back from the movie theatre humming the secret agent’s theme song.
I think part of the appeal of James Bond is that, if there is at all a realistic superhero (and I call him a superhero because his superpower is to be the most badass agent ever), it is 007. As great as it would be to be someone like Spiderman, I accept reality – if I get bit by a radioactive spider, I will probably just get cancer and die. Yes, if I myself, by some miracle, could choose any profession, I would love to go into the mysterious world of high-stakes espionage.
The thing is, it is not completely impossible. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Web site (I know it’s not MI6, but I could never work for anyone but America) the minimum qualifications are within reach. It is a career of service to my country and connects with my majors and interests.
I am not advocating everyone to join the ranks of the government agencies, but I know that there are hundreds of people like me within the UR community, and several hundred million within the world, who would love nothing more than to have some occupation that is just not in line with what they feel society expects of them or that they are afraid will lead them into debt.
How many times has an aspiring rocker ended up being reduced to doing quadratic equations because the music business is so unforgiving? How many times has an aspiring schoolteacher ended up on Wall Street because salaries are so pathetic at pre-collegiate levels? How many times has that person who wants to be the one to find a cure for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus ended up working for a medical firm because research science doesn’t put a down payment on a family home? Perhapson an earth free of landlords and taxes, we could more easily chase our dreams.
In thinking about this, my friends and I have figured out that the best solution is to take the job that pays well after college, save up and switch to what we want to do later. While this idea seems good enough, there is a cold, hard reality to accompany it: by the time you are sitting on a nice IRA, why switch and risk it all? Why gamble on a wild goose chase when you are so close to purchasing that fancy-schmancy 52″ HDTV?
What I now think would be the best solution, overall, is to say, “Okay, I’m getting my degree, and I’ll be happy with it. Then I pursue my dream right off the bat, and if I should fail, and fail again, and fail again, well, only then do I go for job security.”
We all have the potential to do what we want – why not go for it now? Tomorrow holds all possibilities and all our dreams, and we owe it to ourselves to never back down from them out of fear of failure. As any true James Bond fanatic knows, you don’t have to be on Her Majesty’s secret service to know that tomorrow never dies.
Brenneman is a member of the class of 2009.