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Old 01-05-2012, 10:44 PM
43,012 posts, read 88,978,939 times
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Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
I agree 100% with this. IMO, the reason most people fail at doing the thing they love the most is because they are not completely and utterly committed to it.

They are told ad nauseum that they have to have something to fall back on, that it's not practical, that they'll never make a living - well the only way to find out is to go at it full force, with the all seriousness that you would apply to a more conventional career.
People crush interests and dreams so easily without thinking by pointing out weaknesses and flaws instead of being supportive.

I was taken aback when someone (can't remember who) posted in this thread that their son wanted to major in History to be a teacher and they scared him away by saying he didn't like to speak in front of crowds.

Sometimes people do best throwing themselves into careers that conflict with their fears.

I know many ER nurses who were germaphobes before entering nursing. They love their careers. Just imagine if someone had said, "but you have a fear of germs" when they said they wanted to go into nursing.

My son has social phobia and the best thing he ever did for himself was throw himself into a job that required public speaking and heavy contact with people. He's so proud of himself everyday. That wouldn't have happened if he had taken an easy route and not challenged his fears.

I'll never forget when I said I wanted to be a teacher and the guidance counselor said, "There aren't any jobs and it doesn't pay well." Guess what! Teachers are paid 100k in my region, and they have summers off. Even if teaching didn't pay well, it would have been a great career for a parent as a second family income. Because of that, it really annoys me when I hear people discourage teenagers from career paths when they express interest.

Originally Posted by FinsterRufus View Post
People are very successful in all sorts of non conventional ways, and the common thread is that they had an unshakable confidence in their ability to be successful at it, regardless of the odds.

That single minded sense of purpose goes a long way when you're breaking into an industry. Successful people in your field will hire/mentor/educate/work with you on that basis alone.

Of course, it is imperative that you have a great talent at it as well as a great drive. Unfortunately, all the ambition in the world is not going to help if you're just being delusional. That's the main thing one has to take an honest look at in the beginning, which can be a tall order for younger people especially.
It's amazing the money people make in careers others think are lowly.

But the most important thing about success is it's not all about money. It's about happiness. If someone can support themselves doing something they love, that's successful in my book. By support themselves, I mean by their own personal standards. I know many happy people who live in little tiny houses. Society might view them as starving artists but they're not starving. They are supporting themselves. They're not wealthy and they don't care. They'd rather live frugally doing what they love.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:49 AM
12,914 posts, read 19,792,997 times
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Originally Posted by passwithoutatrace View Post
For your youngest I would suggest environmental policy or environmental planning instead of business, unless his college has a business degree with an emphasis on something related to environmental studies. If he wants to get into that field the bio-chem background is great but he should definitely be versed in policy. Just my opinion (I'm in that field).
Duly noted and passed on Pass, thanks!
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:20 PM
Location: Northern California
970 posts, read 1,744,721 times
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
I will disagree with you, having an unrelated minor shows companies/grad schools, etc. that you have varied interests and you are adaptable. Many schools now encourage kids to do this. It makes them more marketable. I'll use med schools as an example...they would rather see and English major with a 3.7 with enough science courses to score well on the MCAT that has done some volunteer work in a low income community teaching kids to read then a chemistry major that has done research but nothing outside of the science field with a 4.0. They want humans. They want people with social skills.
Having a specific minor doesn't mean you are automatically a human with great social skills. Social skills = people with real world volunteer experience and/or work experience. You could get a 4.0 in "communication studies" and that shows nothing about your ability to function in the real world. Admissions people don't even care what your specific degree is as long as it meets the credit and GPA requirements for their graduate program; a minor is just a footnote.

I still think a minor that complements your major gives you a leg up in your field once you start working. A lot of my co-workers have minors. That gives them some extra expertise when our company gets contracts outside of our normal scope of work. I have an entomology minor. On the rare occasions we do work on insects I get involved. The co-worker that studied environmental policy as a minor gets recognition when we are trying to keep up to date with the latest policy changes. If anyone minored in something unrelated, no one knows about it because it doesn't come up at work!

If someone really wants to minor in something unrelated, they should at least do it because they are passionate about a subject, not because they think they need a special minor to get into med school.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:31 AM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,632,813 times
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and then there are those who double major and get all the credits needed for each discipline. My son double majored in math and physics, two very related subjects. I think that helped him a great deal to get into a great PhD program. But even if graduate school is not the goal, a double major really doesn't take too much extra work for somebody really organized and focused.
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