Jobberish: Never say never

Opinion by Amanda Ach
Feb. 1, 2012, 2:03 p.m.

Jobberish: Never say neverI realize that I’m about to ruin your day/week/life, but I have to be honest with you – this is the last installment of Jobberish. I’m sure you’re devastated, and I’m really sorry about that, but hopefully you’ve at least enjoyed learning about the incredible variety of jobs out there over the past few months. Now, I feel like I’ve given a pretty good range of ideas, but let’s say for a moment that none of the jobs I’ve suggested thus far have caught your fancy – what do you do? Turns out, you have several options. Option one, of course, is the Mrs. degree (Mrs., like marry someone. Get it?). With the GSB just a few minutes away on your bicycle, you can be at Coupa scouting the talent in no time. And let me add, in the interest of being fair, that a Mr. degree is just as valid. But if that doesn’t sound like an intellectually fulfilling lifestyle, you have another option – make up your own job, which is this week’s topic.


No, this isn’t a cop-out because I couldn’t think of any more creative jobs (okay, maybe a little). As much as I find the various jobs I’ve suggested interesting, I know that none of them are right for me – well, with the exception of the boner one, perhaps. Still, the fact of the matter is, even with so many wonderful and sometimes bizarre careers out there, there’s a chance your dream job doesn’t exist…yet.


As you can tell from the dramatic ellipsis placement, “yet” is the operative word here. It’s okay if there are no jobs out there for you right now, because you can make one for yourself. Countless super-successful people have done this, and there’s no reason why you can’t do it, too. In fact, most of the people we consider most successful in our society have done this in one way or another. They knew what they wanted to do and made it happen. I mean, Oprah doesn’t have a job title – she’s Oprah.


Surprisingly, even with the economy the way it is, this kind of entrepreneurship is in style. Generation Y is quickly becoming known as the start-up generation and, as I learned very early on in life, if everyone else is doing something, you probably should, too. But in all seriousness, start-ups and other entrepreneurial ventures are apparently good for the economy, and while it’s definitely the riskiest career option I’ve presented, it has arguably the highest potential reward.


Embarking on this kind of adventure in this economy might seem intimidating, but a recession is actually not a bad time to start something new. And if anyone can do it, it’s one of us – I mean, we go to Stanford. We’re smart and hard-working (and some of us are also funny and cute to boot!). We’re going to be successful, and there’s no reason why we can’t be successful at something brand new.


The point is, if you can’t find a job out there that you’re excited about, make one for yourself! Figure out what you love to do, and then start thinking about how to turn that passion into a career, and just as importantly, into money. It’s no secret that the people who are happiest are the ones who do what they love for a living, so why not at least try to make that happen for you? After all, it’s only your life we’re talking about here.


For fear of sounding like one of those tacky motivational posters they have in elementary school classrooms, I’ll avoid telling you to believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams. That’s been done. But what I will say, and what I hope my columns have showed, is that you should let yourself be open to the idea of an unconventional career path. There is nothing wrong with pursuing your dream of becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but there’s no point in forcing yourself down a path you don’t want because it seems like a safe choice. There are so many exciting possibilities out there, and I know that if you look around enough, you’ll find – or create – the job you’re looking for.


Want to “start-up” something with Amanda? Let her know at aach “at” stanford “dot” edu.

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