“Education, and I regret to say this as an educator, but there’s no indication that education has a direct effect on happiness.” ~ Derek Bok

I was under the assumption that hard work alone was enough to succeed in any career, but as I found out, it isn’t just effort that makes you good at your job other skills are needed as well. There are skills needed in order to succeed in many careers that are not taught in school.For instance, I worked in mental health. I didn’t know that you have to be someone who likes being in charge of people to succeed. If you just don’t know how to direct the every movement of patients, then success won’t come easy for you. I just didn’t have the desire or talent at managing a milieu. I couldn’t get myself to see the patients as needing guidance at all times, since most of them were older than me, and I always thought adults were supposed to be able to follow rules, etc.

But in this setting, the adults are not rule followers. You end up reteaching a 45 year old man how to take no for an answer and how to make his bed. It was really over whelming for me. I didn’t know how to micromanage like that. I felt like I was overstepping my bounds by telling a 35 year old that they were not allowed to watch Deadpool as it wasn’t good for them to watch. Or enforcing a one channel per day policy — the clients could only watch the one channel that was assigned for the day. No flipping the channels to the news, or PBS, the channel had to stay the way it was set by the morning staff.

These little catch-22’s of careers are something college students should be informed about. Not just, “Do you like English or Math?”, but, “Do you find a kind of thrill in being in complete control of another human being’s life experience?” Then, I would have known that this career field was NOT for me. So, here I am going back to what I was told not to do growing up — creating art.

Well, now I know. At least I figured this out now than 30 years down the road when I wouldn’t ever have a chance at getting into a new field.

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