2016 Essay Competition - View all entries

Don't Be A Robot

Karolline Paiva - Curitiba, Brazil

Uncertainty is part of life. When we are born, we have the uncertainty of our mother feeding us. So we cry and scream when we are hungry. We grow up and start to study. We get uncertain about getting through all the disciplines of the school. We reach secondary school and we get uncertain whether we will be able to cross high school. We come to the end of high school and we are uncertain whether we can get into college.

We enter college. And when you think that you would not be uncertain about anything, we get uncertain whether we will be able to complete the course. We think about locking the course or that it was a bad choice. Even so, we finish college. And there comes uncertainty about where and when we will work.

Perhaps, there is one of the most distressing doubts in our life: which career should I choose?

In my country, you are kind of obligated to choose 3 types of career: you have to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer. There is a kind of brainwashing of young people in schools here to follow only one of those areas of knowledge. In a developing country like mine, following your passion although without receiving a great cash is not a option.

That is such a glaring problem here. It is very common for students to fail in college. It is also common to see people who are only trained to have a degree but do not effectively carry out the work for which they have graduated.

That is, people lose time, energy and motivation.

In my case, I had no tendency for the medical area (fear of blood) nor for the area of exact sciences. I had to opt for the legal area even by being influenced by my parents (both are lawyers).

I always enjoyed reading, writing and speaking in public - some of the right skills to be a good lawyer, right?

But every "vocational test" that I have done during life gave a different result to me: journalist, advertising and even, once, a comedian.

Yeah. There is one thing I know how to do very well since I was little: to communicate and to express myself. I has started writing poetry and stories when I was 9. During school, I used to join drama and dance groups. When I was a teenager, I have won writing contests. I always liked to write.

And why did not I become a writer? Why did not I enter to a course to prepare writers? Or why haven't I got a degree on Journalism?

I was afraid, for a long time, of pursuing the career for which I was destined to follow. The easiest way was following what the others said to me that was the right thing to do. In other words, I was a (miserable) robot trying to shut down emotions by an unhealthy way (my anxiety attacks could speak for me). But I finally came to the conclusion that no one could know more what is the right to me than my own self. So, one day I woke up. And I has realized what gives meaning to my life.

Now I'm doing this "career transition". Being unemployed for a year since graduation from Law School helped me in this. It was a terrible time, but it seemed like the cosmic forces showing me to do what I was born to do and not what others expected me to do.

I has spent more time investing in my blog and I wrote the first book with the intention of publishing (the fifth of my life). I think I will be a great writer.

So what if I were to advise someone about what is relevant when choosing a career? Find your passion. Do not miss it. Invest in it. Don't doubt yourself once you are listening to your heart to reach the places where your finest dreams would like to guide you. That way, "you will not have to work an hour a day". You will be doing what you like. And the world will not throw in your face what you have to do. You will have already done it.