The Career of Your Life

The Career of Your Life

On who gets a say in what you do with your life 

Fei Li – Contributor



I was just watching an episode in the third season of a Korean variety show called “2 Days & 1 Night,” in which the show members were giving speeches to university students. During one of said speeches, I pondered the topic of careers. I want to share, specifically, my opinion on whether I should follow my parents’ wishes or my own. 

First — and this is the most important — I think that, in life, you have to do what makes you happy. As long as you can find a job through which you can sustain yourself, it’s okay. If you look forward to going to work every single day, then it’s okay. If you enjoy what you do and the people you work with, then it’s okay. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re happy, and that you can sustain yourself. It’s important not to rely on others. We all have to be independent to a certain extent. This relates to my second point. 

Second, your parents are not you. Your parents are your guides, but they are not you. They do not know the full extent of what you’re interested in, what you’re good at, what makes you happy, etc. You are the person that knows you best. Your parents can only give you advice based on what they see and what they’ve experienced in their own lives. They should not be able to impose their values onto you. We are all different people. We put value on and have interests in different things. You have to find out what you want to do. Of course, your parents’ advice is important, but in the end, it is your life, your interests, and your happiness that matter. Above all, in my opinion, your parents should put your happiness over everything else. If you aren’t happy with what your career is, you can do something to change it. You should do something that makes you happy, because that should be the first priority for both you and your family. 

It’s interesting, because people have this need to impose their own interests, values, and expectations on others, and I’m here to suggest that this is wrong. It’s one thing to give advice, but it’s another to make a person follow your dreams and do things that make only you happy. I think it’s important to be able to discover what you truly love. Of course, you always need some help along the way, and that’s where your friends, teachers, and parents come in. 

But at the end of the day, it is your life and your decisions and NO ONE has the right to tell you what you want to do with your life.