Career Paths aka Living The Dream

I am amazed at the amount of people who don’t have jobs. And this isn’t a post moaning or pointing the figure at anyone or any governing body. It is, however, a direct revelation based on today’s culture. So if I’m pointing the finger at anyone – it’s those who effect today’s culture (yes media, primarily I’m looking at you).

We’ve been taught something that fails us. It’s something that is deep routed in the education system and entrenched as part of our ‘personality’ by the time we hit our mid-twenties. It’s quite simply one thing: the dream is get a lot by doing little…


It starts early in our lives. Somewhere in the education system. I remember it so vividly, attending lessons, reading books, studying cases studies. Why? To learn the subject? Nope. To pass the exam? Yup. Pass the exam, get the grade, get to the next step in the education cycle. And that’s great for testing a pupils ability to regurgitate information, but it also starts a lifetime of quick fixes. You see, in the same way that being trained only to take exams (and not actually LEARN the life lessons from the subject), the lessons are only a means to the quickest end: the exam and out.

Beyond that, today’s culture feeds this until the spark created by education becomes a fully-fueled bonfire. It’s on TV, it’s in the social environment, it’s everywhere.

When you switch on the TV in the Autumn of any given year here in the UK, you will find it almost impossible to miss some form of reality competition programming. Whether it be the X Factor, Bake-Off or Apprentice. Competing with music, food or business. Just to name a few. I’ve nothing against these shows, in fact, I like quite a few of them. But in reality, they are all competing for the same thing. Fame. You see fame is one of the ‘short cuts’ that culture screams at us. “Become famous = make easy money”.

Fame isn’t easy money. Any actor or musician will tell you that. But that’s not what culture would have you believe. Fame isn’t the the pinnacle of the shortcuts that we seek. There are plenty more. Everyone wants to be rich. But everyone wants to get there the quickest and easiest way. Everyone wants to be rich. But everyone wants to get there the quickest and easiest way. Around 30 million lottery tickets are sold for each draw here in the UK. Why not chuck a few quid at it? There has to be one winner, right? Easy money. Except the odds of winning the lottery are around 1 in 14 million. One would literally have a better chance of finding a blank cheque.

Or then there’s the ultimate short cut. Cheating. Most commonly referred to as fraud. Whether it’s insurance ‘claims’, benefit desperation or of course just plain theft. It’s the umbrella that every catches the cultural product of today’s generation. And there’s only a handful of people who take the honest stance. I mean let’s be honest here, no one admits to these things. And the first person who does takes the wrap for the whole culture as the law piles down on them. When in reality, the problem is so much deeper than the individual. They are just the product of the system that has been created around them.

With all the need to seek the shortcuts, we miss what could actually make us great. By avoiding the avoidance, and going against the impulses that we are subtly encouraged to submit to from an early age – we buck the trend and make traction in our lives. Sadly there’s now a generation of young people now who ‘can’t find a job’. But try asking if they have applied to the local supermarket. They squint their eyes and tilt their head while avoiding eye contact. Then they’ll recite one of a few catchphrases that all say something along the lines of ‘it’s not really me’. Or ‘it’s not really a career move’. But in reality – what they mean is – ‘it’s beneath me’. I don’t mean to sound critical of any individual – because in actual fact they don’t even know that they are a part of the problem. The fame-fueled media, tinted education and disjointed culture are to blame.

I can say all of this because I worked the supermarket for eight years. It had its good days and bad – but it wasn’t the best. But guess what, I stuck at it. Why? Because that’s how life progresses. You can either sit back and look for the shortcuts or you can tackle problems with everything you’ve got. And that’s when things start to change.

What our childhood tutors never told us was that in actual fact, the harder you work, the faster you’ll reach your goals. Sounds simple and logical, but somehow in our actual actions we fail to realise that the hard work is actually good for us.

You see the doing of the work does so many things. Trains us the value of fruit. Keeps us in perspective. Helps us feel accomplished at the end of the day. And so much more. Not least that, in actual fact, it’s the only way success comes.

Don’t believe me? Ask the people who refuse to take supermarket jobs how their job hunt is going. Or ask the lottery-made-millionaires how their ‘easy money’ makes them feel….

And that’s why I have the biggest of respects for people who take the seemingly ‘meaningless’ or ‘tacky’ jobs and throw their everything into them. And when a stock-up customer who’s had everything handed to them kicks up a stink for that teenage McDonald’s waiter – I’ll be there to back up the staff. The customer is not always right. Especially when they don’t appreciate hard work when they see it. Good on you if you work supermarkets, fast food or waitering. We need you hard-working assistant nurses, bin collectors and labourers.