Something irks me regarding the whole business of “dream jobs.” Yes, a dream job implies the possibility of being out of reach, unattainable, but more often than not millennials, like me, ingested the idea to mean with hard work and perseverance, our dreams will come true.
I noticeably cringe when asked to verbalize or write about my dream job because I no longer hold steadfast to such an ideal.
All I want out of a job is a certain level of security, spontaneity, excitement, and financial stability or comfort, I think, but do not quote me on any of that…I possess overwhelming levels of indecisiveness!
Replaying conversations with students in Mandarin or English make me question whether each and every individual is destined to realize their dream, and maybe, I fall into said category. Or, taking it a step further, I am destined for greatness other than the kind imprinted on me by the confines of rattling off a few job titles or positions I hoped, or hope, to claim. When did your job or job you dream of define your self-worth or potential for it?
This brings me to an interesting point. In contrast to Chinese society, American society places value on inflating a child’s self-worth. Those conversations I mentioned earlier once horrified me, as students described how their parents belittled their abilities as well as micro-managed their lives. The Tiger Mom phenomenon the American media made a spectacle of is alive and well in China. However, what you will not read about is the students who had upbringings like mine, where parents placated their self-worth, and stroked their confidence by flat out lying to them. American parents may call it fudging the truth. The Chinese parents do not lie to instill confidence, instead instilling fear, in hopes the children will heed their parents’ advice and warnings on everything from their career to marriage.
So now you know to not ask me about my dream job, unless of course your goal includes causing me anxiety…