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还在追随职业激情?让它追随你吧! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-10-15 17:38:21 |Display all floors
This post was edited by ttt222 at 2012-10-15 17:38

2004年春天,是我在大学的最后一年/我大四,面对未来的职业,我很难抉择。我已得到微软提供的工作机会,也收到了麻省理工学院计算机科学博士课程的录取通知书。那时,我还刚刚递交了我的非虚构处女作手稿,为我打开成为全职作家的一扇门。三条大相径庭的职业道路,我必须做出最正确的选择。

IN the spring of 2004, during my senior year of college, I faced a hard decision about my future career. I had a job offer from Microsoft and an acceptance letter from the computer science doctoral program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I had also just handed in the manuscript for my first nonfiction book, which opened the option of becoming a full-time writer. These are three strikingly different career paths, and I had to choose which one was right for me.


对于许多同龄人来说,做这种决定是充满焦虑的。长大后,我们常常受辅导员、职业建议书、新闻媒体和他人的教导,要“追随你的激情。”但这类建议的前提是,职业激情已经存在,只待我们去发现。这种想法是:若我们有勇气去发掘内心的渴望,并将它与事业相结合,最终我们会是幸福的。反之,若我们缺少勇气,最终我们会觉得烦倦,难以满足——或者,更糟糕的是,选择去读法学院。

For many of my peers, this decision would have been fraught with anxiety. Growing up, we were told by guidance counselors, career advice books, the news media and others to “follow our passion.” This advice assumes that we all have a pre-existing passion waiting to be discovered. If we have the courage to discover this calling and to match it to our livelihood, the thinking goes, we’ll end up happy. If we lack this courage, we’ll end up bored and unfulfilled — or, worse, in law school.


对小部分人来说,这个建议不无道理,因为他们的职业激情是明确的。也许他们一直梦想成为医生、作家、音乐家等等,除此之外就没有别的想法了。
To a small group of people, this advice makes sense, because they have a clear passion. Maybe they’ve always wanted to be doctors, writers, musicians and so on, and can’t imagine being anything else.

但是这种职业理念(追随激情)却给余下的我们施加了重重的压力——需要我们深思熟虑。它告诫我们,若不谨慎,我们可能会迷失自己内心真正的渴望。即使我们已经做出决定,但仍未摆脱这种理念的束缚。每当工作变得艰难时,我们会把自己推向生存危机的边缘,围绕着一个许多人都无法回答的问题:“这是我真正想做的工作吗?”最终,无休止的怀疑导致了焦虑和慢性跳槽。

But this philosophy puts a lot of pressure on the rest of us — and demands long deliberation. If we’re not careful, it tells us, we may end up missing our true calling. And even after we make a choice, we’re still not free from its effects. Every time our work becomes hard, we are pushed toward an existential crisis, centered on what for many is an obnoxiously unanswerable question: “Is this what I’m really meant to be doing?” This constant doubt generates anxiety and chronic job-hopping.


大四那年,当我考虑该如何选择时,我非常了解对追随激情及其需求这种理念的狂热态度。但我选择忽略它。另一种驱使我做出选择的职业理念基于一个简单的前提:主导人们热爱工作的特质是笼统的,且与工作细节基本无关。这些特质包括自主意识、胜任工作的满足感、所从事的工作对世界的影响感。数十年的工作动力研究足矣证明这个观点。(参见丹尼尔·平克《驱动力》一书)

As I considered my options during my senior year of college, I knew all about this Cult of Passion and its demands. But I chose to ignore it. The alternative career philosophy that drove me is based on this simple premise: The traits that lead people to love their work are general and have little to do with a job’s specifics. These traits include a sense of autonomy and the feeling that you’re good at what you do and are having an impact on the world. Decades of research on workplace motivation back this up. (Daniel Pink’s book “Drive” offers a nice summary of this literature.)

以上三点特质在很多工作中都有所体现,但它们只能由你自己去获得。掌握有价值的技能费时又费力。对与岗位新人(职场新人)来说,该问自己的是“我能为这份工作做什么?”而不是“这份工作能为我做什么?”

These traits can be found in many jobs, but they have to be earned. Building valuable skills is hard and takes time. For someone in a new position, the right question is not, “What is this job offering me?” but, instead, “What am I offering this job?”


再回到我的故事,考虑片刻后我决定去麻省理工继续深造。根据我自己的职业理念,我坚信三种职业选择最后都会产生某种激情。这种信心让我摆脱了怕做错决定的焦虑。最后选择麻省理工主要是因为我对东海岸的小偏爱,但若是去近西雅图的微软总部我也同样的满足,或者,假使我的处女作大卖,我则可能还在某个安静小镇耐心写作。

RETURNING to my story, I decided after only minimal deliberation to go to M.I.T. True to my alternative career philosophy, I was confident that all three of my career options could be transformed into a source of passion, and this confidence freed me from worry about making a wrong choice. I ended up choosing M.I.T., mainly because of a slight preference for the East Coast, but I would have been equally content heading out to Microsoft’s headquarters near Seattle. Or, with the advance from my first book, I could have hunkered down in a quiet town to write.


    在我研究生期间的头几年,我肯定对让我找到内心渴望的那种坚定不移的理念感到反感。写作博士论文的初期,十分艰难。因为我还没有足够的技能去为研究文献做出自己的贡献,这一点让我挫败不已。尤其在麻省理工这样的地方,周围都是精英,你会怀疑自己是否属于这里。

During my initial years as a graduate student, I certainly didn’t enjoy an unshakable sense that I had found my true calling. The beginning of doctoral training can be rough. You’re not yet skilled enough to make contributions to the research literature, which can be frustrating. And at a place like M.I.T., you’re surrounded by brilliance, which can make you question whether you belong.


    如果我信奉“追随我激情”这个主流职业理念,那么我也许会在第一年就放弃,我会因为无法爱上我的日常工作而焦虑。但我深信我对工作的满足感会日益增加,直到某天我真正胜任它。因此,我更加努力工作,工作能力不断提高,同样给我带来了工作合约的续订。

Had I subscribed to the “follow our passion” orthodoxy, I probably would have left during those first years, worried that I didn’t feel love for my work every day. But I knew that my sense of fulfillment would grow over time, as I became better at my job. So I worked hard, and, as my competence grew, so did my engagement.


    如今,我是乔治城大学计算机科学的教授,我热爱我的工作。从我人生经验得出最重要的一课就是:这种对工作的热爱与我早年决定成为一个教授毫无关系。我只是选择了一条职业之路,真正重要的是做出选择后自己的努力。

Today, I’m a computer science professor at Georgetown University, and I love my job. The most important lesson I can draw from my experience is that this love has nothing to do with figuring out at an early age that I was meant to be a professor. There’s nothing special about my choosing this particular path. What mattered is what I did once I made my choice.


    给那些还在不断怀疑还在犹豫哪个职业更有前途的年轻人一条建议:激情不是你要去追随的东西,而是一种当你付出的努力对世界有所价值后,会主动追随你的东西。

To other young people who constantly wonder if the grass might be greener on the other side of the occupational fence, I offer this advice: Passion is not something you follow. It’s something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.



来源:译言网

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