Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Happiness can cut it

There's something to be said for happiness. You have to enjoy life. You just have to. If you're not having fun, change things up.

I have always defined success as being happy doing what you're doing. Even if that job, or task, or responsibility doesn't seem like much, if you enjoy, stick with it. That's how I became a journalism major. I wrote for my school paper since I was in sixth grade because, let's face it, at that age, I liked seeing my name in the paper. I didn't care that it was only in the byline. My name, as a sixth grader, was in the school paper (the middle school section, but the paper nevertheless). Over the years, I discovered my passion for writing the news. It may not be the most glorified job or the best paying job or the most respected job, but damn it I enjoy doing it.

Some people don't get it. I have a friend who's a business major that wants to go to business school because he truly believes that it's the only way to make money...Which clearly buys happiness. Now, I'm not saying I would decline an opportunity to earn more money, but I'd want to be happy while doing it. To me, enjoying life is worth more than dollars.

Some people go to certain schools because of the success they expect with a degree from that particular institution. I don't deny that USC is a great school and takes care of its graduates with the Trojan Network, but in all honesty, I didn't know anything of the school's legacy before I got here. I'd never heard of the Trojan Network. I couldn't name the school's biggest rivals. I couldn't tell you where the football team played its game. The truth is, I visited June 3, 2002 (a day that I will never forget) and fell in love with this place. I told myself: I could have fun here. That's all I said. I could have fun here.

When I started the college process, my dad freaked out about me finding a school and if it would be the right school. He sat down and talked to me about the importance of the college application process. Knowing nothing about where I was going to school, I just shut up and listened. After a while, I told my dad, "Look. There are 4000 schools out there. There's gonna be one that I like and that likes me. I'll go there." I didn't know it was USC. I can't honestly say I'd heard of USC outside of the realm of athletics.

I lucked out. USC became the place for me. As if the Annenberg School wasn't enough to further my passion for writing, this school had the intangibles. The school spirit. The active campus life. Everything. I'm happy here. If I wasn't, I'd transfer. If there's one thing my best friend has taught me, it's that if someone isn't happy at the school they're at, they will in fact leave to go somewhere else...twice. **cough** Andrew **cough**

Have fun doing what you do. If you don't like it, change it. Don't complain and think that there are no options. Hell, this summer, I was going to work where. I didn't have a plan. Maybe I was going to be a counselor at my old high school's camp. Maybe I would work at a sporting goods store. I just knew that I wanted a job that I would enjoy and, rumor had it, those were taken. I ended up getting a letter in the mail from some marketing corporation and decided to give it a shot. The letter didn't say what the job was, but I was up for anything. I decided that I'd go to the interview, see what the available position was, and if it sounded like fun, I'd do it. If it sounded stupid, I'd walk out.

Vector Marketing Corporation hired me to sell knives. I spent my summer selling knives. KNIVES! Despite taking loads of critcism from friends and family, I enjoyed the job. I had fun working, and I liked the people I worked with. I didn't have bosses and managers as much as I had friends who worked with me. That was the nature of the job, and I enjoyed it. I didn't sell knives because I want to be a professional knife salesman. I did it because I had fun doing it, and I was good at it. You think any idiot can deal with customers and sell knives? It wasn't easy. If you think you can top $33,137 in sales in two-and-a-half months, be my guest.

The plaque, two trophies, and five-foot sword I won by having fun and working hard this past summer. Posted by Hello

I'm not saying that I was born to do that job. I'm saying that I enjoyed doing it, so I worked harder at it. The harder I worked, the more fun I had. In the end, it became a pretty profitable summer. I didn't take the job entirely for the pay, because commission isn't always the best way to make money. This summer was one of the most memorable ever for me simply because of my job. I was the best sales rep in the best office in the entire region, and I was damn proud of that. I can guarantee that I would not have taken the job, which has opened many doors for me and padded my resume, if I didn't think I'd enjoy it. And if I didn't enjoy it after the first few weeks, I would have quit.

If you truly enjoy doing what you do, you can make it worth it. I can't say I will never hold a job that I don't want, but I do know that if there is something else available out there I'd rather be doing, I'll make that move the first chance I get.

1 comment:

juxtaposer said...

I was blogsurfing, saw your blog, read it, and had to comment. HAD to. Because your post voices everything I have been saying for over a year now. I go to a university with a top-notch business school, and I see people forcing themselves away from majors they love, competing for precious spots in this school so they'll "have enough money later on." Please. You don't need a six-figure salary. I think it's awesome that you love journalism. I hope you work hard at uncovering the scandals inherent in the system and tear them apart in print.

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