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Putting America Back to Work

Screw Pleasing Your Parents: 11 Careers That Will Make YOU Happy

So you’ve entered college, either with a career goal in mind or you’re still undeclared. Are you moving in the direction that you want to move in, or are you just trying to manifest the wishes and dreams of your parents? Preparing for a career can be a very stressful time for a young adult. With so many expectations and so much yet to learn, students today are continuing into their twenties during and after school with little direction in where they want their lives to go.

Many start out majoring in subjects they really could care less about, or find that the job they thought they wanted just isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about what it is that you really want to do instead of pleasing your family. Here are eleven careers that might make you a little happier with yourself but might upset your parents in the process!

1. Actor

Let’s see; getting paid millions of dollars, hanging out and making out with the most beautiful people in the world, having your name and face plastered over every flat surface known to man, having action figures created in your likeness…do you really need any reasons or excuses for wanting to become an actor or actress? Unless you’ve been “discovered” at an early age and already have your foot in the door, becoming a successful actor will be tough.

Your parents will probably think you’re nuts and tell you to get an education in something a little more reliable. And by reliable, we mean boring and not nearly as exciting as the life you’ll live as an actor (even starving actors at least aren’t stuck to the confines of an office or day job). Expect much criticism from the family and long nights waiting tables, years after completing your acting studies. However, you just keep trucking along and listening to your heart, and the roles will eventually come.

2. Musician

musicianOh, definitely second in line is wanting to become a musician. When your parents hear this, they’re pretty much going to think that you want to spend the rest of your life in the back of some tour bus with two hookers doing lines of cocaine between gigs. They’ll definitely won’t understand how it’s going to be all about the music, unless your dad’s Bruce Springsteen or something.

Unless you’ve been playing the cello since the age of four and have a shot at playing in a cushy “safer” symphony, the musician gig just isn’t going to fly with mom and pop. And you can bet your behind that becoming successful isn’t going to be a walk in the park, though if and when you do you’ll be glad you’re in the back of that tour bus and not falling asleep in front of the computer like the rest of your graduating class is. Put all you’ve got into and you won’t end up owning a small town music shop; don’t forget the middle finger, ’cause your probably going to be needing it.

3. Artist

We’re talking traditional here – painters, sculptors, illustrators, etc. Whether it’s going the hardcore painter route or doing something a little more acceptable in the fields of animation or graphic design, being a successful artist is a tough gig, right up there with being a musician. The more crazy your art is, the more crazy your parents are going to think you are. It’s not that they don’t see or appreciate your talents, it’s just that they want the best of you and your future family.

They want to make sure one that you have enough money to not only pay the bills and put food on the table but two ensure you won’t need to ever come back to them to borrow some money. I’d even through a third reason in there which involves you paying for your parents retirement (’cause we all know social security isn’t going to be around long!) Anyway, if you do plan on becoming the next DiVinci, keep your hands away from your ears on holding on to a few marketing books.

4. Sports

musicianNot all of us will get the opportunity to take this route; it all comes down with your own physical prowess and abilities. This future may be more of a dividing line between your parents rather than just an all out hatred of the idea.I’m not speaking for the entire world right here, but i can bet a Heisman Trophy or two that if you had plans on playing football here in the U.S., your dad would be happy and extremely proud and your mom would act like she’s just as proud, but deep down inside would be terrified of you playing.

She always bring up the various injuries that happen to football players each and every year and how getting hurt could be a potential career ender. In order to shut her up, just keep reminding her about how high players salaries are getting and how those endorsement deals will have new cars in the driveway no time.

5. Photographer

Compared to some of the other art related jobs here on the list, photography is rather pretty tame in terms of different career options available. There’s the photographer who gets to travel the world and shoot celebrities and models (which is what you want to do), the losers in the mall taking pictures of your kids at Sears, and then the guys involved in the Porn industry. This final option is what scares the hell out of your small town mother and father.

You’ll never forget that first day when you describe how you shot your first “nude” and watched your mom freak out. Just reassure them you’ve got some standards and have a path you are going to take (or learn how to lie really good about what you’re shooting for a living!) Whatever you do, make sure you’re not shooting the same still life that everybody else is and trying to sell your prints at the local craft fair.

6. Writer

newsDon’t think your parents will approve on this one? Hell, I pump out thousands of words a week and my parents have no understanding of what it is I do. “You sit in your pajamas on your laptop all week? That’s not a job!” Remember that your parents come from a less technologically advanced background and are more used to tangible things.

If you’re writing is predominantly on the web, they’re going to think you’re nuts and probably give you a hard time. Throw a newspaper or magazine article at them and watch their attitudes change. Just keep tapping away at those keys until the big day when you land in the NY Times best seller list; it may take a few years, but they’ll definitely get it once they see your book on the counter of every Barnes and Noble they walk into.

7. Entrepreneur

Probably the most lucrative gig you can think about getting on this entire list. More and more in today’s colleges, students are opting for learning the skills to become their own boss through entrepreneurship. With the financial future of America looking rather bleak (millions of baby boomers are going to retire which will put huge strains on both social security and the stock market), smarter kids are starting to realize that the only true way to financial freedom is by starting their own business.

Some of your parents out there just won’t understand, and will nag you to get a “real” job for years until you create the machine that will put them in a nice retirement community down in Florida. Whatever the odds and whoever balks at you, keep learning and trying and eventually you’ll have the last laugh.

8. Journalist

newspaperIn today’s war torn Middle East and rising concern of terrorism from all sides, you can see why Mom might be a little concerned about becoming the next Anderson Cooper. Becoming a journalist has many perks, travel being the best one of all. You won’t necessarily be covering the war or lesser parts of the world, unless that tickles your fancy and you make it a point to get in on the action.

Just reassure the ‘rents that you plan on staying stateside and covering local politics for the city paper until you get out of school before making the leap behind enemy lines; the less time your parents spend worrying about what you’re doing, the more time you can spend enjoying it.

9. Archaeologist

Think your parents are going to believe you when you say you want to be an archaeologist? Yes kids, they’ve seen Indiana Jones, and they’re scared you might end up on the other side of that giant rolling bolder. Seriously, they might not be scared for your life, but they might think you’re just a little nuts for thinking of digging up bones in the first place.

Unless you get a good job working steady with an established team or crew of scientists, it’s probably a hard career to jump into, making it less than desirable in the eyes of your ever loving parent. Maybe you can catch up with the photographer and the journalist and then have the writer type up a book on your findings?

10. Astronaut

astronautSure, you may love looking back down on earth from the middle of outer space, but your mom on the other hand is going to be having a heart attack at the same time! This is one job that they’ll probably won’t try to hard to sway you from.

Unlike being a rock star or artist, becoming an astronaut at least has a decent financial reward and government perks that come along with it, so your family can rest a little better knowing they’ll be taken care of. And by that i mean taken care of should a freak accident happen and you get lost out to space, or the god forbid something happens to the shuttle, or – oh, that’s just your mother talking isn’t it?

11. Soldier

Patriotic and proud? Yes, of course. Nothing could make mom and dad more proud than to say their offspring served for their country. That is of course if you make it out alive. Entering the military in this day and age is an almost certainty that you’ll be shipped overseas in a not so friendly environment, and more than any profession on this list is sure to get under the skin of those you love the most.

The experience of the military is a unique one, and if you really think it’s got your name written all over it, then by all means dive right in. You may not make everybody else happy, but you’ll make yourself happy; and that is, bottom line, what counts. It’s your life and your career – don’t let anyone else tell you how to do it.

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