More on “Career Marriage”

Q: I don’t think I understand your conclusion regarding “Career Like Marriage” [see Daily Dose of Reason for March 6, 2010]. Are you saying that by accepting less than one’s ideal romantic or career choices, one precludes the possibility of ever doing so? Surely, a lifelong commitment to personal growth, would create the possibility of finding and enjoying one’s most desired passions, even late in life. It would seem that the quest, itself, would bring purpose and happiness to the journey. Unfortunately, ideal romantic love involves the choices of two souls, whereas, finding a career passion can usually be achieved by one. If less than complete happiness is achieved in one’s life, isn’t that better than none at all; or, have I totally missed your point?

A: No, you’re contributing to my point. There’s a distinction between a career commitment and merely a job. A career is a form of work you ‘marry,’ while a job is something you can do with productivity and pride, but you’re not in any sense married to it. I’m saying: don’t make a career commitment unless you find work worthy of your highest productive efforts and focus. In a totally free and rational society, almost everyone would be able to do this. In less than rational societies, some can and some honestly cannot find a career to love. Our society, while still the best one to live in on earth, is encumbered by stupid ideas (many documented at this web site) that lead to stupid policies, including political ones, that make for fewer fulfilling lines of work than would otherwise exist. I am suggesting, like you, that some happiness is better than none at all. If you cannot find a career worthy of committing to like you would to a marriage, you can still be productive—and pursue other values in life, instead ‘ OR until you find that career love which, I agree, could even happen later in life. You’re correct that love requires two individuals while a career only requires one. The possibility of finding career happiness is greater than the possibility of finding romantic love in the highest form you might like. Neither is impossible—and both are important enough to refuse to give up on, no matter what the times or culture are like. In romance and career, aim for the stars—and go as far as you can go.