Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dilettantes and dabblers

Pamela Sims wonders in today's New York Times, "Is this the Time to Chase a Career Dream?" She describes a little of her own career as a business coach, helping clients discover and realize their dreams: Surgeons who want to be musicians, program managers who want to build churches. Sims suggests that the chaos and instability of today's job market may lead to more people following their dreams, indulging their creative passions.

She writes that "if [people] are going to live with uncertainty, and work like crazy to secure their livelihood, ... they might as well pursue something they care about deeply."  Last month I wrote about another New York Times article, Generation OMG. The article described a business major going into teaching because "the economic contraction... can give people more room to be creative." 

I don't know that I'd say going into teaching is "being creative" (not that it doesn't require oodles of creativity!)  I'd more likely say that teaching--like nursing--is a recession-proof career. There may be reductions in benefits and even positions, but on the whole, there will always be a need for education and health care. 

Will there be a need for dilettantes and dabblers?  I can do both of those jobs quite well. 

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