One thing I don't like about microeconomics is that we assume people to be rational and then construct a whole study on this assumption while extreme examples like me exist. Of course, it would have been way too difficult for instructors to grade midterms otherwise, because instead of deciding how much cake and coffee Joe would consume given his income by using a Hicksian demand function, I would write down something like; "Joe wanted to consume 5 pieces of cake and no coffee today, and he doesn't think that he has to explain his reasoning as if this has something to do with his country's relationship to Britain." But this way, my career would go to somewhere that only Kramer's goes to, which is, nowhere.
Speaking of careers, I'm not one of those guys who would do whatever you want if given a certificate in exchange. This is because I don't really think I will get a job at that company in the Netherlands just because I've listened to some guy whose job is to read out some bestseller personal development book, not that I think these seminars are useless. I think when it comes to my career, there is more to it than that. So in this week's column, I want to talk about my career and how I set my weekly career objectives so I can dispense my wisdom to you, my dear readers.
Monday: I'd probably have a 600-word column to write, not to mention a four- page long homework assignment and a presentation on some topic that I don't know anything about. Despite the unbearable headache all this causes, the writing process is almost as much fun as getting fan mail, which is because I haven't gotten any yet. So on Mondays, I'm usually in the mood for being a columnist. I read other columnists, criticize them on Twitter and see if anything weird pops up to write about.
Tuesday: My favorite professor in the science world usually has her office hours, now that John Hicks is dead, so I visit her first thing in the morning and ask if she has anything to suggest for me. It doesn't take her long to convince me that I should be an academician; therefore our main focus in those fifteen minutes is how to get there. I don't know why but when academia is the subject, I've got this urge to read Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations; I think wannabe economists out there would understand me. So I go to the library and borrow that book for the 16738th time.
Wednesday: In certain times, I become fierier on this day than others, like Tuesdays. So in the morning, I definitely wake up less enthusiastic than I would on a Tuesday. I don't know how he does that but a friend of mine literally imposes the idea of working for government and teaching as a part-time instructor on me. And he definitely succeeds, because when I see an instructor doing so, I rise to the bait and ask "Why can't I?"
Thursday: I sometimes think that my mother cares about my career more than I do. Because when we talk on the phone every Thursday, one way or another she manages to convince me to work for a bank in İzmir. Though I try my best to explain to her that "distance can't pull us apart," her trembling voice overcomes my own interest.
Friday: I don't have any classes on Fridays. Therefore, I prefer not to think of my career. First things first, I return Adam Smith's book to the library, because I know I don't want to be an academician anymore. Instead of the career ahead of me, I curse the modern world, because it offers too many opportunities to someone as indecisive as me.
Weekend: Most of my favorite columnists write on weekends, therefore I decide to be one again on Saturdays. Then on Sunday, my mother calls me again to make sure that I'm okay-well, not just "okay" but "okay with the idea of working for a bank in İzmir." The supposedly touchy "distance" thing doesn't work again, so I realize that the only way to deal with it is to accept whatever she wants.
So, if you got even a little bit of sympathy while reading this, then you probably are someone at least as indecisive as me and have observed how unsuccessful I am when it comes to talking about a career. This is why I like Sector Introduction Days organized by the Career Center, because these guys do what I can't, they talk about careers. So go decide who you want to be, but don't forget, as one of my dearest friends states, "Certificates are Easy to Obtain."
Originally published: December 1, 2009