have your cake and eat it too

To get a job in this era, you have to be able to do everything.

Seriously. One position’s skill sets now include writing, marketing, social media and even graphic design. Back in our parents’ days, one skill – one particular skill of what you are really good at – will take you flying.

Today, it’s a recipe for unemployment.

We have to continually learn new things. Technology evolves like there’s no tomorrow, and once we have mastered Friendster, people are moving to Facebook.

Am I complaining? Perhaps. A little bit.

Back in high school I was the girl who could do it all – yet I had no specialty. I excelled in Science; I excelled in Maths. I had good grades in language subjects. But I had no specialty.

I often envy my friends who knew from the very beginning that their talent was in design, or computer programming. I was good at a lot, never great at one.

Yet somehow in today’s world, having a lot of skills is valued more than having only one.

The catch, however, is that these lots of skills need to be great.

How can you be great at everything, I wonder. It’s funny that I’ve come from being a journalist to a columnist, from a blogger to a marketing communications staff, from a social media manager to a videographer. Yes, my current job is being a video editor. Such an interesting world.

To be honest, there are a lot of up moments. I’ve been able to try new things and master new skills. And it’s fun to know a lot of things. But I’m mediocre at everything at most.

I mean, it’ll be fantastic to really be great at everything. But you can’t, and employers want you to, so you end up jobless.

I know, I have just started uni again and I’m constantly thinking of employment after graduation. Perhaps I’m anxious, because this time I really need to study and absorb everything to open ways to a decent employment in Melbourne. I might not be on the skill occupation list (let’s pray there will be a new visa regulation that favours me in two years’ time), so my last line will be to secure a job that wants to sponsor my stay.

Perhaps I’m pressured. Truckloads of money have been spent and I’m trying to do a return of investment. Perhaps it’s a pride thing – it would be awful to not be able to get a job after graduation.

Okay, what I’m trying to say is, at times these demands hinder us from learning things for the joy of learning. We learn because we are told to, or because we have to in order to raise to the top.

And I miss that feeling.

The excitement of cracking a math code as a Year 11 student. The eureka moment of being able to solve the coding error on your website. The smile that creeps on your lips as you finally understand what the lecturer is talking about.

I miss that feeling, and once again, I want to have that approach towards all new things I’m learning.


Photo by JD Hancock