When I told people I was going to major in communication in college, they looked at me like I was a fool.
“I thought you were smart,” said one uncle. “Why don’t you study to be a doctor?”
“You won’t find a stable job,” said another uncle. “You need to go into the medical field, and you’ll always find work.”
He later changed his mind and apologized.
My friends and I say our parents’ generation was about survival and stability. Work hard and put food on the table. They did very well for themselves out of faith and perseverance.
We’re starting our lives with huge advantages — access to people and information, familiarity and integration with the culture, access to money and education. Opportunities are everywhere.
Cloniness is the poison.
I was the only Malayalee person I knew at the time delving into public relations/journalism/writing. Though now I see others were already out there. And so many more are coming into the field now.
What will get you a job today are the people you know, the portfolio you build and the work experience you get. School alone doesn’t work for everyone.
The model of working for 40-something years at the same job and retiring is so 20 years ago.
Today, you have to make connections and sell your abilities. You have to think entrepreneurially, execute on ideas and create products rather than passively waiting to be told what’s next.
I hope our generation, especially the females, can be bold, speak their mind, pave their own way and reject being a clone.
Study abroad, work while in college, make money and meet people. Find opportunities in the market to solve problems and start movements. Whether you start your own business, work for someone else or are a member of a group, you can be entrepreneurially minded.
What do you think it takes for the teens, 20- and 30-somethings of today to be successful? Does the old model of “study mercilessly then find a job” still work?
I wonder if the subtly ingrained formula of “find a job, get married, have kids and you’re perfect” dampens the ambitions of Malayalees in the United States. I imagine one day as we seek more, more of us will make headlines for being leaders outside of our ethnic culture.
Who are the Malayalees you know breaking the mold and not settling for fulfilling the formula?
Have you ever made a decision that required stepping out of the clone mentality?
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