Oh Happy Future

The last month I've been allocating an extra amount of my time to my Chinese studies in order to be ready for next week's exams at Jiao Tong University. My first semester has gone so fast which is both super exciting and super terrifying!  

Besides studying I have probably spent 75% of my time the last month thinking about the future. Oh my happy succesfull future. I have been trying to decide whether I want to sign up for another semester at Jiao Tong University, sign up for a private school with smaller classes or focus 100 % on private tuition which can easily be combined with a job - if that's what I want to look for here in Shanghai. Is it? It is, right?

I find it really difficult to figure out what would be best for me and my future. To focus 100% on the Chinese studies another or two semesters. Or combine my full-time studying with a job and thereby add to my work experience in China. I find it even more difficult to figure out what I deep inside feel like doing - "what my passion is" so to speak. Suddenly I feel like I'm back in the last year of my bachelor degree at Copenhagen Business School, where I was trying to figure out which Master's to enroll to - what my passion was and what would benefit my career in the long run.

After spending weeks on considerations, conversations and small frustrations I currently find myself looking through the professional career advise that helped me a lot through my University time in London, Copenhagen and New York.

So I thought this time I wanted to share this excellent piece of advice.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" they asked. A cat she said. Can I be a cat? No one ask the cat what it wants to be or what it wants to do. The cat is just there - breathing, being, living"

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" they asked. A cat she said. Can I be a cat? No one ask the cat what it wants to be or what it wants to do. The cat is just there - breathing, being, living"

With his surprising ways to look at things in different perspectives Daniel Pink is my favorite guru on career, motivation and modern life in general. He is the author of great books, articles and posts and you can explore them through his website. One of his publications is what he calls "The last Career Guide You'll Ever Need" and to convey this guide in a simple and easy-readable way it is introduced in an entertaining cartoon form:

"Meet Johnny Bunko. He’s probably a lot like you. He did what everybody – parents, teachers, counselors — told him to do. But now, stuck at a dead-end job, he’s begun to suspect that what he thought he knew is just plain wrong. One bizarre night, Johnny meets Diana, the unlikeliest career advisor he’s ever seen. Part Cameron Diaz, part Barbara Eden, she reveals to Johnny the six essential lessons for thriving in the world of work."

In this book Pink conveys six basic principles about the world of work which I believe anyone at any level of their career can use in one way or the other. His six take-away messages for readers are:

  1. There is no plan.
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
  3. It’s not about you.
  4. Persistence trumps talent.
  5. Make excellent mistakes.
  6. Leave an imprint.

Obviosuly each of these principles need to be elaborated upon which is done in his book. If you have time you should read it. Or alternatively I suggest that you make it easy for yourself and look through Garr Reynolds funny slideshow where he conveys Pink's messages in an entertaining and fun way. 10 minutes of your time which I promise you won't regret. Find the slideshow here.