Since his death, October 5, Steve Jobs has been the subject of many comments and articles in the press. This exceptional person has left a deep impression on the world of computers, as well as on the animated films, music and telecommunications.
His speech to new graduates of Stanford University in 2005 has been frequently cited. After a review of his career, Jobs ends with this advice:
“The work will occupy much of your life and the only way to be happy is to believe you are doing a great job. But in order to excel at your work, you must first love it.
If you have not yet found a job you love, keep looking. Do not compromise. Your heart will know when you have found it. As with all of your loves, your enjoyment of your work will increase year by year. So keep looking until you find that work.
Don’t just stick to any other.” There is no doubt that Steve Jobs has followed his own advice. His career is proof of his immense love of his job. But is this an advice that anyone can follow with the same success?
Guidance counselors, according to him, have always reminded young people that they can not be successful in a job that does not interest them. Too many young people choose their training and future employment only on the basis of status and pay to find out later that the work itself is torture. They become poor workers who end up hating their lives. Jobs would say they have chosen to live the life of another one.
But every coin has two sides. Very few people have the talent or the charisma of Steve Jobs. Yet, experience shows that only the exceptional beings can claim to have always done what they want, without compromise. Most have to choose a career not only for the interest it awakens, but also as a means of economic survival. When these two objectives appear to be contradictory, we must make the best possible compromise. Then it is a job that matches some of our interests, while allowing us to pay our bills.
All counselors have ever met young people who have fallen in love with a “career” before being unemployed most of the time, but who kept doing that career and refused to consider other options. Unless you have exceptional talent, this attitude is a guarantee of failure.