Why Are We Choosing Careers Over Happiness?

Following on from my last post, I wanted to continue my rant on the British society. Mostly, because it seems we’ve got ourselves into a cheeky little bit of a rut, and not the good easily solved kind. Our loving government have managed to create a huge brood of graduates that are so incredibly filled to the brim with debt (that will only grow with the new tuition fees in place) and have now let them roam wild in an employment climate in which they’re are very few jobs. Those jobs that there are, are so badly paid that most graduates I know are unable to move away from home.  Because incomes are then so miniscule, we’re unable to not only pay off overdrafts or student debts, but are unable to pour anymore money back into the economy. The point being that if we’re left with very tiny amounts of disposable income, we’ve no chance of splashing the cash, helping businesses grow, which in turn would create more jobs. We’ve somehow created a catch 22 for our generation, and I for one see no way out. I’m ready to flee.

So the old legend goes, if you live outside of Britain for ten years your student loans get wiped clear. So why not give it a go? The reason is simple, as much as we pretend we’re independent and mature, there’s always an innate fear of disappointing our parents. “My daughter teaches English in Thailand” surely doesn’t have the same affectionate ring as “My daughter is the editor of a super glossy magazine”. It’s not that our parents don’t want happiness for us, it’s just that many of them have been brought up with the mentality that working hard will bring you benefits. I’m more than sure it does, but I’m also sure it brings a lot of health-endangering stress, both mentally and physically.

The other reason I’m still commuting to and from London rather than spending my days lazing on a white beach is because we, as humans, simply love praise. How good does it feel to hear people tell us we’re good at something? Take today, when the online editor of heat, when reading my job application, said he loved the feature comparing Kim Kardashian’s bum to that of Pippa Middleton –  I was instantly elated, it made my day. For an hour or so it made me feel as though my head was still in the career game and not frantically searching for a way out.

But in all of this, the main thing holding me back from my new-found Asian dream, is that I’m scared I won’t be able to have a family life. Living abroad means I won’t be able to set the motions in place for the family I hope to start this decade (THIS DECADE?!) and for me, having my own little family would always come before a high-flying career.

So I’m still hazy over what to do, something has to be sacrificed in order for a constant level of happiness, and I have a scary little inkling in the bottom dwellings of my tummy, that it’ll be England. Because I’m more than terrified of what will happen should I decide to stay.


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