Getting a degree in something no one can define can sometimes feel like the equivalent of spending thousands of euros on a retreat to find yourself, only to find out that there is no self. While I am trying to find a job in this confusing environment, I’ve often played with the thought of having writing as my career instead. However, if writing were to become my job, would it continue to be fun? In fact, is it even possible to do something fun for a living?

My parent’s generation has a straightforward answer to that question. Want to do something fun? Go ahead and don’t get paid. There are a lot of creative bureaus that will let you work your butt off for them for free. And it is fun for a while, until you get sick of identifying yourself as the person who ‘can never really afford to eat out’.

So, you start eyeing them slowly, those creative jobs that pay well. You find out that you can write jokes for a firm that makes money by getting people into debt by stimulating their retail therapy. However, it doesn’t take long until your friends from your old creative job start shaming you for working for a big bad corporation.

Diagram Dora column 2
Figure 1.

So, you’re back at square one. However, this time you got used to eating out and don’t really want to go back to eating canned tuna five days a week. Yet the magnetic buzz from your moral compass (your leftist friends that are still working at your old job) won’t let you sleep at night. You only have one choice left, and that is to work as an internal communicator at a state-owned establishment. You’re making good money, and sure you don’t avoid the reflection of the mirror anymore. But the lightning of inspiration hasn’t struck you in months.

The reality is that it is impossible to find a fun, high-paying, and ethical job post-graduation. As you can see below in figure 1, there is a clear research gap in defining what those jobs could be. I guess I’ll leave it to business academia to solve that problem.

Dora Tolstoy columnist_nr1-Levien Willemse – Pauline Wiersema

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