Spoiler alert: it’s okay.
There’s a recent milk commercial that captured the hearts of the netizens, specifically the young adults a.k.a kids transitioning to the #adulting world. Have you seen it?
In the ad, a young girl sadly asked her mom if she’s adopted because she wasn’t good at math like her parents. Her mom was surprised but she assured her that she can learn it too even if it’s hard. The little girl’s eyes lit up with excitement and giddily asked her mom if she can be an engineer… just like her.
Only to hear her mom lovingly say, “Only if you want to.”
The commercial’s impact on people reflects just how much pressure children go through when it comes to choosing between a career they want and a career set up before them (read: parent’s choice).
It seems like there’s that unspoken rule of going to the same school, taking the same course (or at least, a related one), and even working in the same industry. It’s hard and it’s real. That’s why it’s no surprise that some, if not most, people look forward to the day when their parents can finally say the same thing: “Only if you want to.”
If you find yourself struggling in the same boat, here are three things that might help you charter the waters headstrong:
1. Stand up for what you really want
Deciding where to eat lunch and deciding which career you’re going to pursue are two completely different things. Likewise, there are decisions in life that others can make for you and there are those you have to take care of personally—your choice of career is the latter. Take the time to reflect, and know what you really want. And when the time comes you’re fully convinced of what you want to do in life, stand up for it.
Finding a job is easy. Finding a job that would make you want to wake up every morning is the hard part. When you’re sold on your chosen career, convincing other people to support you isn’t necessary—they just do.
2. Sit down with your parents
As ~controlling and demanding~ as it looks, your parents just want the best for you. Yes, there’s such a thing as a family name to uphold or a reputation to keep. And tbh, that ain’t a bad thing. But where expectations are set, remember that it’s equally important to manage those expectations from time to time.
Sit down with your parents and tell them exactly how you feel. Let them know that you appreciate their concern and explain why you want to pursue that certain career. When your parents see that you know what you’re doing with your life, it’ll be easier for them to trust you make that decision. Sometimes, they just really want to hear you say it like you mean it. Remember: they are for you, not against you.
3. Walk it out with your family
Unfortunately, life doesn’t always guarantee a happy ending… at once. In the same way, choosing a different career path from your family can go from overnight approval to years of convincing just to make your case. The question is, how far will you go?
In their perspective, they’re just looking out for your future. Make it your goal to assure them that regardless of the path you take, you have your future well-thought of in mind. So walk it out with your family, no matter how long it takes. They’ll surely come around!
There will come a time in your life that you will look back at your decisions in life, and will either smile or sigh. When it comes to your career, your future self hopes it’s not the latter.
Stand up for what you really want, sit down with your parents, and walk it out with your family. Know that family will always be family, and you will always be you. You don’t have to choose one or the other.