The title says it all; but just a little backstory to its conception. I remember talking to an old coworker about blogging–but without sharing my particular interests and activities doing so. As I’ve stated before, you must be discerning about who you share your ideas with. Anyway, the conversation was about how it's possible to support yourself blogging, if vigilant. Or how blogging came make you at least enough to build an extra income outside of working a 9-5. Combining your interest/passions with a solid monetization strategy–BOOM. Interesting stuff to talk about at the workplace, right?
Well, most of my expressed ideas fell on moot ears. Abandoning the conversation, I started thinking about the paths we take in life. Specifically, the detours we take when stumbling through brush and granite toward our life goals. Then my English major years in college bubbled up in thought, as well as how I tumbled out of its expectations. And while my expectations fell apart along the quest, these days I’m kind of already doing what I wanted to do. Granted it's super-super small scaled, independent, flooded, and removed of any foreseeable safety nets. But it's all about the tethered-less joy of expressing oneself through words and language (and drawing and talking life). And, ever so naturally, reading. Yet, let’s be real, you usually get degrees to get hired off somewhere. Personal Flaw: I'm known for blowing interviews by being too honest when asked questions anyway.
Anyhow, just as I reflected on those years scratching around campus looking for the meaning of life through words and language, the idea for this post emerged. Let's talk about five career paths one could get hired on with an English Degree.
1. TEACHER. Ever notice when telling people you're majoring in English the first thing they ask is will you teach? Of course the question comes after their gaping expression for your choice in majors. Anyway, most of us are all too familiar with this type of scenario. We know it too, too well. It’s a conversation we generally try to avoid with those outside of liberal arts. For me, when asked will I teach, I would sometimes respond with a “kinda-sorta”. Then I'd attempt to sedge out of the conversation to avoid an approaching sermon. Sometimes I could see judgment in the eyes, and would rather risk eating a dish of cassava than share dreams of becoming a crime fiction writer. I was always pretty tactful, but mainly because I grow exhausted explaining myself about anything.
Nonetheless, the perceived inadequacies some people place on the major is rampant. We hear it all the time dripping in a conversation, as we sub-speak and hint-dodge around how we’ll "pay the bills reading books." I guess this is why so many think the default profession for an English major is teaching. It’s almost as if the teacher path is the most rational way to go, and more or less income stimulating. This path gets the compassion of receiving a little security and safety, and with less starving artist anecdotes. Even if teaching appears as the English major’s default, it’s a needed path. And it has its own challenges and rewards for the passionate leader. Because that's what it takes–a leader.