Jonah Goldberg has some life advice in his weekly newsletter. We concur but would like to use it to discuss your career. Jonah said:
So, as I prepare to enjoy a vacation weekend away from politics, here’s some advice: Don’t invest that much of your soul in politics. In fact, don’t invest your whole soul in anything.
Folks that invest their whole soul in something make for interesting entertainment but the reason is that their lives are a mess. You make choices to give some of your soul to, among other things, your spouse, children, vocation, and avocations. These percentages usually vary widely over your life.
Let’s use an accounting example with a sports comparison. Going to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms is like being a Division I athlete. It is not exactly the same but in both cases you give much and, if that is what you want, you get much. Even within these areas there is wide variation. You could be Dan Gable. He would be an example of somebody who gave much more of his soul than the program asked and they ask for lots.
Part of this discussion must be about the nature of your soul. Is size of the soul pie fixed or can it be expanded? The plays we have seen in the last couple of weeks are The Grinch and Christmas Carol and we agree with those shows that as the former says explicitly your heart can grow three sizes.
Because your soul is large it is important to give parts of it to lots of folks and places. Work, even part-time work, family, school, handball (and all sorts of avocations) , all can be better as you become more involved in them and keep you from being obsessed with one thing. When the interviewer asks what your passion is you should have several of them. Don’t give all of your soul to politics, work, family, or even handball but do give your soul to several of them.