Career Advice for Students
These days, students are under too much pressure regarding finding a job once they have finished school. The truth is that most of them will not get the job they are hoping to get, and will thus feel less than satisfied. One thing that we can be sure of is that the position that we want, will not come along by itself, without any effort on our part. When it comes to choosing the job that you will go after, you should not only focus on the income that it will bring to you. Make sure that the job is meaningful to you and valuable for society.
Having been to many universities, I can imagine the pressures students face with job searching, love, study, family etc. I asked many teachers yesterday about job opportunities here in Singapore. They said the job market was not so bad and students could find jobs, though maybe not always the most satisfying one. But what is a satisfying job? We cannot expect too much. I don’t know if it’s the case here but in many places people are somewhat lazy. They expect to be well-paid but don’t want to work hard. They want to rest on Saturdays and Sundays and maybe weekdays as well, while still expecting a lot from their jobs.
In actual fact, we need to put in hard work. Without hard work, you cannot expect to reap rewards. It’s the same with monks. We can’t just eat and sleep every day. Although we have no pressure from family or work, if we sleep all day maybe we won’t starve but that’s not the aim of our lives. Therefore, I believe for most of us, the fear in life should not be that we have too many things to do, but that we have nothing to do. The ants and bees are very hard working. There are stories about them in Buddhist scriptures. They seldom rest from their hard work. That’s why they are highly successful in their lives.
So for each of you here, finding a job should not be aimed for making money. This is not a good life goal. Instead, you should find a job that can make you both physically and mentally healthy. And meanwhile, what you are doing should bring benefit to society, to your country and to all humankind. These elements will make a job meaningful. Maybe this kind of job does not give you good pay, but in terms of the value of life, it is more important.