Don't Throw Away Your Dream Career Because Others Say So

As a little kid, I always wanted to be an author. Or a lawyer, or a doctor or an astronaut. But, throughout it all, I first and foremost wanted to be an author. And, as long as I can remember, I was told it was a pipe-dream. Now, I didn't write this article to bash my parents, but I did grow up in a household that was greatly affected by the 2008 recession. It took us a long time to recover, and in those couple years, I stopped dreaming of being an author, focusing on a more likely dream of mine, publishing.

I'm not naive enough to think that publishing is an easy field to break into either. I've been applying for summer internships, and, despite a great GPA, past internship experiences and current work experience, I've gotten no bites from prospective employers. I've applied for internships with over 300 applicants, and I even considered applying for one that had over 1,000 (Chanel has a wide reach, my friends). During this semester, my parents have become more focused on my career, a side-effect of my focus, I'm sure. And, even though my parents haven't explicitly said that my dream career isn't attainable, I hear their voices questioning my dreams.

I'm here to tell you to stop listening to the noise. And that's what it is: noise. When people tell you not to try, not to go after your dream, it's not advice at all. I know I have some 20-year-old naïveté, and maybe you do too. We should be allowed to have big dreams and chase after them! Maybe I'll get burned in the process, but I'd rather have some battle scars than dream of "what if?" Whether it's your parents, your friends or even your academic advisor (I've been there too), don't let the noise get to you.

Your dream is your dream for a reason, and it would be a disservice to yourself not to go out there and reach for it. Do all you can to put your best foot forward. Join organizations that align with your interests, apply for internships that will bolster your resume, reach out to prospective employers (even if they don't have any listings posted—that's how I got my job!) and do not be afraid to network your a$$ off. Asking for help isn't a weakness; it shows that you're willing to fight for what you want.

All the time, people tell me that publishing is a hard business to break into. And they're right. But that doesn't mean it's impossible, and with some hard work and determination, I know I'll get there. You will too.