Living in Québec, being an anglophone having learned French in school and the streets, I consider myself bilingual.
As many polyglots and my language industry colleagues know, having exposure to other languages opens you up to a new dimension of thought.
I was recently speaking with someone who was considering different career paths and listening to them weigh the pros and cons. Being relentlessly torn between the potential of stability and the excitement of starting in a new industry. It made me think of a French expression “Être sur son X”, which broadly means finding your perfect fit. Basically, being good at what you do, feeling fulfilled, happy, etc. (Cue translator input)
They asked me “What do you think?”.
After pondering a moment, I asked “What’s your career objective?”, which was met with silence and a shoulder shrug. It’s one of those larger questions in life that some have the privilege of knowing while others will simply never figure out.
- Will I settle for a job, or do I want a career?
- Do I seek a title or a role with self-fulfillment?
- Money or happiness?
- No stress or facing uncontrollable stressors?
I am in no way suggesting that all of these things are mutually exclusive and you can only have one without the other. But I do think that knowing where you want to go simplifies your choices on how to get there.
After chatting about objectives, the individual opted for a new path, because it aligned better with what was considered to be their long-term career (and life) objective. This one opportunity changed the winds of life in the direction of where they want to end up and will ultimately expose them to new experiences. I hope for them that their choice will allow them to find the X. “D’être sur son x”.
When making a choice, remember that time moves us forward irrespective of what we want. It’s the constant in the our choice equation. We must choose on what moves us closer to our long-term objective as opposed to focusing on short-term options. Life is the long game.