#ColgateProblems: Working Hard or Hardly Workin’?


Started from the Bottom: All great career paths must start somewhere.

When I was younger, my dream job was to be a cashier. The company did not matter, as long as I got to lay my fingers on those numbers and create a satisfying “bing” sound; I really just loved pressing buttons. A couple of summers ago, I worked in an Italian ice shop where they paid me in cash at the end of each shift. It was often empty, so I would spend my six hour shift trying out different combinations of ice with tiny taster spoons and singing loudly along with the radio. When it was busy, I scooped the ice, charmed the customers and rang up their purchases on a dusty grey cash register. It was far from the dream job I had pictured in my youth, and I quit in favor of attending Lollapalooza, letting employer-employee relations sour significantly.

As I got older, I started to understand that jobs are not just about tactile pleasure but stimulating your mind, too. My pre-teen obsession with pigs compelled me to declare that I wanted to be a “porcine-ologist.” This job does not exist. The adults to which I was responding were either similarly in the dark about this mythical profession or ignored my slip-up, responding generically “That’s so cute!” I would furrow my brow, frustrated because jobs weren’t meant to be cute. If I had answered their question “What do you want to be when your older?” with “Stock Broker,” I probably would have met less coo-ing and more aahs at my youthful ambition and passion for the market. Instead, I was into pigs – a passion remarkably less marketable, and henceforth more endearing than supply and demand.

These days, I hope “cashier” is not in my career path but the inactivity of my LinkedIn account would indicate otherwise. I guess pigs are still cute, but I think our relationship should be strictly nonprofessional. As for stocks, I don’t really know what they are and my mental image of Wall Street involves a lot of filing for no apparent reason. Some day I will probably have a job (that might even involve meaningless filing), but for now I’m just focused on not working as a camp counselor this summer. 

It is hard to make divisions between passions and hobbies, as I’ve found with my desire to both press buttons and work with pigs. These were hobbies mistook for passions and if I followed through it could’ve led me down a very minimum wage, very squeally path.

I made a LinkedIn account in just in seventh grade. It said that I was the head genius at Amy Balmuth’s Company for Geniuses and remained that way until a couple months ago. Though I’m racking a solid four connections on LinkedIn, one of which is my mom, the other three being friends from high school. It doesn’t seem to be a vast improvement. Thankfully, they have endorsed my skills, which range from “Microsoft Word” to the vague concept of “leadership” which I consider a win despite my 42 percent drop in profile views in the past 30 days. I tried to salvage this blip in my professional successes by updating my profile, summarizing myself as a “curious and creative contributor” whilst implying my passion for alliteration.

I should probably be much more concerned about my waning professional trajectory than I am, but it’s hard to help. Despite nearing my second decade, I’m young enough to not be pressed for time in the job game. It is important to treat college as a life stage in its own right, and not merely a stepping stone to whatever comes next. But if all else fails, I hear there are a couple openings at Amy Balmuth’s Company for Geniuses.