Feb 17, 2015

    Chase journalism dream or stick to steady job?

    DEAR Troubleshooter,

    I am an employee in my 20s at an advertising firm, and I have no idea whether I can pursue my dream of becoming a journalist.

    I have wanted to be a journalist since I was in high school, so I studied in the department of journalism at university. I took employment examinations to get the job, but failed. After that, I started working at an advertising and publishing company in my home town.

    Although my colleagues are good to me, my working hours are long, with work usually ending after midnight.

    As it is difficult for me to find time to study for the journalist exams again, I have decided to quit my job. I now plan to take the exams again, studying while working part-time in Tokyo.

    However, after taking into account my parents' feelings, I feel terrible. They generously let their daughter go to university, but she is going to quit a company where she is a regular employee and is instead choosing a challenging path that does not guarantee success.

    My younger sister is working in our home town after graduating from high school. I am worried I cannot even be a good example for her.

    I want to live a life with no regrets, but I am also concerned that other people may hold a negative view towards me or my family. I am also concerned I may make my parents unhappy. I am tortured over my conflicting feelings.

    Are people allowed to pursue their dreams as long as they are young? Should I find meaning in working in a place that suits me?


    Dear Ms R,

    Your letter is straight to the point, just as journalists aspire to do when writing articles. I am impressed. You can write well. Your attitude of chasing your dream is down-to-earth, too. I absolutely support your lifestyle and positive way of thinking, without hesitating to take risks.

    You do not have to feel sorry towards your parents for quitting your job. Even though you intend to quit, you decided to live independently without troubling your parents. So do not be concerned about tarnishing your public image.

    Also, you do not have to put yourself down by thinking that your choice of pursuing your dream and taking a risk would not be a good example for your sister. I think your brave lifestyle will actually be encouraging for her.

    Working is a way to earn a living - it is not the purpose of a person's life. But if you get a job you think is worth doing, you can live a more fulfilling life. So please continue working hard for your dream without regret.

    Even if things do not turn out well, you can start over again by learning from your experience of working hard. I hope you will make your dreams come true.