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First Year With First Foundation: Growing Pains

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Kanna Yamasaki

When I was four years old, I wanted to be a professional tennis player and work part-time at Bakers Delight. At ten, I wanted to be a novelist who also just so happened to be an on-call astronaut for NASA. At thirteen, I wanted to work for Donald Trump and compete in The Amazing Race. This year, I’ll be turning eighteen. Although I now have an overarching goal to pursue a career in the film industry, the underlying truth is that I’m still very much ‘undecided’. There are still days when I wake up and I have a desperate urge to become an astronaut, or activist, or artisan cheese maker. The problem isn’t necessarily that I have no idea what I want to be, but rather, that I am inundated with options – there are too many things that I want do. Growing Pains

I don’t know whether I am naïve, deluded, or just ambitious, but working at Madison has certainly brought to my attention a few things that I failed to learn from attending high school or watching reality television and thus had very little understanding of prior to 2012:

  1. Not all jobs have job titles: In society, young impressionable minds are conditioned to think that the only jobs that are worth pursuing are those with job titles – ‘doctor’, ‘lawyer’, ‘accountant’, etc. In reality, it appears that most jobs held by most people are unable to be described by a single noun, and that as a result, there are hundreds and thousands of jobs out there that many of us do not even know exist.
  2. Finding a job is actually kind of hard…  I’ve learnt that ‘job-hunting’ does not simply involve striding into an office with your degree in one hand and briefcase in the other, and announcing your arrival. In fact, a degree is no longer enough, and neither is the degree+experience combination. Job-hunting alone does not even guarantee finding a job, let alone finding your dream job. Job-hunting can be a stressful, competitive, and time-consuming process that everyone has to tackle at some point in their lives.
  3. Freedom = Responsibility: It’s nice to have a job, go to university, and finally stand on the doorstep of adulthood. It’s nice because it equates to having freedom. But freedom also equates to responsibility, and responsibility equates to having to think seriously about ‘You and Your Future’ for the first time in your life. Responsibility equates to spending late nights attempting to tackle an ambiguous essay question. Responsibility equates to becoming the bank’s best friend. Responsibility equates to receiving less ‘benefit-of-the-doubt’ from people, and realising that you’re not an aspiring-tennis-champion-four-year-old anymore.

Needless to say, a lot of this does cause me to slip into a slight anxiety attack. However, I know that at seventeen, it’s okay not to know all the answers. I also know that although I don’t know all the answers, I’m very lucky that I now work at a company full of people who do.