Most people want to be able to look back on their career and recognize success. The time-honored formula is: hard work + vision = success. Banks and corporations have fairy tales about the unassuming guy who started out as a filing clerk, and retired forty years later as the president of the company.
Thousands of people have done this on a more modest scale by gradually working their way up. What you don’t want to do is retire from an entry-level job at age 65. You might garner some ironic fame as the World’s Longest-Serving Envelope Stuffer, but it probably won’t be as fulfilling and glamorous as it sounds.
A popular alternative route is taking an education gamble. This strategy requires years of study to earn an advanced degree, then deposits an extremely educated person into the workforce pool, with impressive student loans and no experience. These people usually accept entry-level jobs that do not require any special academic background. The trick is to use your degree to move up quickly once you’ve gotten into an organization.
I’ve considered these strategies, but had to reject them. I want to be rich and famous, but not bad enough to work hard or perform mental gymnastics.
Instead, I reassessed my career path and identified three sure paths to success that are compatible with my work ethic:
1) Invest in the state lottery
2) Find a career that requires little talent or effort, but pays very well
3) Persuade the Kardashians to adopt me (Option 2 specialization)
I can work with any of these, but so far the numbers haven’t gone my way and Bruce Jenner is inexplicably ignoring my calls. So while I wait for those avenues to open, I’ve developed some specific criteria for my next job, which must:
- Pay at least $250,000 a year
- Include universally favorable press coverage
- Provide unlimited free time
- Create an environment that does not require any contribution to humanity, while still encouraging an unearned sense of superiority
I’ve spent some time examining potential new occupations to meet my modest demands. Three obvious matches stood out: Congress, Wall Street, and acting.
Somehow, none of these careers really appealed to me, because each has a hidden drawback. If I served in Congress, for instance, I would be overcome with feelings of guilt and self-loathing. I may be greedy and lazy, but not at the expense of U.S. citizens. Wall Street would require the development of some cutthroat ambition and constant schmoozing with politicians. Acting is really the more sound choice, but when I weighed in risk factors like being cast in a film as Gary Busey’s love interest, my enthusiasm melted away.
For a while, I was very discouraged. My dream of being poorly informed, lazy, and rich seemed to slip further and further away. Then, all at once, the perfect answer presented itself: I’ll become a professional wrestler!
Of course, wrestling has unique occupational hazards, too. From now on, a significant percentage of my wardrobe will be spandex-based. The iridescent orange glow my skin will soon radiate will likely deteriorate into a punctured football texture in the not-too-distant future.
But it meets my criteria, and unlike the others, does not require me to be polite to anyone or spend time styling my hair when I don’t feel like it.
This research has been exhausting, and as an uncompromising realist, I’m well aware that my work is still not complete. Developing and naming my “signature move” will be key to my success, as will selecting the perfect entrance music. There will be alliances with other professional wrestlers to plan, and shallow storylines to adopt.
Only then will I finally be able to lean back and enjoy my career. And when that day arrives, I may or may not accept Bruce Jenner’s calls.