Friday, 9 December 2011

Explaining Broadcasting to an Immigrant Family

Unless you're in school to become a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or a teacher, immigrant families tend to view your chosen career path with leery eyes. In my family, which is all Jamaican, the "dream" is to get your Masters or PhD, make tons of money and retire with a comfortable amount of wealth. In a country like Jamaica where opportunity is minimal, the expectation is that you're going to come to Canada to establish a name for yourself. Live the "Canadian Dream", if you will.

When I told my family I was entering the Broadcast Journalism program, it was met with skeptical acceptance/support. The question came up of whether or not I'd make it onto TV, how much money I'd make so on and so forth. In no way am I implying that my family is unsupportive of my career path, because I've been blessed with a big and encouraging family. They never doubted my ability to be good at it, but did tell me that its a hard industry to break into, black people aren't on TV as much as other races, among other words of caution.

Perhaps my family's intention was to prepare me for the real world, but for a while I thought they didn't believe in me. So instead of letting that lack of faith get me down, I resolved that I would prove to them that I would be successful. I figured I'd be determined to reach the highest stratosphere of my profession. My attitude was "I'll show you, I'll be big some day!"

It wasn't until I had a conversation with my Mom during a car ride that I came to realize my success needs to be for me. Going through my career and living to prove a point to my family is a recipe for an unfulfilled life and bitter attitude. My desire to succeed should be for my own happiness and my own satisfaction.  Seeking to make your loved ones proud of you is a motivational factor to succeed, but it cannot be the determining factor. Exceed your own expectations!

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