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这是一篇刊登在最新一期“哈佛商业评论” Harward Business Review 上介绍年轻一代人充满激情可又要面对现实与幻想冲突所产生困惑的问题。特别是对在找工作方面陷入迷茫和徘徊中的90后出生一代人尤为有借鉴价值。作者阐述精辟,语言颇富哲理,论点突出,耐人寻味,值得思考。现特别将全文试着译成中文,供参考!希望有助大家对照阅读。由于时间仓促,漏译,错译问题在所难免,还望诸位谅解。

 

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Solving Gen Y’s Passion Problem

解决年轻一代人的激情问题

by Cal Newport  |   9:00 AM September 18, 2012

 

Generation Y, of which I’m a member, is entering the job market in record numbers, and according to many commentators things are not going well.

我作为年轻一代中的一份子正在进入创记录找工作的行列中,且根据很多评论家分析情况不是很妙。

 

One of the best-known books about my cohort, for instance, is titled Generation Me. The New York Post called us “The Worst Generation,” while USA Today noted that we are “pampered” and “high maintenance.” Earlier this year, a New York Times op-ed called us “Generation Why Bother,” noting that we’re “perhaps…too happy at home checking Facebook,” when we could be out aggressively seeking new jobs and helping the economy recover. The fact that up to a third of 25-34 year-olds now live with their parents only supports these gripes.

有关讲述我这个群体的书市面上出了很多,其中有一本书名为“我这一代人” 纽约邮报把我们这个群体称为“最糟糕的一代”而今日美国报纸却把我们说成”娇惯”“宠过了”的一代。在今年初,纽约时报专栏评述把我们称为“无忧无虑的一代”其中指出 “别看我们整天在家泡在Facebook上过得逍遥快活”是时候我们会出去疯狂地找工作,那样会有助于经济复苏。而事实上由于我们这个群体年龄大都在25-34之间且都同父母住在一起,才招致了人们对我们的这些抱怨。

 

To many, the core problem of this generation is clear: we’re entitled. I don’t deny these behaviors, but having recently finished researching and writing a book on career advice, I have a different explanation. The problem is not that we’re intrinsically selfish or entitled. It’s that we’ve been misinformed.

对许多人来说,我们这代人最核心的问题是明确的:都认为我们自以为了不起。我不否认这些说法,可我最近一直在试图完成调研并在写一本有关谋生的书,我有不同的见解。问题不在于我们本质自私或自以为是。这些对我们的看法全是误导。

 

Generation Y was raised during the period when “follow your passion” became pervasive career advice. The chart below, generated using Google’s N-Gram Viewer, shows the occurrences of this phrase in printed English over time.

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Notice that the phrase begins its rise in the 1990s and skyrockets in the 2000s: the period when Generation Y was in its formative schooling years.

我们这代年轻人大都是生长在普遍以“跟着激情走”为主导谋生的时期。上面由Google提供的曲线图表明1990年到2000年期间从开始到迅猛增长阶段所发生的变化。在这个时期年轻一代还处在学龄期。

 

Why is this a problem? This simple phrase, “follow your passion,” turns out to be surprisingly pernicious. It’s hard to argue, of course, against the general idea that you should aim for a fulfilling working life. But this phrase requires something more. The verb “follow” implies that you start by identifying a passion and then match this preexisting calling to a job. Because the passion precedes the job, it stands to reason that you should love your work from the very first day.

这为什么会是个问题呢?这么个简单的句子“跟着激情走”使结果变的有害且异常令人感到惊讶。当然你为了追求令人满意的工作状况产生这个概括性想法是无可厚非的,可这句话所要求的东西会更多,这里的动词“跟着”其实是暗示你开始是通过分辨一种情感,然后再去同已固有的这份情感相吻合以便寻找一个工作。由于情感优于工作,所以你应该是从一开始就要热爱你要找的工作,其合理性是站得住脚的。

 

It’s this final implication that causes damage. When I studied people who love what they do for a living, I found that in most cases their passion developed slowly, often over unexpected and complicated paths. It’s rare, for example, to find someone who loves their career before they’ve become very good at it — expertise generates many different engaging traits, such as respect, impact, autonomy — and the process of becoming good can be frustrating and take years.

正是最后的这层含义才会引起伤害。当我对那些喜爱去做他们为了生存想要干事的群体进行研究时发现大多数情况下他们的激情是慢慢发展起来的,常常是超乎寻常且经历复杂。很少会找到有人是在他们对某项工作很熟前就非常爱那个职业的。一个人的专长往往会产生出很多迷人的个性,比如:彬彬有礼,做事的冲劲儿以及具有很强的自治能力。而且成为一个熟手要经历很多年的磨练。

 

The early stages of a fantastic career might not feel fantastic at all, a reality that clashes with the fantasy world implied by the advice to “follow your passion” — an alternate universe where there’s a perfect job waiting for you, one that you’ll love right away once you discover it. It shouldn’t be surprising that members of Generation Y demand a lot from their working life right away and are frequently disappointed about what they experience instead.

一个充满幻想的职业开始初期或许不会让人们感到任何奇妙之处。在现实同隐含引导去”跟着激情走”的梦幻世界发生冲突就意味着在另外一片天地里有一份绝佳的工作正等着你去做呐。一旦领略到这其中的真谛,你立马就会倾注上全部的爱。新一代年轻人常急功近利地要从他们从事的工作中得到很多,而所感受到的常常会令他们大失所望。

 

The good news is that this explanation yields a clear solution: we need a more nuanced conversation surrounding the quest for a compelling career. We currently lack, for example, a good phrase for describing those tough first years on a job where you grind away at building up skills while being shoveled less-than-inspiring entry-level work. This tough skill-building phase can provide the foundation for a wonderful career, but in this common scenario the “follow your passion” dogma would tell you that this work is not immediately enjoyable and therefore is not your passion. We need a deeper way to discuss the value of this early period in a long working life.

从好的方面讲这种解释会孕育出一个清楚的答案:围绕着寻求一个令人激发兴趣的职业所产生的话题我们需要同年轻人进行更多细致入微的交谈。而我们目前缺的就是一个好的氛围以此描述那些当初所经历的蹉跎岁月中你千方百计努力上手的技能,而这些技能是在当初入行时缺乏鼓舞的情况下囫囵吞枣般获得的。这个艰难确立技能时期可以为将来获得一个极好的职业奠定基础,但在这个人所周知的情景中“跟着激情走”的信条会让你懂得这份工作并不是立刻让你觉得欢欣,所以就不会让你激情迸发。我们需要采取一个更深入的方法来讨论在漫长的职业生涯中这个早期阶段的价值。

 

We also lack a sophisticated way to discuss the role of serendipity in building a passionate pursuit. Steve Jobs, for example, in his oft-cited Stanford Commencement address, told the crowd to not “settle” for anything less than work they loved. Jobs clearly loved building Apple, but as his biographers reveal, he stumbled into this career path at a time when he was more concerned with issues of philosophy and Eastern mysticism. This is a more complicated story than him simply following a clear preexisting passion, but it’s a story we need to tell more.

我们同时也缺乏一个细致入微的方法去探讨天上掉馅儿饼的作用以建立一种富有激情的追求。苹果公司创始人史蒂夫·乔布斯就是一个例子,他曾在斯坦福大学开学典礼讲话中再三对人们讲要全身心“沉浸”到他们热爱的工作中去。乔布斯显然是因爱才使他建立了苹果公司,可就像他自传里揭示的那样他曾一度在其生涯的征途中因为对哲学和东方拜神论太过执著而跌倒。这是一个比他简单地追寻一个明确已经存在的那种激情更加复杂的经历,可那是一个促使我们需要讲得更多的经历。

 

These are just two examples among many of the type of nuance we could inject into our cultural conversation surrounding satisfying work — a conversation that my generation, and those that follow us, need to hear. We’re ambitious and ready to work hard, but we need the right direction for investing this energy. “Follow your passion” is an inspiring slogan, but its reign as the cornerstone of modern American career advice needs to end.

这些只是我们能将细微变化的形式融入到富有文化色彩谈话中去的诸多例子中的两个,谈话所涉及的氛围都是令人满意的工作,也是我们这一代和我们下一代的那些人们需要聆听的谈话。我们雄心勃勃正准备更加努力地投入到工作中去,可我们需要正确的引导将精力投入进去。“跟着激情走”是一句鼓舞人心的口号,但它作为现代美国人谋生的基石其所具有的主导地位是到了需要结束时候了。

 

We don’t need slogans, we need information — concrete, evidence-based observations about how people really end up loving what they do.

我们需要的不是口号,我们要的是信息-具体的,以验证为基础的观察结果,弄清楚人们怎么就真的一下子不再热爱他们所从事的工作了。

 

 

 

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