Tony Pua wrote a blog post about his 5 alternative career paths – other jobs he could have had instead of what he’s doing now. There are some fascinating answers in the comments, and it looks like it could be a good blog meme. (Though I think the ultimate winner of this would be Craig Robinson’s What If…, which is amazing and crazy in its comprehensiveness. Seriously, check it out.)
5 alternative career paths I could have taken:
1. Superstar. I’ve always wanted to be famous – what if I really had done something big about it? I manage to convince my mother at age 5 to enrol me to singing and dancing classes, and have a ball. At 13, the songs I scribble out are actually pretty good, and I record a demo and put up a massively inflated file online – which still gets hits and downloads. I become the first Internet music superstar, mainly because I’m online so often. I travel around the world, hit every continent before I turn 16, and show up on both MTV and Channel [v] professing my love for them both. On my world tour I bring as an opening act a local band and showcase a non-profit. My unorthodox charitable ways get me news clippings and an appointment as a UN Peace Ambassador, but I don’t seem to be getting as much press as Paris Hilton because I’m too tired to party. Oh well. Back to the studio I go.
2. Actor. When I was about 13, I applied for a role in a movie (which would later include my good friend Asha) but could not audition because my mother wouldn’t let me try out, even though the directors liked the sound of me. What if I’d actually auditioned and won the part? I’d be buddies with Asha a lot earlier probably. I would then get into more acting gigs, first in silly Malaysian soap operas that play on RTM and TV3, then move to Singapore where things are actually in English. I’d then hop between the two countries taking part in their stage acting scene, possibly doing a lot more musicals. I’d be the star of my own sitcom and people would have a hard time differentiating my character from myself. Just before 18, I hang out with some indie filmmakers and play all sorts of roles in all sorts of oddball films. I eschew Hollywood because it’s too plastic, and Bollywood because I can’t speak a lick of Hindi. I do, however, become Yasmin Ahmad’s muse. Sharifah Aleya who?
3. Teacher. Apparently the only consistent “ambition” I had while in primary school. I would teach a early secondary school class – when they’re old enough to understand the world but not too old that they think they know it all. I would have the most unorthodox class in the world as I’ll let my students decide how they’d run the class, which annoys the other teachers but pleases the students. I would be teaching English, most likely, but in my lessons teach them about other things in life too. My assignments are creative tasks that are up to the interpretation of each student. I take them to all sorts of field trips everywhere, and for one year save up enough money to take an overseas trip. When my students have personal issues, I listen and try to help, and lay off the academic work for a while. After a few years, I start up my own democratic alternative school and a lot of my students follow me.
4. Pageant Queen. For some reason my mum used to think I should aspire to be Miss Universe. If I was, I’d be the only contestant with dyed hair and a threaded hair tie. I would ace the interview and current affairs section, and get my indie designer friends to do all my clothes for me. I would not bother with heels and instead prance around the stage in sneakers. I wouldn’t even bother with too much makeup during “casual” days, but revel in dressing up on stage. My talent would be a comedy slam poetry show. During the final Q&A I actually give a coherant answer that is more than just “world peace”. I don’t win, because I am not typically modelesque, but I get a lot of fans around the world from people who cheered me for not falling into the stereotype and just being myself. I end up being called up for events and community work and all that, but instead of just being a pretty face, I work on plenty of actual youth projects to encourage young people to be themselves. Fashion magazines completely revamp their model guidelines because of me and my growing popularity. The year the crown is handed over, every contestant prances on stage in sneakers.
5. Computer Scientist. I get a lot of people asking me why I’m not doing computer science if I’m online so often. I do a Comp Sci degree, and immerse myself in numbers and code. I get glasses for the first time in my life. I dream in C++ and talk to everyone in LOLspeak. I know too many Internet memes for my own good. Whenever I am faced with a technical error, I just write a computing program to take care of it. I give my own programs away and then work with an indie computing company, something open-source. I get invited to all sorts of conferences and suddenly become cool when blogs become cool – mainly because I’m female and not bad-looking. I get asked to contribute to a Sexy Geek calendar and have a picture of myself in can-can girl gear twirling a USB drive. I run a successful tech support business, writing programs to solve people’s problems. My blog gets millions of hits a day and I’m often sent free stuff to “Review” – which I do, sometimes to the company’s chagrin. I then branch into game writing, and write fun adventure puzzle games that are the product of vivid dreams.
What are your 5 alternative career paths?
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