Wednesday, November 18, 2009


After we published this post and his interview with Kostas Stoforos took place, the well-known writer and philosopher, Alain de Botton, answered all our students' questions eagerly. The whole interview will be published online shortly, but in the meantime we can have a glimpse at a part of what he had to say to Fanouris.

Fanouris, 14 years old: If I make a wrong decision about my future job, will I have the chance later to decide to follow something completely different or am I going to do this dissatisfactory job for my whole life?

I think he is right! To take the question very- very seriously, I think that when you are a teenager, you've got so many challenges; you try to work out your place in the world, your family, examinations, relationships, etc.

All this is very new, and you have also to think about your job which is over the horizon… But the bigger question is, “what I’m gonna do with my life”.

First of all, I think that teenagers are not given enough information about how different jobs are actually like. How is really like to be a doctor or a farmer? I think it's very important for young people to have experience in some works, and also to learn some things talking to people.

“To be a pilot all your life?” You must ask a pilot how it’s really like. What are the bad sides, what are the good sides. In English schools there is not so much advice- career advice. A career advicer comes and talks with you but that is not enough. And many parents are also confused about their job choice. Teachers are also sometimes a little bit disappointed about their jobs, or they don’t know many things about the world of business …

This is the full list of our questions. You can see the students' intact thoughts below this post.

Fanouris, 14 years old: If I make a wrong decision about my future job, will I have the chance later to decide to follow something completely different or am I going to do this dissatisfactory job for my whole life?

Maria, 14: How can I find out what job is suitable for me?

Joanna, 24: What can I do to enjoy my work more? Should I continue to "survive" in this field or should I search for a work which will be more fulfilling?

Nick, 14: If everybody does the interesting jobs, who is gonna do the dull ones?

Stratos, 14: Is it important to choose a job which I am happy to do?

Eleni, 14: What qualifications must you have to become an English teacher?

Danai, 14: I want to become a German teacher, but I don't know if I will find a job in about 4 years. I think that I must discuss it with a person like you.

Chara, 14: What about you? Do you really get job satisfaction?

Alina, 14: What are the main qualifications that somebody needs to have to succeed and build a very big career?

John, 15: The question I have for is how we can know our job is pleasant, since there are people who start doing a job they think they like, but after a while they get bored?

Christine, 15: Are you satisfied with your job or would you like to change it?

Irini, 15: What is actually more important in choosing a career: enjoying what you are doing or having a good salary? After years don't we all end up getting bored with the occupation we choose? Do you think this has to do with the age we decide?

Aggeliki, 22: How can we find out our dream-job so as to be meaningful? And if we find a job that we consider it to be our dream job, how do we know for sure that we are not wrong?

Alice, 46: As you understand I ought to be very pleasant and active with all my clients but there are some times towards the end of my shift when I don't manage to be as I want to be, maybe because of tiredness or others problems. Consequently I would like to ask you if there are some "tricks" to overcome these moments.

Manos, 24: Is there any effective way to make me choose the job that suits me and satisfies me and avoid being in a monotonous lifestyle?

Eva, 16: We should't judge people based on their occupation. In this day and age it is unacceptable to have such stereotypes.So...what ought we to do in order to eliminate this awful perception about jobs? Should we be re-educated or should we continue to be in a vicious circle..?

Nasia, 16: I find journalism a very enthousiastic job, but if I want to succeed in it I obligatorily have to pursue a specific direction which involves especially literature or history and ancient greek-The thing here is that I mostly like maths and physics...So why do I HAVE to attend classes that are not relevant neither to what I like,nor to what I want to study at university(?)...

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