Even after the young man has entered a vocation and found that he does not fit in it, there is plenty of opportunity for him to make a change if he is made of the right stuff and can secure the right kind of counsel and guidance. But this “If” is a tremendously big one.
Many causes—both inside and outside of himself—tend to prevent the average man from changing from a vocation for which he is not fit to one in which he is fit. Perhaps a brief consideration of some of these factors in the problem may be of assistance to you.
One reason for continuing in the wrong vocation is social ambition. Rightly or wrongly—probably wrongly—there are certain vocations which entitle one to social recognition. There are others which seem, at least, to make it difficult for one to secure social recognition. Social ambition, therefore, causes many a man to cling desperately to the outskirts of some profession for which he is unfitted, in the everlasting hope of making a success of it and thus winning the social recognition which is his supreme desire.
Poor, short-sighted, and even blind, victims of their own folly!
They do not see that any work which is human service is honorable. They miss the big truth that the man who delivers better goods or renders better service than other men is not only entitled to profit, but also has, by divine right, unassailable social standing.
One of the most potent causes of failure is laziness. And the worst form of the malady is mental laziness. Once a man is in any line of work, he simply remains there by following the lines of least resistance. It requires, in the first place, hard mental effort to decide upon a new line of work. It requires analysis of work, analysis of one’s self, of conditions, and of environment, in order to make an intelligent and worthy change. Not only this, but an advantageous change in vocation usually involves additional study, additional training, hard, grinding work in preparation for the new task. And it is altogether too easy for the lazy man to drift along, mediocre and obscure, in some vocation for which he is poorly fitted than to go through the grueling, hard work of preparing himself for one in which he will find an opportunity for the use and development of his highest and best talents.
Many men do not change their vocations, when they find that they are misfits, because of lack of opportunity. There may be no real chance for them in the locality where they live and conditions may make it almost impossible for them to leave. Of course, the strong, courageous soul can make its own opportunities. Theoretically, perhaps, everyone can create circumstances. But, in real life, there are comparatively few strong, courageous souls—few who can mould conditions to their will. Probably, however, the average man could do much more than he does to improve his opportunities were it not for inertia, lack of self-confidence, and lack of courage, all of which he could overcome if he would.