Truth is, too many of my previous resolutions are too private or embarrassing to post for any public viewing. Perhaps you’ll allow me to have two for 2018, one for everyone and another for private blush. The latter are harder to keep, with no friends or family to keep you honest. But secrets have a way of lingering, and some of these private resolutions have blossomed into reality in subsequent years.
I could resolve to write an hour a day or an hour a week, or to spend at least one hour per week doing long-term career development. (Can I have three?) The first one feels too much like a meta-assignment in a writing series, and the second one may sound generic on the surface. But I’ll take the career development. We don’t live in a “company man” country anymore, and even within a single company it’s necessary to map out the waters and make your friends before the forces of realignment unexpectedly appear and force a decision where it was not expected.
I haven’t read J.D. Vance’s book, probably out of some contrarian impulse, but one vignette sticks with me. He got to Yale Law School, the most selective graduate law program in the country, and was surprised to find that all his classmates were getting jobs through personal connections. No one was applying on the website, or if they were, it was in addition having built some personal relationship at that company.
It’s probably a lamentable sign of erosion of the meritocracy, and a future perpetuation of power as it exists. But no matter how contrarian and idiosyncratic I am, I’d prefer not to be obsolete.
In a more positive sense, a resolution can be a reflection of gratitude and a commitment to use one’s gifts for the most they are worth. In this regard, I am fortunate indeed, having US citizenship and a job in an industry with a commanding US trade surplus – the entertainment industry, which, in spite of all the IP piracy in the world, makes material that is a source of joy and meaning for countless people all across the globe. I work at one of the most storied Hollywood studios, for Sony, a company that makes speakers, televisions, films, television shows, records, video games, and plenty else that has been a consistent source of engagement throughout my life. I can help connect the dots as entertainment realigns in an unprecedented technological world, and as media serves as a key connective tissue for politics, education, and daily life. Opportunities will exist in two years that are inconceivable today. In order to do my current job at its best, I need to be proactive to see what’s rounding the curve ahead. There are intriguing and eclectic people to be met, wild and winding projects to embarked upon, and a world of crazy stories to be explored, in this sphere and beyond.