Asking for a friend who is looking for a short story, but cannot remember the title. The friend thinks it is by Le Guin, but the anthologies she had didn’t contain it.
"The story is about a land where people are given some kind of an aptitude test by the government and careers planned for them based on the test results. The main character had always wanted to be an artist, but the test says that he has to be a miner. He rails and rants and appeals, but to no avail. So he ends up in this mining place and just hates it. He keeps appealing, but all this requests are turned down. So he slowly adjusts to the place, its roughness and brutality – and makes a life.
"One day he discovers some strange minerals in the mines, and takes it home to play with. Over time he creates a whole array of artistic creations that others come to like. And so his life goes on. And then one day there is an urgent missive from the ministry/government that they had screwed up – and that his tests had indeed showed that he needed to be an artist. This never happens they said, but we will make it right.
"So he is shipped off to this artists paradise. And once there he realizes he hates these people – they are too airy-fairy and just live in their own heads, and that he wants to go back to his life as a miner and that over time he had come to like its roughness and the space he had built within it."