The Trials and Tribulations of Choosing a Career
What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a question that everyone’s heard before. When you’re younger, the question doesn’t really mean much. But as you get older, the question becomes something of great importance and great stress, especially if you don’t exactly know the answer. As you get older, you have to make choices that’ll bring you closer towards what you want to be. However, it’s much easier said than done. What if you have multiple passions and can’t choose a single one that you want to pursue as a career? What if you can’t think of anything that interests you enough to pursue as a career?
It’s easy to fall into a rabbit hole of worrying about the future and what kind of career you’ll end up in. People will tell you that it’s what you’ll be doing for the rest of your life, so you better make a good choice and you better make it before you graduate high school or else you’re bound to have an unhappy future. There’s always this intense pressure to know what you’re doing, to have a game plan and stick to it. But the reality is: there’s no rush.
Try New Things, Learn New Things
If you’re completely unsure of what you want to be, the best thing to do is try a lot of different things. That way, you’ll get a better sense of what you enjoy doing and then it’ll be easier to find some overlap between what you enjoy and what you can pursue as a career. You should also try to find out what kinds of jobs are out there. There are probably plenty of exciting jobs that you don’t know about and researching different careers broadens your options.
If you’re particularly worried about your potential career, you could always do some career counseling, in person or online. After graduating high school, one of my friends took a year off to work and figure out what career they want to pursue. They told me that they decided to do some career counseling and it really helped them narrow down their choices, so it doesn’t hurt to get a little help with figuring things out.
Passion or Paycheck?
What if you know what you’re passionate about, but you’re not sure if it’s something you want to do as a career? For example, if you like doing art or acting you’ll probably come across people who’d advise you to choose something else because they think it’s not a stable career. After all, it’s one thing to know what you want to do and it’s another thing to make money off of what you want to do.
Some careers are inherently more risky than others. Some careers also don’t bring in as much income as others. These are things to take into consideration when deciding on what you want to do as a career. It’s really up to you and your values. However, make sure the choices you make, especially choices concerning your future, are purely your choices. In other words, you shouldn’t let other people, like your friends, parents or teachers, make your decisions for you. They’re not the ones who will be living with those decisions.
You Have Time
You have now until the rest of your life to figure out what you want to do. Life isn’t a race. It’s completely fine if it takes a longer time for you to know what you want to be. Some people jump from career to career, trying new things until they eventually get bored and move on to the next new thing. It’s normal if you decide one day that you want to pursue a certain career and then eventually change your mind a different day. I’ve talked to a lot of teachers who told me that they’ve had another career before teaching. Some of them said that they never planned on becoming a teacher but life just turned out that way. It was a career that they sort of fell into and ended up liking. So even if you don’t exactly know what you want to be, sometimes life will surprise you and next thing you know, you’re already what you want to be.