A vet, a police woman and an author.
I can guess what you’re thinking. What’s the punchline? But I’m not telling a joke. The three did not walk into a bar. They were once my career ambitions. It may have been when I was in primary school, but I at least had ideas when I was younger. Now I’m not so sure.
And isn’t that scary? At 20 years old, I have no clue what I want to do with my life. I’m studying journalism at university so shouldn’t I become a journalist? That seems to be a logical assumption and one that many people have made. If you study engineering you should be an engineer, if you study nursing you should be a nurse. Most career-specific subjects appear to follow this trend, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Sure, you might be one of the few who just know. At five years old, you might have found your calling and started your journey towards it. If not, then don’t stress. Remember those people are rare, and take comfort from that.
But don’t just take my word for it. The pressure young people feel to get a “real” job made the news over the summer. A study even found that eight out of ten students stress over the need to get a job within six months of graduating. Clearly, this shows you’re not the only one.
So why limit yourself by jumping into a career right away? When you were little, you believed you could be anything. This certainly hasn’t changed. If anything, there are more options now than ever before. Finding a job you love may take a while, but it’ll be worth it. Especially when you will be working until you’re well into your 70s.
I like to think I’m keeping my options open. My teenage years ended only months ago – I still rely on my mum to make my dinner. There’s no way I can choose a career path right now.
I’m okay with that, and you should be, too.
If you find yourself working in a bar until you figure things out, then go with it. You never know, a vet, a police woman, and an author may just walk in. And if they do, ask them about their work. You might just hear something that makes you think, that’s the job for me.