The general expectation is that you should graduate high school knowing what major you want. At the age of 17 or 18 we are supposed to know exactly what we will do with our lives, and we are supposed to dedicate everything in our power to get there. Some people do and some people do not, but here is the reality when it comes to following your career path…or at least what I can tell you from my personal experience.
From a very young age I have known what I wanted to do/be. In my core I knew all I wanted was to be a writer/editor so when I graduated high school I chose the path that would be the best for my career. I chose a university with a program I liked and knew would benefit me in the long run. I picked out classes that were related to my dream job – editor – and did my best to succeed in them. I was doing everything society told me to do in order to get to where I wanted to be professionally.
However, in reality, it is not that easy. My grownup jobs – with the exception of one internship – have not been related to the career I want to follow. Right now I find myself at a 7 am to 4 pm job that has nothing to do with editing. And after having my first interview for a job I really want and has everything to do with editing, I find myself hoping I get it and can start doing what I love, following my career path. All of this has been a learning experience and maybe it will help you out!
1. You do not need to have your career figured out from the moment you graduate high school. You can take your time.
2. You can change majors. It really is about finding your passion, your calling.
3. If you feel it will benefit you, accept every job opportunity you get. Employers really do care about experience…you will need it.
4. It is okay if your first job or first few jobs are unrelated to your dream job. Everything helps; it all teaches you something.
5. Do not be afraid to apply to many positions and go to as many interviews as you get. You never know what they may see in you.
6. Finding the right path is important but do not forget to put your wants, needs, and mental health first.
It becomes difficult at times to make yourself understand that it takes time to get to the peak of your path. You will have downs but the ups will make up for them. You will go through jobs you hate and struggle to get out of bed in the morning to go get that bread. You may dislike your boss or your working environment. You may feel like you are wasting your time or you are not good enough. I promise we have all been or still are there. It is rare for people to immediately start their professional life at exactly where they want. Take your time, be patient, write the perfect cover letter, make your resume stand out, build your experience, and the dream job will come along.
Trust me. This all comes from a girl who graduated university a year ago and wakes up every morning wishing she would go into work to edit documents. I have not given up and neither should you. We will get THE job.