When I started fall term, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I figured… hey, I will graduate from a great school and work as a planner or buyer in advertising. I thought it would be that simple.
Now I’m realizing there are so many more factors to figure out aside from just a “job title.”
There is location, culture, industry, pay, benefits, travel, responsibilities, family, lifestyle… and many, many more. I thought I had a hard enough time deciding where I wanted to go to college!
Nobody wants to waste time in a work place that doesn’t get them to where they want to be or doesn’t make them happy.
Although this might not be the case for everyone, those “career guidance” tests never did much for me. I took one in high school and it told me I should pursue law. Later in the year, we were required to complete a job-shadow. Taking guidance from the career test, I decided to job-shadow an attorney and realized it wasn’t for me. The office was quiet, the employees looked tired and everyone warned me about the huge and dusty law-library I would have to navigate.
The takeaway, I thought, was to help me realize what I didn’t want to do. Now I am seeing that even though I didn’t think that law office was a fit for me, it doesn’t mean I should turn down a career path completely. There is so much more to consider. I needed to understand myself in order to understand what would be a good place for me.
Unfortunately, I can’t come up with a bullet list that describes how each of us can “figure ourselves out.” Honestly, I believe that it takes time. It takes getting lost, turning back around – and maybe getting lost again. It takes listening and reflecting. It takes a lot – but it’s worth it.
The more you can adventure and experience, the more you learn about yourself and what makes you happy. As students and future professionals, we have time to challenge ourselves to experience as much of this world as we can. By paying attention to what makes you feel fulfilled and making careful choices, we can be well on our way to finding a good fit in the work place and in life. After all, 40-60 hours a week is a pretty big chunk.
“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new.”
– Billy Joel