I don’t know exactly what I want to do with my career.
I have an idea of what I’d like to do, and who I’d like to be, and I know what my interests are. However, if you ask me where I see myself in 5 years, more than one idea pops into my head.
When we’re kids, people tell us that we need to know what we want to do for the rest of our lives. I say that’s insane. Expecting a child to know what they want their career path to be adds too much pressure. My answer in high school changed every year. Heck, it changed every few months. It’s still changing.
Here’s a list of careers I debated going into while I was in high school:
– Zoologist (what was I thinking?)
– Vet Tech
– Travel Agent
– Tour Guide
– Flight Attendant
– Tourism Management
Ask me today, multiple college expenditures later, and I’m still uncertain. My indecisiveness earned me snarky comments from family members. I felt their judgmental looks when I dropped out of University and again when I returned to college but didn’t pursue what I had studied. The cycle continued when I went for my Tourism diploma. The more colleges I attended, the more others told me that I was wasting money. As you might imagine, these comments made me feel guilty. I continuously felt like I was making mistakes – like a disappointment.
Finally, I was a successful travel agent. After I graduated with a Tourism diploma, I was hired right out of school. I was thriving. Sadly, COVID-19 showed up and had other plans for me. I got laid off. Then six months later, I got let go.
I was twenty-five and back at square one.
Even with a steady job as a successful travel agent, I was uncertain whether or not that was what I wanted to do forever. After I lost my job, I returned to school for journalism. People were confused about why I would take such a different path. I took a really difficult situation and found an opportunity to explore one of my other passions.
Now, I’m in the second year of my program, and I still feel a bit lost, but I’ve come to realize that I’m pretty good at photography. I absolutely love it. I’ve also rediscovered my love for writing again. Regardless of what happens with my latest endeavour, I discovered and re-discovered some passions, and I think that’s a win.
It’s OK not to know what you want to do with your career.
It’s OK to go to school more than once. Don’t be ashamed to be in your late twenties and beyond and still feel a little bit lost. We’re all navigating a world that tells us that we need to know exactly what we want to do extremely early on.
It’s OK to be a hot mess career-wise. Dip your toes in the water. Try new things. It’s also OK to try new things and decide that they aren’t for you.
We are all on our own paths, and there’s no race to the finish line. Take all the time you need to figure out your life’s path. You’ll get where you need to go, and so will I.