This post was inspired by a conversation with my pseudo-sister/ cousin, Miranda. May you always have the strength and smarts to listen to your own heart.
Is there such a thing as finding the “right” career? I’m not so sure. We grow up being told we can be “anything we want to be.” Sure, it seems encouraging and inspirational when you’re five years old playing doctor, but when you’re a new grad, it’s SCARY AS HELL.
It’s hard enough picking a major to study in school, but picking a career is one of the toughest decisions one makes in life. That’s mainly because it’s so easy to get swept up in what you “should” rather than what you “want” to do. Of course, pressure from family and friends doesn’t help the matter.
Take me for example. The only thing I knew I wanted to do when I was a senior in high school was to get a scholarship to run cross country and track. I didn’t pick my university based on academics or reputation. I based it on how much scholarship money I was offered. Probably not the wisest thing to base a decision like that upon, but those were my circumstances at the time. It is what it is.
I still remember freshman orientation day. This is the day where you do all the important stuff, like pick your major. I had NO idea what I wanted to major in! After some “parental encouragement,” I chose Business Administration accompanied by an Associate’s in Legal Studies. Fast forward two years later and I changed my major to Technical and Professional Communication (or in layman’s terms, a writing major). And I’m so glad I did because it gave me the flexibility I needed in order to switch my career path when I decided I didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore.
Being a lawyer sounded nice (i.e. $$$), but it’s probably not a good idea to pursue a career in something that stresses you out to the point of tears every night. After I realized that, I knew I needed to make a change.
Of course, my family wasn’t happy with this decision. They were equally unhappy when I told them I had also decided to stay in college for an extra year so I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
But in the end, they weren’t the ones that had to live with my decision: I was.
I decided to pursue a career in digital communications and marketing and I haven’t looked back since. Sure, bad days happen. No one is impervious to them. But at the end of the day, if you’re still interested in what you do and get excited about learning more, then you know you have made the right choice.
So for those of you still trying to figure it all out, I leave you with this: Do what feels right to you and don’t listen to anyone else. When it’s right, you’ll know.