I’ve been noticing lately that my career interests have been changing rapidly. I’m not one of those people who knew what they wanted to do for the rest of their life at the age of 12.
In five years, I’ve gone from wanting to be a veterinarian to a teacher to a journalist to a copywriter. Now, I’m beginning to think I want to pursue a career in recruiting. But I’m still not sure.
When I moved to New York to intern at J. Walter Thompson for the summer, I began to realize that I’m a jack of all trades, master of none.
You see, I’m not 100% set on one particular career path. I would be completely happy working in an office in a random city doing any job as long as I was working with people. I love people. Interacting with people, meeting people, sharing stories with people, all of it. It took me a long time to realize how open I was to this, because being open to anything means just that: being open to anything. And that’s a scary realization.
My three older sisters, who have all graduated college and started their careers, all work in very specific fields. One is an interior designer, another is an architect, and another is a high school English teacher. All of their degrees have prepared them for their specific industry. They know what they want to do with their life. I, on the other hand, am majoring in English with a concentration in Editing, Writing, and Media. My career choices are practically endless. I could work in publishing, teaching, writing, administration, public relations, advertising, media, politics, government, the list goes on. I don’t have a specific path that I need to follow. I can venture off into crazy exploits and still end up moving forward.
Sheryl Sandberg puts it best in her book, Lean In. She says,
Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”
This is such a true statement and I couldn’t agree more. People often think that once they start their career, they’re stuck in that industry for the rest of their lives. And for people who don’t know what career they’re going to pursue, that can be really daunting.
When freshmen start college, they’re pressured into picking a major, which will arguable affect the rest of their lives. The common misconception is that majoring in engineering means you have to be an engineer and majoring in political science means you’re going to work in politics, but this isn’t always the case. In fact, “Only 27% of college grads have a job related to their major.” That basically means that only about 1 in 4 people will do something within their major.
Everyone doesn’t pick what they’re going to do at 18 and then does that for the rest of their lives. And once I began to realize that, I became a lot less worried about my future. The world isn’t meant to be seen in black and white–color makes this world a much more beautiful place.
So when people ask me what I’m going to do when I graduate in eight short months, I smile and tell them I have no idea. When they respond in disbelief, I reassure them that I can do anything. While I’m a little nervous about where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing, I know that whatever it is, I’m going to be happy.