this is the only career advice i’ve ever taken seriously
My goal is also not to feel that my life ends at age 40.
ive never understood people who say this? like, i get that choosing a career in your teens is stressful, but you dont have to stay in that career if you find out you hate it. and it shouldnt take you 20 years to find out you hate a job. if you dont like something after a year or two drop it and look at other options
i mean, this is why people change their major in college so many times. they think theyre gonna do one thing and they decide not to. thats just how people are—but there are very few cases where youre actually stuck.
Except that, at least in the culture of the area I was raised (and I’ve spoken to a good many elsewhere in the the States who say the same), that is not at all what it A) feels like, or B) you are told when you are actually in your teens. Is that the truth? Wellll, I would argue about the ‘not being stuck’ part, but essentially, I’d say yeah, it’s a hell of a lot more true that you can always start something new than not. The problem is that culturally speaking, this is not the message often given to teens.
Instead, you have situations where teens are constantly belittled and berated by family members and teachers, or at the very least are treated with offhand disgust and distaste if they don’t have some kind of grande, unchangeable picture of the future starting around Sophomore year (average age of fifteen) and ramping ever upward in inferiority until you graduate. And god forbid if you don’t immediately go to college, because then you will get condescended to by literally everyone except the select few in your age group who haven’t either. If you are in a situtaion where every single adult in your life is always asking you if you’ve “figured out your path yet” and gives you lectures if you display the slightest bit of hesitation, yeah, unless you’re the hardest willed mother fucker on the planet you will probably start internalizing that sense of urgency and necessity. Even when the adults in question just think they’re being helpful by “giving you a little nudge.”
And to be honest, I can’t even count how many friends I have who no longer have real choices about where they go or what they do because of this kind of pressure—…and to a point, I have to include myself in that. Sure, they, and I, could have told their entire families to go fuck themselves and lived on the street for awhile when their families gave them the “Go to school or get out” ultimatum immediately following graduation, but most of us tend to love our families even when they’re being horrible and that just isn’t a realistic thing to ask of a person. So instead, we find ourselves making bad choices and racking up college debt on paths that we chose not because we wanted them or really understood them, but because it was the “right thing to do.” Only it wasn’t. Then you find yourself with a lot of debt and/or a college degree in a field you either can’t seem to break into because you don’t really have any knack for it, or the industry is tanking in the economy and only wants people with 15 years of experience, or it doesn’t exist where you are and you don’t have the money to move cross country on the hope that shit might work out once you get there. So you find yourself stuck in a dead end job, or a career you had no choice in except that you were reasonably qualified for it and it pays enough to keep you afloat, with absolutely no net to fall back on and wishing, desperately, that just ONCE someone in your life had told you that it was OK not to have a fucking plan and you don’t have to make snap decisions about it.
I’m not trying to speak for everyone here, OK, and if you never felt like this, well, I envy the shit out of you. But given the amount of notes on this….well, I’m willing to bet I’m not entirely off point guessing there’s a few who feel the same as I do.