So You Graduated...And You Still Don't Know What You Want To Do? | Inspiration Indulgence

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

We have been asked this ever since we were little kids. At first it seemed so easy; we were told we could be anything we want. We were going to be astronauts, authors, scientists, and actresses. I myself was going to be a “book illustrator” until I realized a few years down the road that I had no artistic ability, like, WHATSOEVER.

This weekend, I ran into a woman whose children I used to babysit for as a teenager. In our conversation catching up, she mentioned how she was switching careers because she “still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up.”  This had me pondering about how as a society, we are constantly pressured to “pick a career” and stick with it. I’ve seen schools pressure even middle school students to start thinking about a career. I love the idea that we should keep our children focused on their future, but I think that we shouldn’t put so much pressure on them to figure it all out right away.

I had no idea what I wanted to do for the longest time. It took me six major changes and my final year of college until I finally figured out the path I wanted to go down. (You can read my story in detail here.) Even now that I have chosen to pursue school counseling and am admitted into a Master’s program, who’s to say that my interests won’t change 20 years down the road? Perhaps I’ll pick up a hobby that eventually turns into another career on the side, or I’ll get bored and choose a completely different route.

To any adolescents, college students, or anybody in general is stressing out about picking a career, here’s my advice:  

I think that it is perfectly okay to live your entire life without figuring out when you want to be.

Why? Because as people, we are very dynamic. We are constantly changing and evolving with our environments and age. Because you think you are set in your job or career right now doesn’t mean that you have to stick with it forever, or that you can’t switch it up.

My boyfriend of two years went to the University of Minnesota. At the time, he had no idea what he wanted to do, so he chose the only major that the university offered that mildly interested him, geography. After college, he searched around for jobs involving land surveying but couldn’t find exactly what he was looking for. To keep himself busy, he joined the volunteer fire department and the local ambulance service, not knowing that it would eventually turn into a passion of his. He went to a Technical college and became a certified EMT-IV. I don’t think that at the University of Minnesota he ever would have imagined going back to school to pursue something different, but who says you have to have it all figured out when you are that age? Even if he has some loans to pay off, he loves his life, and his passionate about what he is doing.

So how do YOU eventually figure out what your passion is?

Practice, practice, practice my friends. I didn’t know my true strengths and weaknesses until I played around with different jobs and internships. There were jobs that I thought I would like until I acquired experience and realized that they just weren’t “me.” Career assessments are a great way to learn more about yourself too, but I believe the number one secret is to work experience.

To those people who knew exactly what they wanted to do at a young age and stuck with it throughout their whole lives, I commend you! But lovelies, please don’t feel pressured that you ever have to know exactly where you’re heading.

Because that’s all part of journey, loves.

Happy Monday!

Xoxo,

  • I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. All I know, and all I’ve ever known, is that I want to write and travel. I’ve had a few detours, and I’m still figuring life out. But I think that for me, life is about self-discovery. I have tons of passions, and so there’s time to learn more about myself and discover new things.

    • Exactly, it is all about self discovery. Like I’m starting my master’s program in June, but I still love to write. I hope that I can continue my blog during it all..I put a lot of effort into my blog so I’m a little worried. I love traveling as well! You should be a travel blogger :) hehe. I love travel blogs, but I don’t know how people can afford to just keep traveling!! That’s great you have so many passions; that’s a GOOD problem to have! You are so young yet, you will figure it out. I have faith that we both will :)

  • funny.. this has been on my mind for quite awhile now.. glad to see I am not the only one who feels and thinks this way though.

    • Of course! I think it is completely normal :)

  • That’s a very nice article Chelsea. Actually, i am very unhappy with my current job as a Software Engineer. I so wana quit. I tried my best. Rude boss and no happiness in my job. After leaving university, i wanted to become a teacher but never got chance.

    So i took the decision tomorrow. I am going to resign. Whatever is going to happen will happen. Tomorrow, i am resigning. Life has been pathetic and i am currently suffering from depression which is hard for me.

    • Thanks, Suraj. I hope that you find happiness, whatever path that leads you down. I think that when one door closes, another door opens. You just have to go with your heart and have faith that you will find your way. We learn through trial and error! Best of luck, I am rooting for you.

  • I graduated 2 years ago and I still don’t know what I want to be….I hardly know what my dream job is anymore! :/ The struggle gets worse by the minute! But I just take it one day at a time.

    • Thanks for commenting! I truly believe that learning is a continuous journey of growth. I think that it is perfectly okay if we change our minds and are branching out to try new things! I’m 1.5 years behind you :)

  • I realised later on that engineering is not my passion. I am going to opt for teaching now, first gona enroll myself in a PGCE course for teaching. After working 2 years, its now i realise it. I joined university to become a teacher but forced to be an engineer. Trust me sometimes it hurts, i did not follow what i loved :(.

    • Aw well you know it’s NEVER too late to discover your passions!! I believe you can still create a happy life for yourself :)