From about age 16 we hear this question over and over. “What do you want to do with your life?” “What degree are you getting?”
It’s difficult, what you choose at 18 or 20 decides a lot about your lifestyle. Maybe you’ll aim to be a traveling DJ with partying lifestyle. It’s flashy and fun but involves all your weekends and most evenings. You’re your own boss but have to hustle hard in the beginning to bring in clients. Or maybe you decide you want to be an attorney, you’ll need 3 years of law school and a lot of debt. You graduate in the middle of your class and struggle to get a job that will cover your living expenses and your debt. Or maybe you decide to go into banking, it was great at first but now is going automated or overseas.
You get the picture, your career needs to last 30-40 years! That’s a huge commitment! You need to think longevity. Can your industry last 40+ years? Is your career mostly age/appearance related? What is the growth opportunity? Are you going to enjoy your work enough to do this for decades? These plus many more questions have to be carefully thought out for your future!
The timeline goes something like this:
20s: finish college, flail around trying to figure out what works then find a niche. Start at the bottom.
30s:grind out security in your field/job. Maybe do other adult things like marriage/family.
40s: Some progression/growth opportunity may have occurred at this point, but still trucking along.
50s: start really preparing for retirement and sending kids off to college.
The point is that for most of us, delaying choosing a career or even frequently changing careers past your 20s is detrimental for financial/personal stability.
You can’t spend your 20s and 30s working in odd n end jobs and expect the same return as someone who settled in a career at 25.
This post is not to offend those living alternative lifestyles that appreciate freedom over security. I just want to encourage everyone to be very conscious in their choices. It’s easy to start off in a job with you thought will be temporary but end up with 6 years in the hole with little advancement. It’s easy to keep changing directions and then end up really nowhere but at scratch again.
What you choose as your career matters. You can switch your major a few times or change a few jobs but eventually….you choose a career or your career chooses you.
I went to my 10 year high school reunion and it just a bunch of adults standing around saying where did the time go? As a follow up, I’m going to go over goal setting and achieving in another post. Hopefully more of us will be able to tackle our goals and be able to be proud of how our time was spent