I always thought it was crazy we’re expected to know what field of study we want to pursue by the age of 17. Here I am, eight years later, still exploring my interests and dabbling in areas of business I never knew existed. Thankfully, 8 years ago I chose a path that led me where I am today. But like many others, what I studied in university isn’t the exact career path I’ve chosen (or landed in) now. It’s next to impossible to land your first job as your dream job, so don’t stress if you aren’t where you want to be just yet!
1. You’ve Got Debt to Pay
In my area of study, unpaid internships were the norm, and I desperately needed the experience. For me, a regular week included commuting to class, surviving an unpaid internship and working as a barista for income. Most days I would head to class, then head to my internship or shift at the coffee shop; I’m still baffled how I pulled that off – today it’s a struggle to get to the gym after a regular work day!
As I’m sure you can tell, 2-3 shifts making minimum wage as a barista wasn’t making a significant dent into my debt or adding to my savings. Many of us are in the same boat – we come out of school with debt, anxiety, and pressure to find the dream job we’ve just spent thousands of dollars pursuing. Because your dream job will take some time to see (and may include climbing the corporate ladder), many of us take the first job we’re offered right out of school, and that’s okay.
2. You Really Don’t Know What You Want, Or What’s Out There
I worked in many fields including public relations, communications, and studio production. It’s because of these various positions that I discovered what I like, and what I don’t. Let me tell you – what they teach you in class can’t compare to real life experiences. You genuinely need to work in the industry to discover if it’s even something you truly love.
Today, I work at an event planning and staffing agency that specializes in experiential marketing. Less than 4 years ago, I had no idea what experiential marketing was. The remarkable thing about choosing a career is the constant change and development of new positions. Where you find yourself working in 10 years may be in a position that hasn’t even been created yet.
3. You’re Constantly Changing
If you look in your closet, I’m positive you’ll find an item of clothing you hate. But at one point, this was something you truly wanted. Along with fashion trends, we are continually changing. What you once loved may not be something you love today – and that’s okay! This is what keeps life interesting: our desire to explore and fall in love with new things.
I started in the industry I am today on the front lines. In this situation, I was working onsite at events as a brand ambassador, employed by an agency and their client to deliver a premium brand experience to current and potential consumers. From there, I was hired by the agency to work as an admin assistant. Within the next 3 years, I progressed from part-time admin assistant to Marketing Manager. Through these various roles, I had the opportunity to plan, staff, and manage events in addition to content creation and sales.
It’s great to find a company that allows you to tackle various parts of the business; this expands your skill set and helps you find your niche.
4. Your Dream Job May Keep You from Your Dream Job
Wait, what? How can that be? When we’re younger, we usually have a position in mind when someone asks what we want to be when we grow up. From doctor to dentist, the answers were quite limited. And that’s the problem – focusing on one dream job ultimately limits you. My dream job was to be an entertainment host (I grew up watching Entertainment Tonight), but after learning more about studio production, I realized it wasn’t something I enjoyed as much as I expected myself to.
Don’t put pressure on yourself if what you think you want to turn out wrong. We have so much time to learn more, try more, and do more. By confining yourself to a specific title, you’ll limit many other opportunities that come your way. Don’t be afraid to take on something that might not directly correlate with your master plan; some of the best things in our life happen by chance!
So, there you have it; what you’re doing now may or may not be your dream job. But the great news is, your opportunities are endless – and you’ll discover yourself having dream jobs in fields you never saw yourself in before!
These two books aided my perception of success and encouraged me to slow down, stop stressing and be aware of my accomplishments.
The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK by Mark Manson
To try different careers, you need to keep learning! I love Hubspot for Ebooks, guides & more: https://www.hubspot.com/resources