So many college graduates will be entering the workforce over the coming months, fresh off their four years of studying about the topic they intend to make a career for the rest of their lives. For some, that will be the case. They will find their dream job and they’ll love doing it until they retire. They’ll thrive, climb the corporate ladder, and live happily ever after.
But, for so many others, that’s not going to be the case.
Why? Well, it’s a fact that people will change careers 5-7 times during their life.
The reasons will vary, but there will be some common themes. As people get older those reasons could be family-related or location-related, but for students, the reasons have nothing to do with those factors.
A student may realize that their “dream job” in their “dream field” is nothing like what they thought. Working the 9-5 version of what they’ve studied just isn’t making them happy. In fact, they’re miserable. How do I know that? Because it happened to me.
I graduated from college, got that “dream job”, and was plain old miserable. Not many people could understand why because for many it was a dream job. But, I hated getting up to go to the job. I hated doing it. I hated everything about it. So, what did I do? Some deep soul searching and research to determine what I really wanted to do.
The result? After much studying, talking to others, and deep thinking, I knew that becoming an entrepreneur was the only right fit for me.
What happens to all those students who also find themselves in a similar rut after graduating college? They’re also going to need to find their Zen in one form or another. Maybe it’s becoming an entrepreneur or maybe it’s doing a complete 180 from where they are.
I spend a lot of time counseling people of all ages on their careers. I love helping students because they have so much at their disposal that they don’t realize. Many don’t yet have family responsibilities that may hinder them from truly exploring their passions. They can get out there and see what they really love, not what their diploma says they should.
They can take advantage of internships, spend time with people in their field of interest, and truly take the time to discover what they love. I advise them (and everyone else), to cast their nets wide and not rule anything out. Many times, the “last resort” or the option that may seem like the least likely fit is actually the best fit. They just need to take the time to discover and try things out.
It’s also important to try things on for size. Many students are less than impressed with their dream jobs because it doesn’t live up to the expectations. Maybe they didn’t spend enough time in the field or talk to the right people to give them the perspective they needed to make the right choice. Whatever the case, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they do this in their second go-around and spend the time in the trenches to see what real life in the field is like.
For those who have landed their dream job and truly love it, congrats! That’s amazing. For the rest, the exciting journey is just beginning. You have a blank canvas and can do anything you want. It can be scary, I know because I’ve been there. But, I can also tell you it’s well worth the ride.