I think people should test drive their careers.
Especially these days with the cost of college entering the stratosphere. I’m not so much talking about the generic MBA degrees and the like, they seem to fit in with many industries and occupations.
I’m talking about the more specialized career paths.
I’ve got a friend who’s an artist. And somewhere along the line, either in middle school or early high school, she decided she wanted to be an art therapist. Sounds like a great job, right?
She gets to be around art and help people.
But the reality is, after all of that training, she started a career that was not what she thought it would be. And she really didn’t dig it.
I feel like I’m old enough to have gained some wisdom. And my suggestion for young people is to try jobs on like you try on clothes. Would you ever spend $100 on jeans that you didn’t try first?
Of course not.
And I like the gap year that some young people are taking between high school and college. That’s the perfect time to experiment.
For instance, if you want to be a doctor, perhaps get a part-time job at a hospital or medical center. That way, you can see what a doctor’s life is really like.
Maybe you want to be a chef. There’s almost always restaurant jobs available.
Law firms, CPA’s, investment companies, computer programmers, and others have internship programs that you can do for the summer.
People who want to be teachers can grab a job at a summer camp.
Even if you don’t do the gap year thing, some of these jobs can be gotten for the summer or even after school.
And then there are the trades.
The nice thing about most of the trades is they have an apprenticeship. So, you actually start doing the job that you’re learning about. And you get paid. The best part is, if you’re learning plumbing, you get to hang out with plumbers and see what their lives are like.
You get to decide if that’s the kind of life you’d like too.
If you do like the job, keep going. If not, quit and try something else.
And remember, it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
I’ve known a lawyer who became a music teacher, a killer guitarist who’s now a professor of organic chemistry, a ballerina who became a respiratory therapist, a painter who became a musician, and a CPA that became a bartender.
So, get out there and experiment.
Try on some jobs and try on some jeans.
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