5 answers

Im 20 years old, and i am lost as far as what i want to do for a career.

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I am really into cars and racing, and anything that has to do with the outdoors, such as fishing, hunting, and many more. I love to build and work on things. growing up i was always told work shouldn't feel like work if you really love it. I would like to own a small online business in the future, but don't want to depend on that as a income. I just don't know how to find what career is right for me. #job #business #career-choice

5 answers

Eric’s Answer


The short-answer is, you can't go wrong....really. Your 20s, and really your 30s are pretty much about self-discovery. Many college students have angst around a career choice that they think will be final, and it has to be based on their major. In reality, the bulk of our careers seems non-linear as we take many different jobs in different functions, industries, and locations. On the relationship to a major, only ~1/4 of college grads even get a job related to their major. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/05/20/only-27-percent-of-college-grads-have-a-job-related-to-their-major/?noredirect=on)

A great quote from a poem, that I loved when I saw it re-purposed for Careers, is : "Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." It means, traveler, there is no path. Paths are made from walking.

The truth is, there are some linear or established paths. Accounting, Engineering, Nursing, Law. You can pursue a path and become an expert. Very few of us go that deep. You'll try some stuff, just learn from it. The only mistake you can make it is repeating a previous one. i.e. You don't like your job at a law firm, but it paid well. You took another job you liked a bit more, but paid less. You then got offered another job at a different law firm that paid well, and you didn't like it again. In that scenario, that's what I'd call making the same mistake twice.

Great answer Eric. I love the quote you shared. Sometimes, we may even start down a path we thought we wanted to follow, but then new paths open up and can lead to great things we didn't expect.

Katie’s Answer


I would like to comment on the advice you heard growing up.

I love my job most of the time. I get to solve problems, help my team learn as they progress through their careers, and travel to some interesting places. There are still days it feels like work, though.

There are days with lots of paperwork, flight delays, and tough conversations that are really not fun and make my job feel like work. I believe everyone has those moments in their job.

When trying to decide what you want to do for work, be realistic. There will be good days and bad days in every job. Look for something where the good is in the majority.

You may want to explore what is offered at your local technical school related to your interests. They may have tools that will help you choose your career path, and they may be able to help you find a job once your have finished your education.

Katie recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out your local technical school—explore your interests and take advantage of their career counseling resources

Kim’s Answer


Hi Harley!

So, what are you doing right now? You seem to gravitate towards things where you are able to evaluate and make your own decisions, am I right? Can you handle being supervised, or do you have trouble with that? It's really wide open to you. I am older and tend to gravitate towards the "safe" jobs, with the steady stream of income, benefits, etc. But the people who really get ahead tend to do it by taking chances (calculated risks). The ones that immediately come to mind would be in the outdoor travel and tourism industries, including hunting guide, park ranger, game warden. There is still a need for people who can fix their own equipment rather than running off to a repair shop! Or, if you want to start a business, consider engine/motor repair - jet skis, boats, etc, not just lawn mowers! Some of these jobs may be seasonal, so you may need to consider stability as well. Government jobs (parks, etc) tend to be more secure, but, don't always pay as well. People tend to move between jobs an awful lot nowadays, without it being frowned on like it used to be, so you might want to sort of explore for a few years and see where it takes you!

The on-line business idea is something I only dabbled in, so can't help there.

Pam’s Answer


I would recommend taking a personality assessment to find the career category that would be best suited for you. TypeFocus offers a good one. Answer the questions honestly and go with your first instinct. TypeFocus's can be found at https://v6.typefocus.com/

LaVerne’s Answer


You are on the right track by even using this medium to ask questions about your goals in life.  I would suggest networking and talking to others that have common interests as you and ask them about their jobs and how they started out and how they like it.  There are a bunch of networking sites that are available nowadays via the internet (such as this one).  Also, I would suggest going to your community college and seeing a counselor for their suggestions.  Be honest to yourself about the path you want to go because there are so many opportunities but finding it can be difficult at the start.