I had a conversation with a good friend yesterday about how to fully optimize our 20’s. It’s really fascinating just how crucial this decade is, for it really does shape the rest of your adult life.
The issue in question was that he had absolutely no interest in the profession he had chosen, and had just one year left to finish school, but he is putting it off because he doesn’t want to commit to something he has no interest in and be stuck in a career that pigeonholes him.
I hear this a lot from friends and colleagues. The idea of settling in a career you may have chosen when you were 19 terrifies people because they now know the reality of what that career will look like.
That said, here is the advice I gave him, and maybe this will help you if you are worried about the same thing.
Your career is not set in stone.
The truth is that most people who graduate with a degree in something like psychology, biology, philosophy, etc. end up doing something completely unrelated to their field by the time they graduate. Is this ideal? No, but it can lend comfort to people who feel it is too late to start over.
It’s not too late to start over.
Even if you don’t have the resources financially, there are plenty of efficient ways to go back to school in your 20’s part time and get a degree in something you prefer. The key is to go ahead and finish getting the degree you’ve already worked for. That way, you can hopefully find a job in your 20’s that will support you as you fine-tune what exactly it is that interests you.
Sometimes we over-think how our lives will turn out, and this can cause panic. Keep in mind that almost every career starts you at the bottom, and you’ll probably hate it at first. If you’re patient and work your way to the top, however, you will most likely find yourself enjoying your career because it is something you’re good at.
If you’re skilled at something and have the education, it is far wiser to stick it out with that career until you have the resources to change gears and try something you believe will make you happier. Until then, hobbies and side projects are the best ways to keep you going.
Your 20’s should be a time of exploration and adventure, and it’s your time to prove yourself. Just make sure that you are growing throughout.
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