Don’t be afraid to change your career path

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 6, 2018

Choosing a future career can be stressful – especially as an 18-year-old just out of high school. I have had several friends tell me that when they completed high school, they had no idea what they really wanted to do.

Would they go to college? Would they pursue something in a technical field? Would they try to find a business that offers apprenticeships? Some had a general direction in mind, but many decided to go to college without knowing if it would actually help them achieve their goals. They went because they felt pressured to earn a college degree, or because they thought going the typical four-year college route would in and of itself give them an idea of what they wanted to do.

I went into college knowing what I wanted. I wanted to teach English overseas. It had been what I had dreamt of since I was in junior high.  I went through my four years of college, got a teaching certificate and went to Japan. The catch? After just a year I realized that line of work wasn’t for me. I missed living in the United States and I wanted to shift my focus more towards writing. So, after my contract had finished, I moved back and began working for the Item.

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Even though I was sure what I wanted to do for so many years, I ended up changing my mind and shifting gears. Now, whenever young friends and cousins approach me asking for advice, I encourage them to not make rash decisions. I tell them that there are several options besides the typical four-year college path. I also remind them that even if they choose a career, it’s never too late to change their mind. There are countless online and night courses that teach hands-on classes for those wanting to change careers. Take the time to see what feels right, and remember there are other options.