Many people have this preconceived idea of how life is supposed to go. We’re supposed to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives at age 18 so we can choose a college and major. We’re supposed to graduate and get a killer job in our field of study and stay in this field until we retire.
But, here’s what reality tells us: 80% of Americans and 75% of Canadians are unhappy with their jobs. In 2011, 32% of workers said they wanted to leave their jobs.
While we don’t know at what age these people decided on their careers, we do know that job dissatisfaction is pretty high. I can tell you that I’m pretty sure some of this has to do with the fact that people feel pressured to have it all figured out in their twenties.
If you look in the mirror, you’ve changed from yesterday and from last year and from ten years before. So, why can’t your career goals and interests change too? I’m here to tell you that they can and that it’s perfectly normal if they do.
I was one of those people who graduated from university and scored that dream job. The problem was I soon learned it wasn’t my dream...not even close. I was in my twenties and I knew I didn’t want it anymore, but the problem was I didn’t know what career I wanted. After all, I was in my twenties and I was supposed to have it all figured out, right?
Obviously, I didn’t. So, instead of looking at the situation as a glass-half-empty, I started to look at it as a glass-half-full. I had the freedom to choose any other job I wanted. I was in my twenties which meant I had a lot of time ahead of me to nail down that dream job. I discovered that it was okay to not know what I wanted to do because my options were endless.
That’s what I’m here to tell you. If you’re in your twenties and feel pressured to have it all figured out, don’t. It’s more than okay to take time to figure out where your passion lies. This will lead you to your dream job or maybe more than one dream job. I am proof that this is possible.
Think about all the excitement and all the journeys you can take by not figuring it out in your twenties. There is so much out there...things you don’t even know about yet.
Exploring and having some trial and error is how you determine what path you should take. Remember, there’s more than one path that can get you to the same destination no matter what age you are.
Jennifer Turliuk is an entrepreneur, writer, and speaker who has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, Forbes, and more. She is the author of How to Figure Out What to Do With Your Life (Next). She lives in Toronto. Learn more here.