The One Career Advice That Changed My Perspective

Have you ever had someone say something to you and you get hit in the gut. The kind of advice or idea that you had never even thought of before but makes so much sense. I had that advice and it changed my career path, my college major, and how I look at jobs as a twenty something.

It's personal story time on the blog today in hopes that I can share a little of what I learned.

Let's get to it!

The One Career Advice That Changed My Perspective

When I went to college I didn't go in with a degree and career in mind. I knew going to school was the "smart" thing to do and just a natural path after finishing high school. I had completed an associates degree along with my high school diploma so not continuing on felt like a waste.

So I went to a university with the plan of getting a very general bachelors and then getting out and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. How I was going to make money.

It wasn't until the end of my first year when I took a creative writing class that things started to change. It was the first class I started to actually be invested in. I no longer cared about my grade but rather actually getting better and learning the material. Part of the class curriculum was to meet with the professor outside of class to talk about your work halfway through the course.

We met for coffee and started chatting about my work, then writing in general. I mentioned my interest in creative writing (I had written poetry since I was like 12) but also my plan to just get a general studies degree and get out to do something else, something that made money. The thought or advice she gave me was something that has stuck with me since and made me change my entire outlook. It was something to the effect of, if you are going to do what you don't want to do no matter what for the money, shouldn't you start by trying to do the thing you want to do? Then, if it doesn't work out, go back and do what you were already planning on doing. She used this kind of example:

If you're family wants you to be a lawyer and you want to be a photographer. You're saying you will probably just become a lawyer in the end because you don't know if being a photographer would work out. So, why wouldn't you try to become a photographer (or whatever it is that other thing you want to do is) firstthen if it doesn't work out you can go back to school and be the lawyer. If being a photographer doesn't work out, you didn't loose anything because you were always going to be a lawyer. But if it does work out, you've done what you actually wanted to do!

I hope this is making sense! I'm realizing now it is much harder to get across through typing/reading. Basically both options end with being a lawyer but in one scenario you at least get to try the other way and have a chance of it working out.

If you are already planning on having to just "settle" with the job that makes money, why not wait until you've tried the job that "doesn't"?

It made sense to me, though I had never thought of it like that. It made so much sense to me that I changed my major pretty much based on that conversation. She mentioned a new writing degree was being added to our university next year and I went for it. It only extended my schooling two semesters and I was the very first one of my school to graduate with that degree.

The rest of my college days I was learning about something I actually cared about. I was putting my efforts towards something I actually wanted to do. Instead of just a general degree that would be me that, "has bachelors degree" checkmark on a resume'.

I never did have a "lawyer-ish" job lined up before that conversation, I just knew I'd need a "real job" instead of whatever my dream job would be. I didn't really know what my dream job was but I knew what it wasn't.

It wasn't a 9-5, it wasn't a waiting-for-the-weekend job, and it wasn't one where I didn't feel fulfilled. So since that conversation, I've pretty much set myself to try for the job I want, whatever exactly that may be, (right now it's this little internet space) before I settle for the one I don't. Most of the time if you are really going for the one you want you won't let anything stand in your way, and your backup plan will always stay that, backup.

I encourage you if you had/have a dream job that you never gave a chance ask yourself, why? Was money the factor? Other people's opinions? Or expectations?

In our twenties everyone wants to give us their opinion, their tips. Heck! That's what I even do to you guys! But you really have to figure out what works for you!

Not your friends, your parents, or even your significant other. What makes YOU feel fulfilled and on fire in life? What lights you up? If it's not where your at right now, I'm sorry friend but you need to make some scary changes to rectify that!

Good luck! :)

Lydia

Let's chat?

Have you ever had a conversation or advice that changed your perspective?

Do you constantly go back and forth on going after a dream or playing it safe?

What are you (we) so afraid of?!