Thousands of dollars in loans and four years of building credibility only to find out you want to pursue something totally different. I am one of many who have experienced this, and it has probably been my most heart sinking realization since college. To anyone who feels the same, here is why you shouldn’t…
I won’t sugarcoat it – the thought of pursuing a different field is exhausting. For most of you, this means going through school again, hours of training or volunteering, and starting at the bottom (maybe for the second time) in an entry-level position. Starting over doesn’t come with a remote for rewinding, or better yet, fast forwarding. It’s easy to think that precious time has been lost. You have taken the path on the right, when all this time you should have been on the left.
It’s especially hard to change paths if you deem the work you’ve already done as time wasted. You may feel tempted to take the easier and shorter route, which is continuing what you’ve already started. For instance, to continue working and growing in a field in which you don’t find fulfillment. It doesn’t sound satisfying, but somehow you feel stuck.
I can tell you from experience that you are wrong – you aren’t stuck. Remaining on the path that your major has put you on is entirely up to you. Not all employers are looking for candidates with the same college major and experience. In fact, many employers are starting to see that it’s not so much your degree that matters, but the skills you have to show.
I graduated college with a degree in Social Psychology and I had a more difficult time finding jobs in that field than anything else. Two years, countless applications, and three retail jobs later, I am now a Marketing Coordinator and Content Writer. To be honest, I would have never imagined being in this field – not because I didn’t want to, but because I thought it wasn’t in the cards for me.
It took months, but eventually I got a job in this field because I stopped confining myself. I quit applying for jobs that fit my degree but not my interests, and put that time towards creating sample work and building a portfolio in the field I wanted to be in. I was working random part-time jobs, but in the long run it sure as hell beat growing in a field I don’t enjoy.
When it comes to pursuing your passion, time is not of the essence. Do not limit yourself by worrying about wasted time. It doesn’t matter what you studied in college; you will always find ways to relate it to anything you do.
Most importantly, do not regret the choices you have made. If you had not chosen the field of study you did, you may not have realized that your passions lie elsewhere.
If I know myself as well as I think I do, I’d say that no matter what I studied in college, there’s a good chance I would’ve looked back at some point wondering if it was the right choice.
Our twenties play such a critical role in shaping our futures that graduates are constantly afraid of making the wrong decision. Today’s job market is so competitive, it seems like anyone who picked the right path the first time will always be one step ahead of the game. It’s no wonder recent graduates feel pressured to choose a field, grow in it – and do it quickly.
Reality check: not everyone finds their calling right away. And many of us will find it at a time that isn’t ideal. But when you do find your calling (even if it’s not on the path you are currently taking) jump the track and go for it. There is no right time to start pursuing something you love – there is just NOW.
In the end, you can’t go wrong with putting time into something that makes you happy. The real waste of time is going through life wishing you had done something else.