There was a recent article on Fast Company about how most of us pick the wrong career. Here’s a quote from it:
“Don’t follow your passion. Instead, follow your curiosity. What do you find interesting? The things that pique your curiosity aren’t random. They will point you to where you need to go.”
I definitely agree with this quote. I wish I’d had guidance anywhere close to this while I was in school, both in high school and in college, for what kind of career to aim for.
I went to a science and tech high school, so most things pointed toward science and tech careers, but even within those, the guidance counselor really wasn’t any help. I took interest inventories and they said I should either be an engineer or a secretary. Um, not helpful. I knew I didn’t want to be an engineer, and I knew I didn’t want to be a secretary.
So I went into computer science, because I really enjoyed and was good at my programming classes in high school. I kept enjoying them in college for most of the way through. Until I didn’t. Again, because of lack of guidance. I didn’t know that I could actually go in search of guidance, or even asking my professors for help. And I didn’t yet have the internet at my fingertips to do research.
When I was in school, I didn’t know about the sheer variety, the vast number of choices, of jobs and careers that were out there. I knew about some of them, mostly ones I didn’t want to do, like: doctor, lawyer, engineer, secretary, electrician, teacher, mid-level manager, etc. But I didn’t really think about meteorologist, surface pattern designer, author, or map maker.
These off-beat careers, that aren’t the norm in guidance counselors’ offices, were the ones that would interest me. But by the time I figured that out, I was long past graduating from college. And, by that point, I knew I would be happier working at home, which eliminated some career paths (especially pre-internet).
But I wish I’d thought to follow my interests toward a career. I did manage to graduate with a degree in American Studies, which was of great interest, but to this day I haven’t really done anything with it. A Bachelor’s degree in American Studies doesn’t get you anywhere, except maybe toward a Master’s degree in History.
Ah, well. We can’t live our lives efficiently, because most things are only clear in hindsight. I guess this post doesn’t really have a clear trajectory, and is a little rambly, but you get what you pay for I guess. =P
In short, follow where your interests lie, and they will take you where you need to go.
As usual, if you want to support my efforts at this blog, please consider buying your Amazon purchases through this affiliate link where I receive some financial benefit. Or go right to the source and send me money through PayPal. No pressure, though.