wandering in the forest

I Don’t Have a Career Path and Probably Never Will

I was a weird kid. When I was young, I couldn’t wait to turn 28. Most kids are usually fixated on their sweet 16 but 28 was the most important age to me. I felt like this was the age where you had everything figured out and you knew exactly where your life was going. I’m 28 today and I don’t even know what I want to do for a living. And I’m totally cool with that.

Some people my age have it all figured out. These people went to university knowing exactly what they wanted to do, landed a job in their field after graduation, and are now climbing up the ranks. I see my friends sporting titles on LinkedIn like Director and Senior Executive and it’s so impressive to me that they’ve really established themselves in their industry. They’ll keep climbing, gaining more skills and experience, and working towards that next promotion.

As for myself, I have a great job. I work in communications and while the material isn’t all that interesting sometimes, I get to write, design, and do creative things. I enjoy what I do and though I’m certainly not close to making bucket loads of money, my salary is enough to live comfortably. There are good days and bad at work but it’s not soul draining like many other office jobs can be.

I have a good job but it’s not what I want to do forever. I don’t actually know what I want to do forever because I’m fine taking on any job that will give me the time, energy, and resources to focus on the things that matter the most to me. I don’t want a job that leaves me feeling drained by the time I come home or turns me into a family-neglecting workaholic. My job is not a priority to me – it’s just a means to an end. My real priorities are my family and friends, my health, and doing the things that I truly enjoy, my passions in life. What I’m doing for work essentially doesn’t matter because it’s not something I prioritize. I’m fine with my job right now and if a cool new opportunity presents itself, then I’ll think about pursuing it even if it has nothing to do with communications. I’m a career floater, going from one opportunity to the next, wherever the wind takes me.

There are some people that are extremely career-focused and dream about the corner office and 6-figure paycheques. I’ve come to realize that I’m just not that type of person. It doesn’t mean I’m not driven or don’t have any goals for myself. If you ask me “Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?”, I’d tell you I see myself with a family, with a dog (obviously), exploring the world, pursuing whatever interest is interesting to me at that time, and crossing more things off my bucket list. As far as career goes, I see myself in whatever job allows me to enjoy and do all those things above.

Do you know what you want to do for the rest of your working life? Is career an important element in your life?

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9 Comments

  • Reply Ali @ Anything You Want August 21, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    My dad retired recently and says that he still doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life. I think it is a rare, lucky person who figures that out, and more rare still to figure it out early on in life. I certainly don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life, although I do think that my career will always be an important aspect of my life. I try to think of my career in small steps and keep my mind open to opportunities that might arise along the way.
    Ali @ Anything You Want recently posted…Five Friday FavoritesMy Profile

    • Reply Christine August 24, 2015 at 9:42 am

      It really is a rare thing. Many of us just “fall” into a job, unless you work in a highly specialized field like medicine or law. The good news for your dad is that he can do whatever he wants with his life now that he’s retired 🙂
      Christine recently posted…I Don’t Have a Career Path and Probably Never WillMy Profile

  • Reply Lisa Boo August 24, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I still have no idea what I want to do with my life either! When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a writer. Then I went to University and wanted to teach Spanish. Now I have a “fine for now” office job that pays the bills. I’m able to leave my work at the office when I go home, which is nice, but I hope that my next job really excites me. Where I am right now is definitely a means to an end; one of my New Year’s resolutions was to get a higher-paying job in a different field (was at a non-profit before) to help me pay off my debt faster. And I did! And I am! Right now I’m just focused on paying off my student loans in November and travelling a bit in February and I need my current job to do both of those things. After that, who knows!

    I should also mention that I have been working the same weekend side-hustle for the past 2+ years and I absolutely adore it. It makes the soul-sucking office job so much easier to endure.
    Lisa Boo recently posted…Welcome Back, EnthusiasmMy Profile

    • Reply Christine August 25, 2015 at 9:50 am

      We really can’t complain about our jobs if it gives us the freedom to do the other more important things in life 🙂 Once you’re debt-free and aren’t as constrained by money as you are now, it’s nice to know that you have some flexibility to settle down with a job that really interests you. A nice paycheque would just be a bonus!
      Christine recently posted…I Don’t Have a Career Path and Probably Never WillMy Profile

  • Reply Dave August 24, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Yep, I’m the same way. I’ve managed to fall into a job that is going pretty well at the moment, but it doesn’t strike my passion. I no longer imagine some “dream job” that does strike my passion, though. That’s not a bad thing – I’ve just realized I find my happiness in other areas of life.
    Dave recently posted…4 Ways to Save Money When You Travel to EuropeMy Profile

    • Reply Christine August 25, 2015 at 9:57 am

      I’ve stopped searching for my “dream job” since I’ve come to the realization that I might not have one. I have so many passions and interests (multipotentialite as they call it) that I’ll bounce from different jobs that identify with me at the time. If it starts to feel stale, I’ll find another one.
      Christine recently posted…I Don’t Have a Career Path and Probably Never WillMy Profile

  • Reply Alyssa @ GenerationYRA August 25, 2015 at 9:34 am

    I definitely do not have set what I want to do for the rest of my life, and I am A-okay with that! 🙂 A lot of the opportunities/work experiences I’ve taken on in life have come from connections, or people I met who encouraged me along the way. I’m a big believer that many people you meet & choose to surround yourself with will help you shape your definition of “success,” which ultimately will take you down many different paths in life that you could have never imagined! I’m also working on living life intentionally the way I dream retirement would be like. Even if I am in an office from 8-5pm, how can I maximize the other hours to enjoy life to the fullest? I think this is a great post and that everyone doesn’t have it quite figured out and that’s the beauty of it. 🙂

  • Reply L. Sims February 18, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I’m 40 & don’t know?what career will give me the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping/contributing in a good way.

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