A question we all ask ourselves

Hi petty panel!

I am a teenager, an almost grown-up but not an adult, and I have a dilemma. I am currently in high school and am attending a program that keeps my options open for the future, because the fact is I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL! How do people figure out what they want to work with when they are adults and have to start performing? I mean, I really take my studies seriously and I want to achieve something in life, but how do I know what I want to do after high school? How does anyone know what they are good at? Should I work with something I am good at or something I am interested in? Or should I work with something that I find challenging? How do I learn about different jobs? I mean, there’s one thing to read about a job description, but how does a job look like in practice? How do I know if I will enjoy working as a doctor, a journalist, a construction worker or a graphic designer? Any advice or thoughts or reflections on this matter would be a life saver!

Confused soul

Hi, Confused soul!

First of all, this is a very good question and we appreciate it!

I want to tell you one thing. You don’t have to know right now. I promise you that the majority of people your age don’t have a clue of what they want to be when they are older. We naturally assume that as soon as we are adults, our lives will be figured out. We assume that everything will be clear when we are adults, but it won’t be. I realize that this does not answer your question, but I want you to know that you are in no way alone in thinking like this.

Naturally, I would advise you to speak to the career counselor and tell them of your worries. They might not give you an answer or they might give you a better answer. I don’t know! It’s important that you talk about this with someone so that you don’t end up unhappy. Some people are ‘lucky’ and enjoy their first job so much that they decide that that is what they want to do with their life. Other people are not that ‘lucky’ and might not get a job they enjoy until they are in their 30’s or even 40’s.

//Desperate Debbie

Hello, Confused soul

This is a question I think a lot of people ask themselves growing up and it can sometimes seem absolutely impossible to answer. When I was four I wanted to be a cat, needless to say that was something I later had to give up. Now to say that I have everything figured out is of course a big statement but I know what I would want right now. What I would recommend to do is thinking “what do I think is so much fun that I would want to do it every day?” and then work on that. If you find something, start working on becoming good at that and soon enough you’ll have a plan. I hope this helps you!

// Positive Phoebe

Hello young teenager!

So this is a very open question and every single person has a personalized answer to this question that probably everyone has asked themselves in their lives. You should keep in mind that some people only figure out what they want to do when they are in their seventies or even older. Even if you think that if you choose a specific path you will not be able to swerve away once in awhile or even choose to walk an extremely different one.

I have to admit, I’m in the same situation as you. I also chose a program to decide what I actually want to do later in life. So I started small and started working my way up. Firstly I asked myself what subjects I’m interested in, then I looked through pages with different fields of work and wrote down the ones I could picture myself working at based on my interests. I created mindmaps answering questions such as “Why do I want to work with this?” and what I need to do to get in that program and then the path becomes different based on the individual.

It is important that you enjoy what you’re doing, even if you’re good at something but do not enjoy it imagine a lifetime doing that just because you knew that you would become successful and earn a lot of money doing it. This will realistically have no actual value to you when you get old and feel like you have done nothing with your life but followed a dream many people think they should have, to get rich. Make it your life, not someone else’s.

Don’t beat yourself up about it or stress way too much thinking what if I made a mistake, what if I chose the wrong job for me. It is never too late to change your job, think of it as a learning opportunity. Besides, there is almost nothing in this world you cannot learn and master so if you find your passion for something, don’t let it go. Pursue it, learn, fail and get yourself up again. Don’t forget, I’m sure many people still do not know what they are doing.

If you want to know how a job looks like in practice I can tell you internships are lifesavers! If you are truly passionate about a job you could even do it for free by getting in contact with people that are working in that field. Besides, getting job experience is not only valuable for your CV. You will learn how to do your job hands on and that way you will come to a conclusion. You will find out if you really do find that field of work enjoyable.

// Helpful Hazel

One Comment
  1. I love this sort of format! The petty-panel is probably my favorite section on this website. Thank you for reaching out to people. Keep up the good work!

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