**Disclaimer: this post focuses on looking at educational opportunities as a next step to adulating. I realize that formal education isn’t for everyone, so coming soon is my post about what to do when post secondary isn’t for you**
When we are little everyone always asks “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, most children come up with a response whether it be a princess, an astronaut or a teacher.
We are taught from the get-go that we need to have a plan, I don’t think this is intentional, it’s just a great conversation starter with kids. As we get older, most of us go through a stage of panic when we get to our late teenage years and suddenly realize it takes a lot of work to be an astronaut or that we don’t enjoy being around kids enough to want to teach them every day, or sadly, being a princess is a little out of touch (there are only so many eligible bachelors with a royal title – I’ve checked!)
I very rarely give any advice on careers and choosing your own path is a decision you need to make but when I do give advice I only have two things to say:
•If you don’t know what you want to do, don’t stress, you do not have to do the same job for the rest of your life.
In fact, it’s very likely that you will switch careers up to 8 times before you retire.
•Find something you are good at or you like to do and make that your “backup plan”.
When I was getting ready to graduate high school I had no idea what I wanted to do, it was overwhelming. I knew that I was good at working with computers, enjoyed people, and wanted a job that I could do anywhere. So I took a course in Office Administration with a focus on technology. This certificate has opened so many doors for me professionally that I never would have even imagined.
Both pieces of advice really tie into the same idea – Do something! Don’t wait, try something new. If you are interested in working with your hands, find a trade you might enjoy – that ticket will open up doors you couldn’t possibly imagine. If you like to travel and organize, try working for a travel agency – it may not be your forever job but it’s an opportunity.
So, now that you know you don’t have to make a steadfast decision today, you are not allowed to use any excuses that do not make you accountable anymore. Excuses that are no longer okay to use include:
- School is too expensive, I can’t afford it or I don’t have the time to do school and go to work
There are so many options for funding out there, loans, a line of credit, grants, scholarships, RESPs, taking one course at a time – I had a cousin who took 15 years to finish her degree because she took 1-2 courses a semester until completed. Her determination got her the job she wanted before she even finished her degree. If she can do it with 2 kids, a full-time job, and running a house while attending school so can you!
School is too expensive
- I don’t know where to begin If you don’t know where your program is being offered, type it into Google. I’m currently taking online courses through a university that is across the country because there weren’t any programs being offered in my area. If you don’t know where to begin when deciding between a certificate, diploma, or degree and the idea of 4 years is intimidating, start with a certificate or the first apprenticeship block and go from there.
I don’t know where to begin
- I didn’t get good grades in high school so I won’t do well in college/university
If you graduated high school you can survive university, the establishments are there to teach you how to write better, think bigger, be more. You can’t know it all before you go or there wouldn’t be a point in going. There are also many resources while in University to assist you.
I didn’t get good grades
- I need to help out at home
This goes back to the first excuse, if you need to help out at home you can still do that. Just put aside some time for you. Talk to the people that you feel are keeping you at home, tell them your ideas and aspirations. 99% of the time they will be supportive.
I need to help out at home
- My job will miss me/needs me As for your job needing you, look at your paystub, is there an employee number on it? Then you are replaceable.
Okay no more excuses, print out this Future Aspirations worksheet, fill it out, start something! In the words of Earl Nightingale “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway”.