We live in a world where the expected path for any one of us is generally set out from the moment we are born. We will spend some time as a child with no obligations at all, before going to school, and then university. When we come out of university, we will take a job based on our degree, and then work our way up the ladder. With time for a few sideways moves, the accepted outcome of all of this is that we will retire in our 70s from a high-ranking job, and enjoy the fruits of our labours.
At present, though, it’s becoming ever clearer that this path isn’t how it’s going for most people. Statistics show that people increasingly don’t work for the same company for much over three years. University leavers rarely walk into jobs that their degrees would seem to have set them up for. And this shouldn’t be a surprise – because if you’ve followed a path that was set for you from the beginning, it may have failed to take into account the way you have changed even in the last few years.
We continue to develop even after graduating, and that’s why you should continue to learn – because that can really lead to the career dream.
How do you know what you want from life when you’ve only lived at home?
You start a university degree a few months after leaving school, and for most of us, it’s the first time we’ve ever lived away from home. So why are we studying a subject that we picked – in some cases – shortly after our 16th birthdays? The A-Levels or other exams that you passed to get into university were picked when you were a child, and living away from home moulds you in such a demonstrable way that by the time you have graduated, you may have moved on from what you wanted to do all those years ago. So you should continue to find new things to learn – things which reflect the person you are now.
You can combine knowledge and experience
There is often something of a vicious circle when it comes to trying to get the job of your dreams: you apply for something, and are told that you, unfortunately, lack the experience to do it. How do you get the experience if you’re not able to get a foot in the door?
One way to work towards a position that uses your skills is to start in a junior role but learn alongside it; as an office junior for an export/import firm you can study law and then aim to join the legal team, or while working in the fuel business you can become an expert in Oil & Gas Accounting and command a higher wage and more interesting job that way. There are always alternative paths to the top.
Your career path doesn’t have to be mapped out point by point
As has already been noted, most people don’t stay in a job for much longer than three years these days. For one reason or another, we’re in a period of time where calmly laid-out plans have crumbled in the face of events. Even if you are in the middle of qualifying for one job right now, if you have fleeting thoughts of another field, it’s a good time to at least explore qualifications in that field. You can never know too much!
Images from Pixabay