It’s okay to not have your career figured out when you graduate | The Triangle

It’s okay to not have your career figured out when you graduate

“What do I want to do after I graduate?” This is the question many university students ask themselves as they prepare to finish school. Some students have been confident about their career path since a young age, but for most people that is not the case. For most folks a career is something that is fluid. You may start with a vague idea of what you enjoy doing, but as you learn more about yourself and the opportunities out there, you may transition into a field that feels more aligned to your passions.

For the students who are worried about figuring out their career path before graduation please remember this: it is okay to not be 100% sure what you want to do after you earn your degree. It is also okay to change your mind over time. Some people who majored in geology go back to nursing school. Some people endure a vigorous course load for an engineering degree, then realize after a few years in the field that teaching is actually their passion. A job does not have to define who you are as a person, and it is okay to evolve in your career as you grow as a person.

There are a number of important statistics to keep things in perspective. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the average person holds 12.4 jobs between the ages of 18 and 54. Additionally, approximately 30% of the total workforce will now change jobs every 12 months and workers between the ages of 18 and 24 will hold an average of 5.7 jobs during that time of their lives.

Do not stress yourself out about what comes after graduation. Seek out opportunities that you enjoy doing and resonate with your passions. Our generation is fortunate to have so many career opportunities, and the ability to switch careers quickly. History majors can get A+ certified in a few months and get an entry level job in IT. If you need to work at Starbucks for a year while you figure out what comes next, that is okay, too. I am personally going to graduate school for a Master’s in Public Health; a field I never thought I would be working in when I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University in 2016.

New opportunities will always come your way. Sometimes you will think you have it figured out, and then you will realize you actually do not. Maybe you will try something out for a year and realize you do not like it as much as you thought you would. There is a lot out there for us to learn and life is not always a linear path. For the graduates of 2023, and anyone else reading this, remember that it is okay if you do not have your life figured out yet. Relax and enjoy your life.