What should I do with my life?

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jobhunter in Gilbert, Arizona

64 months ago

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F O C U S

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

64 months ago

That was a good answer. At 23 you are now a grown up and it's time to start thinking like one.

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n0vember_rain in Virginia

64 months ago

Why don't you go into Software Engineering? It sounds as though your dad kind of diminished your dream, and honestly, a degree in Software Engineering isn't all about video games. Technology is constantly evolving, and I believe that one day we'll see the end of it, but I don't believe it's anywhere in the near future. Software Engineering is a great field. I've actually considered it myself. I can relate to you. I am 22. I recently enrolled in the Respiratory Therapy program because I'm tired of being indecisive. I have no idea what I want from life, other than to travel the world, and I can't do that unless I have money, haha. I have a true love for helping people, and I very much enjoy reaching out to others which is why I'm also looking into a possible degree in Professional Counseling. I, too, am very lost when it comes to a career path to follow. Right now, I am in the RT program, and I am enjoying it. I love learning new things, and I love helping people. Although I'm anxious to carry on with this field, I feel a sense of comfort when I am in the classroom... as though this is where I'm supposed to be, but we shall see.

Good luck!

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Ur3rdIMcFly in Gig Harbor, Washington

64 months ago

Thanks n0vember_rain, I had almost given up hope on the thread, hence the 4 days of inactivity. I still have this dream that I'll make such a sweet video game I'll get rich off of it. Four college students in Germany made a game called Tibia and made at least a million each before they sold the rights, and even looking at the game today after 10 years of development, it's still mind-blowing. But to bring that into fruition, I don't need to know anything about making the game, so long as I knew the right people.

Anyways, I've been working out, preparing for enlistment, I've called the recruiter a few times but he's extremely busy, so I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him really...So I'm still looking for advice on where to go. I don't need any motivation or pep talks or anything of that fare...I just need to know...

If I was to get a Bachelor degree in anything right now, what would it be?

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Curious George in Tampa, Florida

64 months ago

Ur3rdMcFly: you are a lot more together than you think. You do have goals (Air Force followed by earning a Bachelor's Degree followed by possibly owning your own business) but you just aren't quite sure how to make them happen. I think going into the Air Force is an excellent idea. I wish I had done the same 30 years ago. You will greatly benefit from the education, sense of purpose, and physical and mental conditioning. I would also have to second the idea posted above regarding Software Engineering or related fields. I have been studying the option of becoming a database administrator, and have found that it appears to be a field growing in demand. Virtually all companies large and small operate on some form of computer network/database these days, and it's something that would (usually) have to be done in-house vs. outsourced overseas. Your clear communication skills give you a definite advantage over most. You say you aren't sure if your interest in technology is strong enough to sustain a career, but anyone who dreams of creating video games clearly has more than a passing interest in technology. At least your enlistment in the Air Force would give you the chance to test those waters. Give yourself a break and trust your gut. Better to figure out what you want to do with your life at 23 than 50.

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Ur3rdIMcFly in Gig Harbor, Washington

64 months ago

Legal Pro, your activity is always appreciated, though nursing is not for me. Maybe if I was nursing only hot females, lol. Seriously though, my aunt got into nursing, and I've heard one too many horror stories. Cleaning meat that's god knows how old out of the floor drain of a butcher room in a podunk grochery store is my limit.

Curious George, I've seen you around too, and without putting anyone else down I like what you said the most. Database administrating...never thought of it, despite the fact that I JUST watched Firewall with Harrison Ford the other day...pretty sure that's exactly what he was doing. You bring up something that's guaranteed to grow, though it might be competitive. A little bit of flattery, that's always nice ;D...and a personally related comment showing you read what I said...I'm feelin' it, thanks a lot.

Still...I just don't feel like I know where I'm going, lol. I called another recruiting office today, they got atleast two people, and an answering machine...and still apparently no time to call back someone who just wants to talk and figure out where he's going. I'll get a hold of them, don't worry. I called a friend this weekend who just had a kid...really makes me feel like I'm heading somewhere fast you know? Friends all married and everything...well he's gonna put me in contact with some people IN the service, so I can figure out where I'm going before I jump in.

I'm still open to more suggestions though...you can never have enough of them. I really do appreciate all the input so far, it's charity I know, so I hope you guys feel all warm and fuzzy.

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imLost in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

64 months ago

Hey there, i joined just so i could post i am in the same boat you are.I feel so lost and now turning 23 i need to figure out what i want to do with my life. i been working as a autobody tech since 16 and im so sick of it. I really have been thinking of joining the Air Force. But also am thinking if i hate it im stuck for a few years. i know this isn't much help to your cause but just wanted to say i hope the best for you. i hope you find what you are looking for in life, as am myself. -Jeremy

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imLost in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

64 months ago

Thansk alot for that link. maybe i can find something that interests me.I didn't know there wasa minimum of two years. keep us updated on your progress!

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Ur3rdIMcFly in Gig Harbor, Washington

64 months ago

Yeah, I might've been mislead by their website on the two year thing. It's possible you can receive benefits after 2 years with a 4 year contract. I'll be clearing this all up as my story draws to a close. I'll be going in this next week and getting the first steps taken care of.

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SilentWitness in Auckland, New Zealand

64 months ago

Dear young man,,, you are lucky and wise to ask yourself that question while you are still 23. many people do not realize that they need a life goals till late 40's .

So,,, start look for a mentor or life coach to interact with on one to one basis to explore your needs and wants, skills and hobbies you may have, weaknesses and strengths you may have too. and your mentor should help you find out where your passion is and how to pursuit it.

In the mean time (this may take a while) just do what your instinct needs tells you, weather to involve in a temp. job if you are finiantily in need or get some course in your favorite subject of interest.

and Good luck man, take care.

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midlifewoman in Saint Charles, Missouri

63 months ago

Oh my, I read these posts and wish I could go back in time. I was lost in my early 20's and the Navy was a stepping stone to get on track. It helped but took me down different paths. Eventually got by BBA and started a career in healthcare sales (various industries)and raised a child. My current situation is almost desperate? I hit an unemployment patch for 1.5 years, used all my built up retirement to keep my house (which I'm unsuccessfully trying to sell), finally found a position with less pay but fairly good environment. But the thing is, it's not something I'm remotely passionate about but it pays the bills and that's why I stay. I'm currently a candidate for promotion but am only interested because of the money. I'm certain I would not enjoy it. Concurrently, I have a 23 year old who is headed down a very dangerous path and I feel I need to "do the right thing and display responsibility." What do I really want.....to pack up my belongings and head off to a new adventure. What that is, I have no idea. Where that is, I have no idea. I've read a lot on how to find your passion but nothing resonates. Stuck between what I want, what I need, what I should do and most importantly how unhappy all these confliciting feelings lead to doing NOTHING. And that's what I continue to do....Nothing! Any advice?

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vernon getzler in Lucknow, India

62 months ago

if i don't know C+ and C++ then?
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vernon getzler
[comment edited by forum moderator]

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vernon getzler in Lucknow, India

62 months ago

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vernon getzler
[comment edited by forum moderator]

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Me in Lincoln, Nebraska

61 months ago

I'm in the same boat as you except I'm 25 and have a college degree. Otherwise I'm just as clueless as you.

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Tina Markov in Syracuse, New York

61 months ago

... also, with major in Management Information Systems, you can take minor in foreign language, and/or in international studies/law/politics/business, which would made you more competitive not only here, but globally.

The Human Resources Management with minor in Psychology or any of majors mentioned above could be also marketable and allow you to go into consulting after becoming more experienced specialist...

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Tina Markov in Syracuse, New York

61 months ago

To Matt in Rogers, Minnesota:

Way do not you go into multimedia design and animation with minor in IT? It pays off much more...

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Findley in Ormond Beach, Florida

61 months ago

I know exactly what you're going through Ur3rdIMcFly (and others). I'm only twenty years old and maybe you might feel like you don't care what my perspective is on the issue on feeling lost, but let me help you better understand you're not alone, and you're certainly not as lost as others.

I have always had a passion for writing. Maybe I didn't enjoy it until my later teenage years when I was more able to express myself, but I've always enjoyed putting pen to paper. It was really the only thing I did well in which I received accolades for. Other than writing, psychology was an avenue I could see myself going down, as well as political science.

I've had the same problems, never feeling motivated, changing my mind about a career choice atleast one hundred times in the past few years. No one that I know can respect a decision I make about any certain path in life, because of the fact I always seem to go back on what I say and change my mind. I don't think I even respect my own decisions anymore. I can't speak for any of you, but I always used to feel like someone owed it to me to decide for me, as wrong as it may sound. I remember my dad, who is very hard working and very dedicated at what he does, tell me, "You know, there's not always going to be someone there to hold your hand and guide you through all of your tough decisions for you." I've always felt responsible for myself, even at a younger age, but when it comes to this one thing, being that i've been so unmotivated and unsure about what I want to do with the rest of my life, I just can't seem to put one foot in front of the other.

I thought I wanted to be a Marine when I was eighteen... but I had myself kicked out of bootcamp just as soon as it dawned on me, the severity of having to serve a concrete time period and doing something I wasn't even sure I wanted to do. Don't get me wrong, I don't fear commitment. I'm twenty years old, married, have a child and I wouldn't change any of that for the world.

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mruthy in Thornhill, Ontario

61 months ago

I am in this situation as well. I have an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology & Health Science and well.. I have absolutely no clue what to do with my life. Don't even want to go into that field. Why is it so hard and frustrating?

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Cenovia in San Diego, California

61 months ago

I know how you feel, Ur3rdIMcFly. I am 2 years older than you and not much different. I went to school for IT for 4 years because that's the thing that I found interesting as a teenager. I had no idea what doing the job was really like though, and after being certified as a software programmer and getting halfway through a web development diploma I lost interest. It's not that the subjects are not interesting, but you have to live and breathe them in order to be competitive in this field. I decided I didn't want to live to work and would rather work to live. I have too many other interests outside of IT to give all up but one.

I've got a little money from an inheritance and I'm going back to school to pursue a job in medicine because, after IT, the one thing I crave more in this world than anything else is stability. In this economy, it seems to be the field that is suffering the least.

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Kennelly in Bristow, Virginia

58 months ago

At some point, you've just got to pick something and jump in with both feet. It may not be the dream job, but it will be something tolerable. After you start working fulltime, you'll figure out more about what you do and don't like. For example, I have a job in the IT industry, but don't necessarily love IT. What I've learned from it (which I will use when looking for my next job) is that I absolutely hate managing people, and absolutely love working independently. I do great with certain personality types, and not so great with others. And I prefer a job where I can write and create - not a job where I do something systematic. Anyway, my point is that you don't necessarily need to find the best fit; just find a job that has a little bit of what you want and use that as a jumping off point.

Also I've found that I don't always have the strongest sense of who I am, so when I find things that I am even mildly interested in, even on a whim, it makes sense to pursue them. Maybe you are like that too. I think what you really want to do, and what you would probably be quite good at is the video game developer / marketer / engineer type role. Just something to consider.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

OK, I just had to comment some more. The responses on here made me crazy reading them. "Why don't you go into software?", or "nurses are always in need". UUUUUGH! That is TERRIBLE advice, I'm sorry. You can't just pick a career like that out of the blue and think it's going to be satisfying. My advice is to figure out what you're talented at, what you're passionate about, how can you make a contribution to the world that is going to make you feel great about yourself. Do you have kids? Any responsibilities to anyone other than yourself? Then you've got plenty of time to figure it out. Life is too freaking short to pick something that's just convenient and will make you money. I am sure you have interests of your own and maybe hobbies that you could explore further. It might take time, and if you need to work now at just any job, then fine--many of us are doing it this way--but please don't just become another nurse or programmer who hates their job after a few years because they gave into pressure and picked something just so they could feel accomplished.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

Another GREAT book: "Now What? The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career" by Nicholas Lore. He also founded the Rockport Institute (www.rockportinstitute.com) which is something I am seriously considering. Looks to be about $500-600 for a very personalized career assessment (testing) and coaching. Not a bad price for something that could last a lifetime.

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twenty in Dahlonega, Georgia

57 months ago

I also am stuck wondering what I am supposed to do with my life. I have always been smart without having to try and very social, and so naturally after high school I went to college. I made the cheerleading team my first year, joined a sorority, changed my major from marketing to english, and now I'm almost done with my second year and I'm completely unhappy. I feel like the past two years have been a waste. I'm done with my core classes and it's time to start taking classes towards a major. But I have no clue what I want to do.
I can see myself teaching, but I can also see myself working as a medical assistant-like a ultrasound tech. I've been writing and editing for my school paper, and I love it, but I don't want to be a journalist forever, that's a difficult field to be successful in. I can't quit school because my entire life I have been taught the importance of getting my degree just so "I'll have something to fall back on." I don't want to stay at my current college, I want to be closer to my family and where I work (an hour away).
So I have to figure out what to major in and where to go. I love kids and animals. I'm good at english and math, and I've enjoyed psychology and family & consumer science classes. I don't want to go to grad school. I really just want to get a degree, work for a few years, and then be a stay at home mom! So I am going to be 20 in July, and need some direction.
Any advice?

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Mary S. in Walton, New York

57 months ago

I hear all the 20 somethings feel lost. I am now in my 40's and feel like you guys starting over and confused with age against me. I hold a B.A. and M.S. in Education (which was always a promising career and now also feeling the financial crunch.) I thought I had my life all planned out, but things change. A few years ago I moved and thought I would be able to find work, guess again. There are no jobs available in my degree area so I needed to settle for another job I really do not want. I am a single parent and need an income. Since I do not want to stay where I am and be unhappy I feel like I am back in high school and need to decide what I want out of life.

My point, not to depress everyone, but sometimes having a plan doesn't matter, life could still throw you a curve ball. My advise, while you are still young, forget about looking into the fields that are in shortage NOW, things change. You need to follow your passion, you will be spending alot of time at work so you want to enjoy what you are doing. Since you are still young, try a few things, don't settle and remain in a job because others say it is good. This is your life. Be happy!

P.S.(to Mary in Tampa) Being in your 20's does not make a person old and wise (adult). Very few people know what they want to be in high school and follow that dream. If you are one of the lucky ones-good for you. I know people in their 30's, 40's or even 50's that due to different reasons needed to rediscover themselves. Life can be mean. A person feeling confused about what they want in life does not mean they never grew up!!! Anyway, If you talk to most young people they feel lost.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

I agree with Mary about choosing your passion, but I think you also need to pay attention to what you are talented at, because even if you're passionate about music, for example, and have dreams of becoming a rock star, if you can't sing, it probably isn't going to happen for you. I don't mean this to sound discouraging, though. You can always take singing lessons! :) But you actually have to do it if you're going to follow your dream.

One of the lessons I am taking from the book I'm reading (as mentioned in my previous post) is that if you're *really* committed to a goal and you say to yourself, "I am going to do this, NO MATTER WHAT", it's a lot more effective than saying, "I'm going to do this...as long as I have enough time and money and I don't have any obstacles along the way", because let's face it--all of those things will apply to us all at some point in our lives. And NONE of us are exempt from obstacles. There will always be obstacles in life--you just have to work around them, and stay committed to your goal NO MATTER WHAT. Get creative about solving your problems so your goal can be achieved.

One example in the book by the author is about a woman who was a mother and always wanted to be a doctor, but her daughter consumed all of her time, and she didn't have the money for school, and she didn't really have the grades, either. Well, guess what: today she's a doctor anyway! She decided she wanted to be one, and stuck to her goal and achieved it by doing anything she could. I find that totally inspiring, as does my husband, who is actually in the process of applying to med school. :)

Anyway, don't feel discouraged. You're never too old to figure out what you want to do and start anew. We've all been there.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

Also, to some of the comments above regarding advice from other people: Moms and Dads and siblings and friends are full of well-meaning advice like, "DON'T DO IT!" because "it's too competitive" and "it doesn't pay well" and "there aren't any jobs". Well, are they experts in the field you're interested in? And for that matter, do your parents even love their jobs? Do your friends? Have you talked to experts in your field of interest, with opinions from both sides (pros and cons)? If you're really interested in something, before you give up on it completely because your best friend read in Money Magazine that there weren't any jobs in that field, why don't you talk to someone who actually works in the field instead of trusting some pseudo-expert whose job is writing articles (for example)? You owe yourself more than that. And frankly, if you're that easily discouraged by what one person has to say, you need to get a little tougher before you start pursuing this goal, because odds currently don't look good that you'd stick it out to the end, through thick and thin once you get started.

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Kelly in San Francisco, California

57 months ago

I agree with Sarah. The fact is that we will never know where life is going take us to, but be yourself and do what you passionate about, and do not let others hold you back. I myself found that I want to become a dental hygienist and I read pretty much negative comments about this career, so what? I still will go for it, no matter what because that is what I really want to do in my life. Go for it and yes it is never too late to figure out what you want to do or like. Best wishes for all of us!

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Average in Everett, Massachusetts

57 months ago

If you have talent and money, you'll be fine.
If you don't, you'll struggle.

It's not either talent or money, it's the combination of both.

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Average in Everett, Massachusetts

57 months ago

Sarah in New York, New York/ Mary S. in Walton, New York said: Also, to some of the comments above regarding advice from other people: Moms and Dads and siblings and friends are full of well-meaning advice like, "DON'T DO IT!" because "it's too competitive" and "it doesn't pay well" and "there aren't any jobs". Well, are they experts in the field you're interested in? And for that matter, do your parents even love their jobs? Do your friends? Have you talked to experts in your field of interest, with opinions from both sides (pros and cons)? If you're really interested in something, before you give up on it completely because your best friend read in Money Magazine that there weren't any jobs in that field, why don't you talk to someone who actually works in the field instead of trusting some pseudo-expert whose job is writing articles (for example)? You owe yourself more than that. And frankly, if you're that easily discouraged by what one person has to say, you need to get a little tougher before you start pursuing this goal, because odds currently don't look good that you'd stick it out to the end, through thick and thin once you get started.

Terrible advice. First off, most people working in a saturated field will WANT to discourage you. There's no incentive for them to want more competition in a saturated market.

"Doing what you love" is a ivory tower luxury. Most people go where the money is or towards what'll be prosperous for them and their family.
It's totally possible to hate something and be extremely competent in it. The payoff was most likely worth the discomfort and training.
Good paying jobs pay good because they're not easy to do.

That story about that young mother who became a doctor despite showed little aptitude (grades) or time (a very young child)to study to become one is extremely misleading, if it's true. You're either leaving out the husband/father's support,a generous social safety net, or wealth.

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Stayathomemom1982 in Bronx, New York

57 months ago

I was exactly where you were at your age. Lets think about this for a minute, if you are going to go for your bachelors, what are you going to take? Dont be like me. I got my bachelors in business administration which is like liberal arts for business and it still didnt help me decided what I wanted to do. It wasnt until I started volunteering in different areas that interested me til I started figuring out what I wanted to do. I know far too many people as well that have went into the military and came back home with a degree and still dont have a job. If you have the time I would say volunteer on the weekend for a few hours in different fields that you may find interesting.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

Thanks, Kelly. I wish you well with your endeavors. You said you've read negative things about the dental hygienist career, but have you spoken to dental hygienists? I think that is a total necessity. Try to get as many pros and cons as you can from as many of them as you can talk to. And you'll probably get a lot more negatives, as is human nature. :) But this is good, because you can decide whether or not you can personally deal with those cons. Good luck!

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

Everett, I'm really sorry you feel that way, but I truly believe what I say. And more than that, what do we have to live for if we don't have hope that this can be true? We spend 8 hours a day at work (minimum--not including commute time and time at home preparing for our workday), so why not try to do something we really love? Life is too short!

I agree with you that people are motivated by helping their families and making money, but I don't think that means they're happy with their work, and I certainly do not believe that money alone makes you happy. And I also truly don't believe that doing what you love is a luxury. I do believe it can be an absolute challenge, and it's not meant to be easy (how can it be if so few have apparently achieved it--70% of people do not like their jobs). On that note, I don't think the reason so few people have satisfying jobs is because it's impossible to find a satisfying job; I think the reason is because so many of us take the safe path: we go to school and then pick a career based on what our major is, what our career counselor tells us fits with our personality traits, then find what's available and safe and/or makes money, and despite our best efforts, it isn't right for each of us, because we've gone about choosing a career the completely wrong way.

I also really don't think people want to discourage you from choosing their chosen field. Do you really think a doctor who loves his/her job would try to discourage you from doing something that brings them so much joy? (That is, if they really DO love it). And I don't think you have to worry about competition if you talk to people who live in distant cities. Of course, if you want to work in NYC and you're talking to the competition in NYC, they might try to discourage you, sure. But try talking to someone in Seattle instead! They're not going to feel threatened.

Anyway, I wish you luck with finding work that is meaningful to you if you haven't already.

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Sarah in New York, New York

57 months ago

Agreed, Kingsley!

I know it's cheesey, but I love this quote:
"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
~Henry David Thoreau

And to Ur3rdIMcFly in Gig Harbor, Washington, regarding your aspirations of being a designer: I honestly don't know anything about that field, but if your dad's right about the environment--that it's fast-paced and competitive--how do you feel about that? Does that suit your personality? Something to consider, because maybe that type of environment doesn't suit your dad, but maybe it would for you.

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aebuell in South Bend, Indiana

56 months ago

This thread is fascinating! I'm terribly curious to know how the original poster is doing.

I have a BS in Computer Science and a career in software like many of you have suggested as a viable path. I personally don't enjoy it, but that's just me. I never felt that I had a true passion for anything, but I did have an interest in programming logic, so I went for it. I feel now that I may not even be suited for a corporate office job, unfortunately that's all I know!

I'm considering buying "What Should I Do With My Life" by Po Bronson or something similar. Maybe someday I'll get it figured out! Good luck to everyone...

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Sarah in New York, New York

56 months ago

Aebuell, Good luck to you! Po's book is great because it helps us all to realize we're not alone in this journey. It's certainly not a tutorial, but it's a great read. If you're looking for something more informative and personal, something that might help you to switch careers, you might want to try Nicholas Lore's books.

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LMAP in Trujillo, Peru

56 months ago

Hi everyone, I'm very confused, I really don't know what to choose for a career.
I like everything related to technology, i like chemistry, and also I like biology. These are the main three things I like.
I don't know if there's a career that has these three things together

Please, I need help

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bryan in Pretoria, South Africa

55 months ago

it is this kind of attitude that deprives the world of potential useful people.im sure by now you have heard that you are what you think.so get out there with a broad smile and a bit of optimism!isnt the world a better place with the talent and money "yours or not" now?

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VaGhiG in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic

55 months ago

hello there .. i need somones help, i am completly lost in my life. i am 26 years old, i've got "MCSE" , and i've also did CCNA Cource, i am working since 2002 in 2 different jobs . i work alone on my own in Computer maintenance and networking, and since 2004 i used to work in Graphic design companies. and till now i am working in two different professions. now i am completely lost about what shall i do. which one do i like more, which one do i want to continue in, and what shall i do in my life.
i've been suffering with this matter for more than a year now.
can anyone guide me and help me please

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bmpeete in Pretoria, South Africa

55 months ago

hi partner!im scared to tell u that i have no idea about the courses u mentioned.all i can say is stick it out until u come across ur silver lining!passion doesnt pay bills and in live we never dictate what colour we would like to be thrown with.hang in there just dont loose your day job just because you dont show enough commitment.

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Nikki Neutron in Grand Prairie, Texas

55 months ago

You need to call people that are working in the field you may have an interest in and do some "Observation". Most people will have absolutely no problem saying yes. Tell them that you are in college and in the process of exploring various careers and that you would like to "shadow" them for a day.
When i taught middle school we had plenty of college students that "shadowed" us for a day.
When i worked in healthcare in my first career i shadowed nurses, therapists and docs (at different times of course) to see what area of healthcare would most interest me.
It's hard to decide by just "thinking" about a career and "picturing" yourself in it because often times what you picture is not the reality of that career.
Things will become clearer when you shadow workers in your fields of interest.

twenty in Dahlonega, Georgia said: I also am stuck wondering what I am supposed to do with my life. I have always been smart without having to try and very social, and so naturally after high school I went to college. I made the cheerleading team my first year, joined a sorority, changed my major from marketing to english, and now I'm almost done with my second year and I'm completely unhappy. I feel like the past two years have been a waste. I'm done with my core classes and it's time to start taking classes towards a major. But I have no clue what I want to do.

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lin in Long Beach, California

55 months ago

Ur3rdIMcFly in Gig Harbor, Washington said: Well thanks for the quick replies but I couldn't have imagined more vague answers. I expected people to come in and say "I don't know"...but wow.

Focus? Care to elaborate? I don't have a goal to focus on, so your...word...is lost on me.

And now that I'm an adult I magically know what to do? I know plenty of adults who have no idea where they're going. In fact, the only people that seem to know where they're heading are kids who are still under the illusion that life falls into place automatically.

Can anyone name a career/field that's going to be hot in a few years?

listen I would like to share that you should do what you like the best or you will not rely be living your dream , that is the dream to do what you like and get paid for that!!!
i promise you eventually you will come to this conclusion your self . speaking from example!!!

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Sabrina in Mission, Texas

52 months ago

Ur3rdlMcfly-I am intrested to hear how and what you have decided to do now that its a year after you first posted. Did you join the Air Force? I hope you did. I have a nephew who joined when he was 18 and traveled all over the world, he was stationed in England for two years and said those were the best two years of his life! He is 26 now and has been out for two years,he is now in the Coast Guard. The Air Force will give you focus and experience not to mention maturity. Then you will have a better idea of what you want to do. The most important thing is to LOVE what you do. There is nothing worse than going to a job you hate every day. Pray and ask God for guidance...actually, THAT is the most important thing to do. Good luck!

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Delia in Kingston, New York

52 months ago

Not to alarm you, but you may be coming back to this question several times in your life ("What do I do now?") It's great if at 23 you can pick a career that will last till the end of your working life, but it's more likely that your career will start out in one place, and bend in new directions as technology and the world changes around you.

My advice would be to concentrate on the short-term future, rather than trying to plot out your career for your entire lifetime. Sounds like you've done a good job of that already by planning to go into the military. Once there, you'll encounter new people, ideas, opportunities which will help direct you in making your next decision. Just keep your eyes, ears and mind open to what work seems most satisfying, and where you are truly needed. Best wishes to you!

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Delia in Kingston, New York

52 months ago

VaGhiG in Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic said: hello there .. i need somones help, i am completly lost in my life. i am 26 years old, i've got "MCSE" , and i've also did CCNA Cource, i am working since 2002 in 2 different jobs . i work alone on my own in Computer maintenance and networking, and since 2004 i used to work in Graphic design companies. and till now i am working in two different professions. now i am completely lost about what shall i do. which one do i like more, which one do i want to continue in, and what shall i do in my life.
i've been suffering with this matter for more than a year now.
can anyone guide me and help me please

I'm sure many people come to a point where they feel the same confusion about what they should do. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

- Which profession pays me the most per hour for my work?
- In which profession are my services more in demand?
- In which profession do I get the most compliments for my work?
- Which profession gives me the most satisfaction after a day of work?

It sounds to me like you are in a strong position, with both technical and creative skills. You appear to have come to one of those crossroads where confusion often leads to an exciting new direction. Perhaps you have been a bit isolated, working for yourself, and you should do some exploration into other related fields. See if you can arrange to visit some other businesses in related fields, just to see what they are doing and gather information about the other options out there. Perhaps visit a company that does web design, another that does video gaming, another related to medical, another related to education, etc., and talk to people. You may be surprised at what opportunities open up for you once you start talking to more people. Good luck!

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ALPinWA in Lakewood, Washington

52 months ago

As a person with a degree granted in 1985, and 25+ years of work experience...I'd like to offer some advice. Please be very careful with the concept of "following your passion" and emphasis on emotion/happiness when choosing a career. While there are careers one can feel passionate about AND make a good living at, all too often the really interesting jobs that one can easily be passionate about, that pay decently, are very crowded and competitive. How could they not be, they are fun jobs that promise never ending happiness!

It is far more helpful to take an honest assessment of your STRENGTHS and natural talents, and go on from there. BE SURE that whatever career you choose has a reasonable chance of providing a decent living by being in demand, practical and useful.

I earned a social work degree in 1985, full of starry-eyed idealism. Ten years later, I was demoralized from living from paycheck to paycheck for so long. The experience of scraping by financially put to death any illusions I had about the profession providing "happiness". Its tough to feel satisfied with your life when you live on the edge, can't get rid of your debt, and can't pay your bills. PASSION and HAPPINESS were the furthest things from my mind when I was sitting in the middle of my studio apartment, crying because I had to stretch $25 over two weeks. My landlord didn't give a rat's a$$ about my dreams when it came time to pay the rent.

Finally, when I was young, I had no idea of all the other aspects of a job that can bring happiness. Even the most mundane, stressful, and boring of jobs can be fulfilling when: you have a great relationship with your boss, love the company of your co-workers AND, most important, there is good management and leadership at the company. Bad management can make even the best sounding job hell on earth.

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hmmm in Savannah, Georgia

52 months ago

Sorry, I completely disagree. I may be young, spoiled, and inexperienced, but to give the advice that passion and happiness aren't necessary to lead a fulfilling life is bad advice. Fleeting happiness leads to despair, yes, because you are completely disillusioned with the idea that everything in life will be sunshine and rainbows. It obviously will not be, but to say that passion isn't necessary is irresponsible in of itself. People, listening to the advice of "get a good, stable career in medicine/law/engineering/architecture!" do this, have no passion or drive to the career, and create even MORE problems for society. If you don't know what you want to do, it's because of people assuming that academia=success. By god it doesn't. You have to work, but if you do not work that expresses who you are as an individual and simply listen to the practical people who's lives are as tumultuous as yours, you are going to screw yourself. Guaranteed.

You do what you have to to live. Outside of that, work towards something meaningful. Life is not your career. People who say that don't realize how temporary life is. Support yourself, but do what you want however you can do it. Don't be that coward following the trend.

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ALPinWA in Lakewood, Washington

52 months ago

Displaced Legal Professional in Denver, Colorado said: Agreed. I needed two careers - about which I was passionate - to come to that conclusion. I especially agree with you about taking honest assessments of strengths and natural talents - even if those assessments suggest careers that are less exciting or glamorous. Another way to put it is money isn't everything, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place.

And you are too callow to opine on that advice. Let a few miles accumulate on your odometer and we'll see if you feel the same way. In the meantime, re-read my comment about money not being everything......

LOL - you are far more motivated than I, DLP! I thought the same thing, but am too lazy to bother responding to anyone who describes themselves as "young, spoiled and inexperienced". I peed myself laughing at a person that thinks a good, persuasive response starts out by saying I am "...young, spoiled and inexperienced" - in other words, "I don't know nuthin' about nuthin'..."

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lin in Long Beach, California

52 months ago

nothing is ever a waste everything happens for a reason just take your general ed classes and take opposite electives to find you it some times takes time be patient with you you will have a peace in your heart that will make your heart pound.

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Denny in Yonkers, New York

51 months ago

joe in New Bedford, Massachusetts said: I am 45
No high school grad no ged I am at 6th grade reading and writing level, I tired my whole life to be in a band and it all fell apart I am now 45 lost don’t know what to do where to begin . I don’t feel safe I feel confused and think about taking my life , where would one find a life coach with no money
Someone please help me email me a joeyd@glasslinerecords.com

Go to a trade school or community college. You're going to have to take a placement test to get in but it will be easy. If that doesn't work out try church, their are a lot of churches all around to help anyone out. I'll pray for you too man :) & don't ever think about taking your life because that's something that won't solve your problems. I'm 20 right now and like most of you I have no idea what I want to accomplish in life.

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FRANKLIN in Fairmont, North Carolina

50 months ago

I WANT TO BE A MARINE BUT IDK HOW.

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