When I was growing up, it was understood back in the deep and dark recesses of my mind (though I never thought much about it at the time) that when I turned 18 years old, I would magically and automatically know what I was going to be doing the rest of my life.
I seemingly understood that the act of graduating from high school would somehow convey the wisdom to know what my life path would be.
Only problem is......that didn't happen. Off to college. Still didn't know. I was amazed that the other freshmen and sophomores at school seemed to know exactly what career paths to take. Not me.
So I took a course of study that was strictly liberal arts. I learned a lot of history and English and biology and geology and journalism and Spanish and military science and sociology and psychology. Then, I got a degree. Still didn't know what I was going to be doing.
Then, I went into the army for two years. When I got out, I still didn't know. So I did what a whole bunch of folks in my situation do---I took the best paying job I could find. Did I enjoy it? No. Was I good at it? I give myself a "B", but I wasn't particularly fulfilled or happy.
Well, it turns out that I am not the Lone Ranger, as they say. It turns out that most 18 year olds do not really know what they will be doing as a vocation---even though they might think they know. It turns out that a whole lot of those freshmen and sophomores in college who said they knew what they wanted to do with their lives did not. It took them several wrong turns to find that out. It turns out that is normal, whatever that is.
No, it turns out a lot of people who were trained as engineers in school end up as artists or beekeepers or accountants. And lots of other folks who thought they were going to be nurses or doctors wind up in sales or retail or government work.
It is nice if an individual knows precisely what their interest is at age 18 or 22 or even 30---but most folks require some life experience to finally arrive at their desired life work.
How about you? Did you know what you would be doing with your life when you were 18 or 22?
What twists and turns did your career take?
What advice would you offer to young men and women trying to decide their future careers?