We’ve all heard the phrase growing up that you can be anything you want to be. As a female, this was drilled even deeper; but at 34 I finally get it. For years my perception of this statement was that I could pursue any career or any degree offered as long as I worked hard; I shouldn’t use my gender or race as a deterrent as I chose a career. What I didn’t take into account was that I didn’t have to choose just one career and I didn’t have to choose from the multiple choices that were presented to me.
You don’t have to choose one career.
I remember feeling frustrated in high school and undergrad trying my best to chose a career or at least a major that gave me flexibility. I felt so overwhelmed choosing a career, that I was passionate about or would “do for free” as I was advised.
What I didn’t realize was that I didn’t have to marry my career choice; it’s actually okay to decide mid-career that the path you chose is no longer for you. Maybe you realized you weren’t passionate about it, or maybe your career doesn’t give you the work-life balance you expected, whatever the reason, it’s okay to change careers and not feel bad about it.
The other side to this is that you can have multiple careers. Remember, you can be ANYTHING you want to be. So maybe you want to be a lawyer and write children’s books or a teacher and a pastry chef, you can have a 9-5 and a passion project that pays you. For some they may eventually have to let one career go; but for other very flexible, time management gurus maintaining two careers is an option.
You can MAKE your own profession!
If I’ve learned nothing from my millennial buddies is that if you love something, and you enjoy doing it, get people to pay you for it. I’ve lived through the rise of YouTubers, social media geniuses, doggy daycare owners, video game developers, reality TV stars; so many people have created careers instead of choosing from those shown to us. I think the era of finding a problem and solving it has been taken to the next level over the past 20 years and I am so impressed with the many career fields created by people who decided to create their own lanes. I definitely knew about entrepreneurs growing up but even then I only thought of those who opened businesses in existing career fields. Well, there are so many problems that can be solved with innovation and it’s up to you to decide if you want to take the leap of faith and create the job you’ve been dreaming of.