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679: Career Choice

For my high school graduation, one of my aunts gave me a book published in the 1920s – How to Choose a Career Path.

While it’s tempting to giggle at the fact that the book suggested either nurse or teacher for the women that absolutely had to work, it points to the fact that figuring out how we should spend our days isn’t a problem of the modern era. Instead, it’s long been a question that individuals try to answer.

We’ve talked about this previously, in roundabout ways. There’s the question of how you find your passion, what your career goals are, and even how you feel about switching careers.

But how have you actually found the thing you’re spending your time doing (if you get paid for it, or not?) There’s, not shockingly, plenty of tools and experts and suggestions out there that are more than happy to help you make the decision. There’s even “don’t” lists, that list the bad reasons to choose a career, including because everyone tells you you’ll be good at it, because you’re trying to make your parents happy, for the pay only, or more.

The quote-unquote trick may just be trying out different things, if you can. As Penelope Trunk wrote, quote:

Testing out lots of different jobs is a great idea. Job hopping is the sign of someone who is genuinely trying to figure out where they fit. Quitting when you know you’re in the wrong spot is a natural way to find the right spot. A resume with lots of wrong turns is not cataclysmic.