One of the biggest issues of this generation is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. We’re the generation that somehow gets the privilege to pick the careers we want, with non-traditional careers becoming more and more “acceptable” at this day and age, technology is constantly progressing, and so the world keeps expanding — but with this comes the confusion brought to us by so many different choices and the influences of society, friends and family. Should I go for the job that pays the most? Or should I pursue a career I’m passionate about? Do I follow what my parents want or what I want? So many questions!!!It took me 9 years to finally realize the right career path for me. That number seems like such a daunting number, doesn’t it? Can you believe it actually took me that long to figure out? Back in junior year of high school, the pressure was on to pursue a course I would potentially want as a career. At the age of 16 going on 17, I still had no idea what career path I truly wanted. I was interested in blogging, writing, traveling, learning about history and culture, but I also had a love for fashion & makeup. I had a lot of interests, but no one true passion that really excited my spirit like blogging did. Blogging, back then, was reserved as a hobby rather than a career path; although blogging is writing, the writing courses I knew of didn’t really tickle my fancy. I knew it would involve all kinds of writing but writing wasn’t enough of a passion for me to enjoy for 4 entire years in college.
In the end, I took up Tourism (under the HRIM course of DLS-CSB). I was young and stupid, and forced myself to take up HRIM because my then boyfriend was supposed to take up the same course in the same school. He ended up going to another school, while I ended up in a course I hardly enjoyed AT ALL. I was stupid for not doing research, for not understanding what Hotel Restaurant Institution Management actually entailed, and mostly I was stupid for letting the choices of others sway my own. Thankfully, the first two years of my college course was all general subjects that all courses had to take at the beginning, so I didn’t really waste any time or money.
It was actually my father who one day, after picking me up from the LRT station coming home from school, talked to me about how I felt about my course. I told him I wasn’t enjoying it and if I were to shift courses now would be the right time to do so, but I had no idea what to take up. He suggested I took up fashion design because it was an interest of mine I enjoyed. Why on earth wasn’t I in an arts course, anyway? I’m the type of person who has always dabbled in creativity, and it was where I flourished the most. I always did well in my English, Literature and Art classes. I had always admired the life of fashion designers, stylists, and always purchased fashion magazines. So, I took the plunge and decided to shift to my school’s Fashion Design & Merchandising course. Finally, I was at a course that I enjoyed going to school for, creating works of art, and expressing myself freely and most especially I saw myself as a fashion designer who would eventually design ready to wear pieces for her clients. Towards the end of my FDM course, I started to feel burnt out with fashion and once again started questioning what I was doing. I think the three years of non-stop routine of designing, conceptualizing and producing pieces of clothing got to me. I learned that I was the kind of person who needs a change of scenery once in a while.
It took me another two years since graduating from my fashion design course to pursue my career now as a professional blogger and social media influencer. Why? Well, I was 23 and confused whether I should pursue a real job in fashion or settle for the freelancing life. I constantly had people telling me to try out a job in retail, to make use of my degree, to basically get a 9-to-5 job. This didn’t excite me. I wanted to take control of my own time, be my own boss, that sort of thing. I was finally learning more and more about myself and what kinds of environment I most flourished as a person.
I went to several job interviews, and was offered the jobs and each time they would warn me with: “Are you ready to put your blogging into the backseat? We’ll need you 100% on this.” and with a sinking feeling in my heart I knew I couldn’t abandon it. I was too passionate about blogging. I went into a tiny episode of complete sadness. For days I refused to do anything, to get out of bed, to see people. And then one morning I woke up and finally decided to follow my head and my heart; they were on the same page. I learned to shut out everyone’s opinions and just follow what made me happy. I decided that I would pursue a career in blogging, to build up my blog until I could start living off on it. After that, things immediately started falling into place. My agency, Nuffnang, called me up one day asking me to renew my contract with them but this time I would be part of their Bloggerati program; since then I’ve been getting more work, press/magazine features, ambassadorships, etc. I’m happy, and I’m no longer questioning what I’m doing. Was my three years taking up majors a complete waste of time? Of course not. I do still dream to pursue sometimes in fashion one day. Besides, who says you can only have one career path? ;-)
My Tips on Choosing the Right Career Path:
Do reflect on what career path you want to take in the future. If you are unclear like how I was, list down your interests/hobbies and research which ones you can make a living off of (hint: you can make a living off anything nowadays) and see which you’d be happy doing for a long long time.
Do choose a career that matches your interests, goals, personality and skill set. Sometimes I think I’d do really well as a European Travel Blogger. It mixes my three interests: Europe, Travel and Blogging. Does it fit my personality? Yes, I’m the kind of person who values having a hold over her free time, being spontaneous and learning new things!
Do your research. FutureYou.ph is a great tool to use for researching jobs in the market, which jobs will be in demand after college, and how much the entry-level salaries are, etc.
Do follow what makes you happy. Some people will be swayed to take courses far from their career goals because it’s what their parents want… But what do YOU want? Where will you grow best? Just because Career A’s entry-level salary is 5,000 pesos more than Career B doesn’t automatically mean you go for Career A. Is the difference in salary really worth your happiness in the long run? I personally don’t think so. More importantly, if you’re working on a career you’re not passionate about, won’t it be harder to work your way up? Like they say, work doesn’t feel like work when you love your job.
Do know that there is never a straight road to being successful in your career. It will take failures, lots of them. But don’t let it discourage you.
Don’t make your boyfriend your whole world, blindly following him around. It’s so easy for 16 year olds to let this happen. I definitely would not be the first one!
Don’t pick a course you think is interesting, and then see what potential careers you could end up with. This is what I did and well, you read my journey!
Don’t let society or the people around you sway your decisions. I know of a lot of people who took up certain courses due to the “in demand” status or how their parents wanted them to earn a lot of money. Some of these people I know ended up burned out, always tired and stuck. Some have even quit their jobs to pursue other things.
FutureYou.ph is a website whose goal is to inform high school students with up-to-date information on what jobs are available out there, in the future, as well as how to get them. It’s a website I wish existed 9 years ago, when I was a confused 16 year old who badly needed some guidance with her future. FutureYou.ph provides easy access for researched information on the latest job markets and the best schools for your chosen career paths.
With FutureYou.ph, you can get the general idea of which jobs are in the market, how much entry-level salary they pay, and which schools will best offer courses that could lead you to your chosen career. They also have a Career Quiz that could help you determine what career choices best fit your personality, skills and interests, as well as videos on tips for choosing the right career path.
I’ve been privileged enough to not feel the pressure of finding the right job to start earning a living right away to support myself AND my family. I know not everyone has this privilege, so this is why I’m taking my experiences and what I’ve learned to help you figure out what you should do to figure out your future and hopefully figure it out faster than the 9 years it took me!
Had I spent more time getting to know myself rather than making my life all about a boyfriend, or following what society expects of me, I think I would’ve gotten to know myself better. I have no regrets though, all that I went through led me to where I am now, a blogger who gets a chance to write down her experiences and lessons learned, to share with you. :-)
For more information on FutureYou.ph, you may follow them on Instagram & Twitter (@FutureyouPH) or visit them on their website at http://www.futureyou.ph
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for FutureYou.ph. All thoughts, experiences, words, and opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.