Before I write anything, I want to say many of my friends are happily living and working at fantastic jobs that allow them ample opportunities and provide comfortable livings. However, if you’re 20-something, have a college degree and are not pursuing a standard career lifestyle, the following may be more agreeable to you.
If you don’t have a job as soon as you graduate college, don’t kill yourself in pursuit of it. If you truly want to find a job you can. But here are some reasons why you shouldn’t plunge into the first career job thrown your way.
1. It restrains you. You tell yourself you’re just getting that two or three years of experience and you’re out of there. But are you really? This leads to number two.
2. You become comfortable. Three and a half years down the line you’re still working the same job and not working toward any other goal. But you have learned to budget your money and you get a steady paycheck. You’re independent and happy (isn). Meanwhile, your lifelong dreams and goals are collecting dust on a shelf.
3. No career equals flexibility. If you’re still bar tending or working as a barista, you can take on more shifts, or give away more hours as you please. In this, it allows you give for other events. Non-work related activities. Whether it’s a four-day weekend getaway, a friend’s wedding or three months abroad then on to the next paycheck.
4. Your creativity is tested. You learn you will try just about anything once and apply just about anywhere in order to get where you want to be. At one point I was writing articles for pennies. Pennies! I’m not exaggerating.
5. You’ll become a little more fearless as each day passes. You’ll take the leaps others won’t. You’re going to try a lot of garbage jobs and you’ll quit each one without worrying about where next month’s rent is coming from because you have nothing to lose.
6. Most likely you’ll be more optimistic about life. You’re still waiting for your big break, chance or opportunity. And it’s out there. You didn’t start at a job you don’t love, so you’re never escaping, only pushing forward, waiting or looking.
7. You can be more open minded and insightful about career choices. You will become firm in sticking to your passions, and less firm on life-changing decisions like getting a tattoo. At this point, you’re in your late mid-to-late twenties so you know what you want and don’t need to hide behind expectations of others. So what if I posted an article on “X” on social media five years ago.
8. You won’t stress over debt. In the beginning you’ll be frantic about getting that loan payment in before a late fee or interest hits. But if you’ve deferred that loan, accumulated six late fees and a couple over drafts already, you’ll just say, “I’ll get there someday.” And, you will. And you’ll do it while everyone else is planning their 401k plan.
9. You’ll know the true value of a dollar. You may have debt, but chances are you’re still driving your college clunker, living in a cheap cottage and learning to cook on your own. Your career friends are going out for dinner because they’re too tired to cook. They have car notes and house notes. On the weekends they’re looking at paint samples and you’re watching re-runs on Netflix.
10. Failure becomes irrelevant. At this point, you’ve been rejected, insulted or down right embarrassed on the journey to your dream. But it doesn’t stop you. Failure isn’t a fear to you; it is simply an inevitable part of living.
11. You’ll find pride and confidence in whatever you do. You’ve had time to discover who you are individually, without a career burdening you. Anything you do at this time, you’ll become proud of and embrace it as part of your journey.
12. You’ll remain young. A combination of all of the above. You’re optimistic, adventurous, curious, open-minded, talented, full of fear, yet fearless. You’ll always be making and changing your plan. You’re lost and found all at once.
13. You’ll learn patience. When that career comes, you’ll be ready. And it will have been worth the wait.