Make Your Own Career Path After Graduation, Don’t Follow Someone Else’s

Sphotography
Sphotography

As a 23 year old living in today’s society, I’m pretty exhausted of all the bullshit projected in the workplace. Maybe people had it right ten years ago, but the way I see it is that nobody can have it right and most certainly, no one can ever have it all figured out.

When I graduated from college, I didn’t have a job lined up for six months. That time was filled with self-loathing vicious comments resounding in my head, reasons on top of reasons as to why no one would ever employ me. So, I did what any 23 year old with negativity running through her veins would do and that was my biggest mistake. The first company that offered me a job, I took.

Graduating college, to my parents and to so many parents across this country means following the map, land your first job, follow the rules, the manuals, show up on time, remember every procedure, work hard for 2-3 years- get a raise. Promotion or new job opportunity awaits you, just follow the map.

Here’s the problem with “the map”, it isn’t yours. You didn’t write it, you’re not the one making self-discoveries in it, you’re premeditating your successes and failures. Throw away the map your parents gave you ten years ago in high school. That map doesn’t exist anymore and all of its followers will find themselves completely deprived of living a life that thrills them, instead draw your own map.

Drawing your own map is exhilarating, here’s why- it’s yours. You are an artist, a genius if you will and your opportunity lies in the mental strength to draw your own map. You can go backwards, forwards, erase, redraw. I know no one’s told you this lately, but start recording every single idea you have, bad, good, great, excellent. It doesn’t matter. Tracking your thoughts is as important as brushing your teeth in the execution of finding your place, creating your map.

The nine to five desk job that you sit in at work creating low quality work at a high turn-around rate, what exactly is that doing for the artist in you? Is this the dream? It can’t be. It can’t be for me and it most certainly shouldn’t be from you.

Now you’re wondering, how the f*@k am I supposed to do this and is this really going to change anything for me?

Find your niche, maybe right now you’re working a desk job as a data analyst for Wells Fargo. Okay, so you got your major in Mathematics but your day job that Dad is so proud of you for having completely and utterly sucks. Forget about your major, forget about everything you learned in school, remember what you like to do? Do you like photography? Social work? What were your hobbies in college, what are you exceptionally good at compared to the normal person?

Your niche is where your map begins. Once you’ve found your niche, it becomes your art. Make it every day, whether it’s good or bad, record it. Do it over and over. You will find a career path that suites your niche. This probably won’t happen at the beginning of your map, and you might have to erase your niche a few times… but the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to stop following the status quo map and to start writing your own. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog