When I look back at my 18-year old self, I think that that age is way to one for someone to choose what they want to do for a living for the rest of their life. I suppose that is probably why many people switch careers one or more times in their life. I know that at 17, when I was asked what I wanted to major in and what I wanted to do, I really had NO idea. I knew that in High School I really enjoyed and seemed to be good at Spanish. I knew I liked helping people, and had lots of patience, so the idea I had in my head at the time was I may want to be a Spanish teacher. My dad had casually recommended that I might want to try a computer science class.
My first year in college I took a vast array of different classes. That included Spanish, Education, Computer Science, and Calculus. I am notoriously bad at decision-making and since this is a fairly major life decision, it was quite difficult for me. I was good at, and was interested in, a lot of things – but never really excelled at any one thing in particular.
By the end of the first year I had decided that I didn’t want to be a teacher. I can’t pinpoint what it was that caused me to make that decision. I did well in my computer and Spanish classes so continued to take both. I also participated in a tutoring program where students at my college would go to a library in the inner city one day a week and help young kids with their homework.
Ultimately as my sophomore year progressed I decided that I enjoyed my computer science classes, I did well in them, I would be able to get a job in the field, and I would be able to make a decent amount of money doing it. Seemed like decent enough reasons at the time. Basically, I just couldn’t think come up with anything else that would be a better choice. I don’t believe that at the time I was thinking about what this really meant. I didn’t really think about how it would affect my life or about doing it for the next 45 years.
I didn’t really know who I was at the time. I hadn’t had enough life experience yet. I somehow managed to stumble upon a path that worked for me. Almost 10 years later I am still working in the field I received my degree in and was able to save enough money doing it to purchase my first home on my own. Added bonus: I met my boyfriend as a result of the career I chose.
How did you decide what you wanted to do as a career and at what age did you decide? Have you switched careers since your first job out of school?