Take a journey with me if you will, a journey of first jobs, multiple job titles, the stepping stones of happiness, lessons learned, and the skills acquired along the way. A journey that surpasses even retirement and typically ends in.. well yeah, we really do work ourselves to death or at least until we’re unable to work another day. Our journey begins at the typical age of first employment, somewhere around high school or college. This multi-part mini series includes a wide array of professional skills, education, and a career path of my choosing that encompasses several industries, multiple life’s little mishaps, a few unforeseen storms, and a comical sense of humor within the content. I must say I mean no offense to any person, pet, or other life form, and none of the aforementioned were harmed in the making of this series.
“The Early Years of PreAdults and Older PreAdults”
It is rare that we fall out of high school into our dream job, most people don’t even know what that is at that stage in life. We’ve been prompted by our family, friends, and educational institutions to think up what that might be, having little to no experience in any industry or even enough exposure to various career paths to make an informed decision, yet those decisions affect our career paths and are often included as part our high school curriculum and even graduation ceremonies. The ones that think they know, typically find themselves wishing for a different job, or find they’ve developed a love and a passion to do something else.
Then we either go gallivanting about as we backpack through Europe, Italy, France, and as far as the US for some “life experiences” before settling into college, or we dive into college head-first thinking we’ll have time for traveling later in life, when we’re more financially stable and yet oh-so-many college kids don’t feel that they’ve missed out on any “life experiences” (at least not until they’re older). Then one of two things happens for the adventurers, they either continue their adventures and never settle in to real world experiences, or they return from their trip with a little more clarity towards what they might want to be and enroll in school. On the flip side of the spectrum, for the elite in society as well as for the less fortunate, diving head-first into college makes all the sense in the world, build the skills that allow you to obtain job placement that allows you to save for travels. It’s a great plan however, life typically happens and changes that for us.
“The Learning Years”
Regardless of when we enter college, we’re typically asked “What program we’re interested in?”, “What do you want to be?” or “What certificate, diploma, or degree would you like to pursue?” almost faster than a guidance counselor asks our first name.
The answers they hear break down into 3 main categories:
- “I Don’t Know”
- “My parents think I should be a…”
- And “Those that provide any other answer”
The ones with a “real” answer, I mean a specific knowledge, people that have done their research of the field and industry, will stump any guidance counselor temporarily causing an awkward silence for the student. Statistically across every college in the US from the smallest 2 year College through 4 year Colleges and State Universities, and even the most prestigious Ivy League Colleges report similar numbers relating to students changing their major, current program or area of study, or even certificate or degree. Age and gender factors are also similar in numbers when compared side by side.
“The Post-Graduate Years”
Once we get past that hurdle, and actually find what we want to spend our lives doing to support our lifestyle, we go through school as much as life allows. Oftentimes, we get thrown some real curve balls during our college years, things like partying too much and missing class causing our grades to slip and we flunk out, to falling in love and getting married, or thinking you’re in love when you’re really just pregnant.
Later in life “we’ll come back and finish,” we tell ourselves over and over, if we were one of the unfortunate ones, where life grabbed us by the cahoonas, and twisted with unrelenting force. Though once we realize that life never stops, people that are determined to finish their degree do return to school regardless of age, marital status, or parental status every single day!
“The Working Years”
Our introduction to the working world may have come during our high school years or even before that as a babysitter, newspaper boy or even a one-person lawn care company. Generally we begin as a cashier, bag boy, buggy boy, waiter/waitress, host/hostess, or in some position within the fast food industry, which is most common….
Stay tuned to Uptasker Blog for the next article in this series ‘A Journey Through Employment: Lessons Learned & Skills Earned (Pt.2)’ where we go from school to “Real Working Experiences”…