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When my former boss told me that I'll probably have at least seven different careers in my life, I looked at him like he was crazy. "Is this job going to be your career?" He asked. "Uh, no. Of course not," I told him. "Exactly. You'll soon leave here and go to the next job. Probably stay there a few years then move to the next."
Ummm, what? At the time, it made sense I was job hopping because I was in the midst of finishing a degree number 1 and figuring hit out. All I cared about was having a job. Of course when I graduate, I'm going to be in my career until I retire. Well almost two degrees later, I'm starting to believe my old boss had a point.
As I started getting for real about what I wanted to do with my life, I began having second thoughts. Yeah, I want to do this now. But am I going to want to do this forever? I started to wonder if it was okay to change my mind or change careers entirely after a certain period of time. I'm someone who gets bored really fast. Even if I love what I'm doing, I'm the type that may want to take a break from it so I don't hate, find new ways to do it, or entertain something else I love. But still, the question pegged me: is it okay to change careers after a while?
After spending majority of my undergrad years trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life & finally getting a degree, I suddenly came a halt. Though I was already 20K into my grad program, I started wondering if this is what I wanted to do. I started entertaining the idea of maybe dropping out and becoming a vet tech since I love animals and will never change. But I believe that thought stemmed from fear. Will I get a job after I finish this graduate degree? Will I be able to pay it off? I love my career choice and what I'm studying now but will I love it 5-10 years from now? I started thinking maybe I should just do something that I would always love and more than likely get a job in.
But that was last year.
Now, I'm almost finished with my grad degree in counseling and want to be able to help people (especially black women) work through their life troubles and help them heal and make better choices. That's a fact. That's a passion. That's part of my purpose and gift or so I believe. But still, 10 years down the road, if I no longer want to do it, is it okay to change lanes?
The answer: yes.
After making a list of all I want to do career wise within counseling and outside of it, I realized that there is no possible way I can do all of them at once. Because of this, I've decided that when I no longer feel the love and passion that I do, I'm moving on the next goal. I might even start prepping before I leave one lane for the next.
Despite all of the education, training, and money you may have invested into your career choice, know that it is okay to change your mind. I started becoming more okay with this idea after seeing many people in recent times shift gears and do something completely different than what they were doing. I think for me, I've felt like once you get your degree or whatever it is, that's it. You can't change your mind. You have to stick with it.
But you can.
Though I've invested 20K & will be paying Sallie Mae back for some time, that's okay. I know that I may not be in the counseling profession forever, but my degree will pay itself off and reap some form of rewards. And for that time being, it'll all be worth it.