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To ask how you knew what you wanted to do with your life?

(19 Posts)
Avelosa Mon 15-Jun-20 13:06:08

I feel like I am wasting mine. I got good GCSE’s and A Levels, then went into a higher apprenticeship in Business Administration. I always thought I wanted to do something business related so this seemed a good route of entry. I’ve had 2 long term jobs, and just recently changed to a new one in the same field but I’m not really enjoying it as it’s not pushing me. I’m 26 and I feel like I’m wasting myself and my education, but I just don’t know what I want to do! I know I want a new job, but I don’t know what I want that job to involve and most of the jobs I would be interested in require experience, and I can’t really afford to retrain or go to university etc

How did you know what you wanted to do and what age were you? Have you always known?

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Avelosa Mon 15-Jun-20 13:06:22

Didn’t mean to enable voting!

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Bumble84 Mon 15-Jun-20 13:18:58

I still don’t know what I want to do. I’m 35! I went to uni and started a job. Had a couple of different roles within but like you I don’t find it challenging. It’s fairly well paid (by my standards) although I’ve reached the top of the scale now. I think the reason I’ve stayed is because it’s a good job, safe even during Covid and good hours to fit around life. Do I love it, no definitely not but I’ve just kind of accepted it is what it is.

I admire people who retrain in later life to do something else though. I’d have to be very sure what I was retraining for and like you I have no idea what that would be!

zingally Mon 15-Jun-20 13:22:42

No, I'm 35 and still don't REALLY know.

Like you, I did well at school, went to uni and did well there as well. I naively assumed that academic brains would transfer into a successful career, and that just hasn't been the case for me.

That being said, I've always been one of those people who has worked to live, not lived to work.
I work to pay my bills and pay for fun things. Honestly, now, I couldn't give two hoots what work I'm doing, as long as I have the money I need/want.

I now figure, as long as you don't hate your job, have enough money and a good work-life balance, that's good enough. Anything else is a bonus.

VenusClapTrap Mon 15-Jun-20 13:22:44

It took me five career changes to work it out.

Avelosa Mon 15-Jun-20 13:47:52

@Bumble84 I don’t think it helps that salaries aren’t great round here. I’m in a semi senior position with responsibility for other staff, and I’m nowhere near £20k so I don’t think that makes me feel great about it either!

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Avelosa Mon 15-Jun-20 13:49:39

@zingally I think that’s what I thought too. I thought that doing well with that and getting good results at my apprenticeship would open loads of doors and I’d just walk into something well paid that I love, but that definitely hasn’t happened! I’m glad it’s not just me!

@VenusClapTrap was that 5 different job roles or 5 completely different sectors?

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VenusClapTrap Mon 15-Jun-20 14:07:38

5 completely different, unrelated sectors. They were the sort of career changes that made colleagues say “You’re leaving to go and do WHAT?!” grin

PurplePansy05 Mon 15-Jun-20 14:21:27

I worked out my key strengths, both academically and in terms of my personality, talent and skillset, and thought about jobs that would give me an opportunity to rely on them and excel. I also knew I needed variety and constant learning and that I enjoy working with others. These criteria narrowed it down for me to certain professions and I have no regrets about my choice.

Avelosa Mon 15-Jun-20 14:21:46

@venusclaptrap I wish I was as brave as you!!

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FluffyKittensinabasket Mon 15-Jun-20 14:27:16

I still have no idea. Ended up working in offices!

SorryImNotCreative Mon 15-Jun-20 14:33:46

In the same position as you, OP. I’m 28 and did well in school, got a business degree and since then I’ve worked in 3 fairly mediocre office-based jobs.

As a PP said, I’m very much a “work to live” person. I haven’t enjoyed working life so far, and I’d love to find a job that I actually feel a bit of passion for! I know most of us won’t be lucky enough to find a job we LOVE, but a job I vaguely LIKE would be a step in the right direction grin

I can’t afford to retrain either at the moment, so I’ve got no idea what to do.

ThisShitCrazy Mon 15-Jun-20 14:37:57

I'm so fed up with my chosen career path, because I never chose it. I left school and needed to earn so I took on an apprenticeship in a specific field and I'm still doing it 16 years later. It's not my passion, I'll be brutally honest it's not even something I'm interested in.

I know what I want to do but I can't go back to earning pennies while I learn. I'm mid 30s with a mortgage and a wedding coming up. I feel trapped

AHippoNamedBooBooButt Mon 15-Jun-20 14:41:47

Still not entirely sure but after doing various jobs - retail, sales, call centre, nhs and now a teaching assistant, I have certainly managed to narrow down what I enjoy and what I dont. I dont think I could ever work in the private sector again. And would definitely never go back to selling stuff to make a rich guy even richer whilst being paid a fraction of that again. I know any job I do in future will involve supporting people in some way.

The only way you can be really sure what you do want to do is to also find out what you don't want to do

PumpkinPie2016 Mon 15-Jun-20 15:01:37

I looked at my skills and personality and used that to narrow things down.

I am someone who needs interaction with others, likes being busy and wanted to make a difference.

I became a teacher which ticks all 3 of the above boxes grin

I am happy with my career and I am progressing well.

PhilTheGroundhog Mon 15-Jun-20 15:13:02

I didn't have a clue but I fell into procurement and now I have a professional qualification in it. I definitely wouldn't have pursued this had it not been handed to me on a plate.

NudgeUnit Mon 15-Jun-20 15:20:03

It took me until my 50s, and what I'm doing now (and feel is right for me) was something I wanted to do all along but just didn't feel confident enough to choose publicly iyswim. I've had several careers and false starts along the way, some of them a bit jawdropping. I feel I wasted a lot of time, but I also had a lot of fun doing things that others might see as wasted time. I was always clearer about what I didn't want than what I did, and I walked away from a lot of things that I knew were wrong for me but that other people thought I 'ought' to stick with. When I finally made the choice to do what I really wanted to do I brought a lot of transferable skills and knowledge to it, but in all honesty I wish I had had the confidence to do it sooner. I squandered a lot of opportunities, with retrospect.

Devlesko Mon 15-Jun-20 15:27:54

I've always known what line I wanted to work in from being a tot. I'm in entertainment but I've changed so much over the past 30 years and have done a variety of different things. completely different to when I started.
I've also always known what I didn't want, which i think can be more important than finding what you do want.
I don't like Capitalism, consumerism, and money, and live on the fringes of society.
A huge bonus considering my work attracts peanuts. grin

What sort of lifestyle do you want? Will it require a career with progression to get there?
Or, are you happy to just make ends meet for the job you've always wanted?
Ask yourself where you want to be in 5/10 years time, you don't have to know the job just your chosen lifestyle.

Splodge1506 Mon 15-Jun-20 15:35:43

I didn't and don't - don't want to depress you but I'm within a decade of pensionable age!

Came to the conclusion years ago that the only thing I liked was being at home - domestic stuff. But no one will pay me to do that, so I slog on at what pays the bills, Monday to Friday. Most people have more drive than this though, and I'm sure you have too.

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