When There is No Clear Career Path – My Story
I am certain that I am not alone when I say I did not know what I wanted to be or do before reaching my adult years.
The point of this article is to understand that everyone lives according to his or her own timeline. You cannot always compare yourself to anyone, because as you go on day by day, you experience things that others don’t, and you start discovering parts of yourself. These discoveries can happen at any moment in your life…
This is my story.
As a naturally curious person, I wanted to learn about various topics, and gain expertise in different fields. More importantly, I wanted to make a difference; so I thought about all the potential career paths I could take – be a doctor (I did graduate with a degree in Health Science in CEGEP), be a lawyer, be an engineer, be a politician, be a psychologist, and even be a police officer/detective. Unfortunately, I knew that if I were not passionate about what I would do, I would not motivate myself to push the limits and go beyond. The creative part in me wouldn’t be satisfied.
Since I was young, I was always interested in fashion, but somehow, at a young age, I also knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world; and honestly, I think it was due to all those donation commercials that I saw as a child - it affected me even though I was definitely not their target audience. I knew I wanted to do something… but without actually knowing what to do or what it was I was feeling. As I grew up, however, I was slowly losing that feeling.
As any young teenager, my career and adult years were far ahead and I was simply enjoying myself. As an Asian child not knowing what I wanted to do, I blindly went into the science program.
At the beginning of my second year in science in CEGEP, I lost motivation. I knew for some time; during my second semester, I was slowly putting less and less effort into my studies. Yet, I did decide to finish my degree in science because I rationalized that I have already gotten so far (I also did NOT want to stay any longer in CEGEP), and if ever I did decide that I wanted to go back in that field, I had that degree.
Entering university, I decided to change programs - with no help from my academic advisor, may I add. I rediscovered my passion for fashion, but was more interested in the creative business side, rather than in the design process. So I decided to pursue a degree in marketing, not solely focused on fashion, as I really wanted to get the full business perspective.
I continued studying, going to social events, networking, meeting new people, and joining an organization, but it was not enough.
Finally, after meeting and being inspired by a certain someone, I rediscovered my desire to make a difference and inspire change.
Two summers ago (2016), I went outside of my comfort zone and decided to volunteer abroad. I finally had the chance to travel (after non-stop school and work), and decided to turn a vacation into a meaningful experience. I traveled to and volunteered in the Philippines on my own. It was scary at first, but it ended up being a life-changing experience. I met great people from around the world, had the chance to experience the Filipino islands and beaches, and had the opportunity to volunteer - primarily teaching kindergarten students (who are the brightest!) and doing construction work - in a small village in my parents’ home country. Meeting locals and actually being in those different living conditions were eye opening. And this only lasted a few weeks…
Coming home to Montreal, and immediately going back to being a full-time student, I felt incomplete and unsatisfied. I went from experiencing an amazing trip, to basically studying day and night.
So I decided to be a part-time student and full-time myself, working towards my career, improving my skills, and practicing mindful living. I didn’t take a semester off because I still wanted my bachelor’s as soon as possible; I simply needed less time studying.
Thanks to that, I had more time for myself and to explore, that I landed a job in a wholesale jewellery company, even with my lack of work experience in the position. Currently, I work for another company, and have discovered an interest for writing – I currently have a mini Insta blog (@eversoslow). I also have been given this amazing opportunity to write for a platform like That’s Real Talk!
I am still working towards my future. And truthfully, if you still haven’t figured out what you wanted to be or do, do not worry. School can only teach you so much - it is not enough to help you determine what you’ll be doing in the future, let alone what major you should take. My advice is to explore and experience a variety of things, as well as surround yourself with people who inspire you and push you to be your best self.
Who knows what doors you’ll open!
p.s. If you want to know more about me, my conscious fashion journey, and the social and environmental impacts of the industry, or to simply have a conversation, follow my Instagram: @eversoslow!