The Pressure of Picking Your Career

Dana is a 15 year old from Hi-nella, NJ. She loves to write and enjoys reading, singing, and shopping. Her goal is to help others through her writing, and bring attention to important topics.

All our life we’ve been asked “What do you want to be when you grow up”? Whether it’s a distant relative visiting, or your doctor at checkups who’s asking, who hasn’t had to answer that question? Of course our responses do change as we mature. Being fifteen years old I am definitely reconsidering my decision to be the tooth fairy. Although we are faced with this question pretty frequently in our lives, why is it we still have no clue? I mean, shouldn’t we know by now? Maybe by following my little journey to a career will help you gain some perspective.

After I went in a different career path then being a magical fairy that trades dollar bills for teeth, I decided I wanted to be a newscaster on television.  Being only 7 or 8 at the time I’d dress up in my mother’s special occasion or work suits and put on her heels. I’d kneel behind the cardboard box I had made my desk, and start telling the imaginary audience the weather forecast. The dream of wanting to be a newscaster stretched until I was 12 years old. Then one day I just decided I didn’t want to make that my career. That’s the thing about kids; we are unpredictable and can shift at any given moment.

When I turned 13 my path had totally changed. Upon graduating 8th grade, you are faced with the option of what schooling you’d like to pursue next. We could attend the local High School, or a trade school. I never had heard of any other types of schools at the time other than plain elementary and high school. A counselor from this trade school came to our school and gave us an idea of what it would be like if we chose to attend their school. I was absolutely fascinated. They passed out pamphlets that gave off excitement and a feeling of empowerment when you held it in your hand. As I flipped through it I realized how much this school offered. It had a large variety of training and skills you could receive in all kinds of fields. It varied from training in the cosmetic industry to the health care field. I think what I liked about this school the most was it made me feel closer to my future. Actually having to decide what type of training I’d like to pursue for my career. To people our age, for so long our career was just a distant step our life we weren’t even close to taking. When people asked you what you wanted to be, it was only a question asked for the sake of asking, and was usually answered with a cutesy unrealistic response.

That day I came home very excited to show my mom and dad the pamphlet I received that morning. I wanted to share all the knowledge I had of this other type of high school. It was like opening a whole new door to a world I didn’t even know existed. After flipping through the pages, we pointed out what courses looked neat and talked about which ones would be most beneficial to me and the skills I already possessed. After a few short hours, I made a decision to go into “allied health” and be a pediatric nurse as my adult career. My parents talked it over, and were unsure about letting me attend. We scheduled a visit, and after all the hype I ended up going to regular high school because it turned out it wasn’t for me. I came to this conclusion when on the tour they took me in the room I’d spend a majority of my time in if I chose to go there. This was the allied health room.  As I walked in I felt like I had just either walked onto the set of general hospital, or a real doctors office. Half of the room had hospital beds which mannequin patients lye in, and the other half was rows of computers for the medical billing part of training. As I walked around I looked at the students in action. They were smiling and having fun completing their tasks. At that moment I realized a difference between them and myself. I felt like if I had to wake up and come to this school and do this every day, then every day after I graduate, I would just be going through the motions and never reaching happiness. I felt like I’d be settling. I am ashamed because I almost snubbed this place like I was better then what they were offering.  After I went home, I realized it wasn’t the allied health room, or the school, it was me and my choosing this path for what I now know where the wrong reasons.

As much as I thought I knew at age 13, the choice I almost made would have had me attending a school that specialized and trained me in something I really didn’t want to do. Let’s go back to why I almost chose to go in the medical field to begin with. Upon looking at all the courses they offered, I chose allied health for three reasons. These reasons were helping people, good income, and feeling secure that I would always have a job. These are spectacular reasons to go into a field, but why was I still not feeling it? I realized the reason was because this field didn’t have what made me happy; writing. I thought because helping people was in my nature that I would enjoy this career, but that turned out not to be enough. Although a health profession is a beautiful way to help people and an excellent career to pursue, it just wasn’t for me because it didn’t involve helping people my way and doing what I loved. What I love is channeling emotions, knowledge, experiences, and opinions through words. What I love is enabling someone who’s simply opening a book or sitting at a desk to put themselves in a scenario and feel something they’ve never experienced. What I love is making someone understand something by typing or picking up a pen or pencil. What I love is helping people through my words. What I love is writing. Writing is my passion and it would be settling if I did something that didn’t involve my passion.

I’m a realistic person and I know that professions in the medical field like nursing will never tank no matter what shape the economy is in, but there is also various and exciting jobs for a writer as well. Sure maybe less “in demand” but I’m willing to take that risk in order to be successful in what I love. I plan to be smart about my choice because I know like anything else in life, it’s a slippery slope. I feel like I’m already on the right road and accomplishing a lot so far. I feel great to know that my writing is published on a well known parenting site monthly, and some adult writers don’t even get published once in their lifetime. I am blessed with my abilities and plan to pursue them in the smartest way possible. For better or for worse, writing is my passion. At the end of the day the person who’s waking up in the morning and going to the job you chose, is you guessed it, you. So think hard and be wise about the choice you make!

Why is it so important to think about now? Not to add pressure, but it is extremely important to have an idea of what career path your heading before you get to college. I know tons of people including some of my family, who have spent way more on changing their majors and training then they would have if they had a plan mapped out and made one clear decision of what to be and then got their degrees. Even if college isn’t necessarily for you, it’s important to know what you want to do in life before you are thrown out into the world. Do something that fits your talents, a job that reaches your full potential, and above all makes you happy. Our career isn’t as far away as it used to be, and we as teenagers need to consider what we want our adult life to be before it actually starts.

In conclusion, I’ve come along way in deciding what I want to do with my life. I know my future career will involve my passion for writing and having a voice in the world. There are so many jobs in the way I’ve chosen, and I feel confident that I will make it one way or another. This is because I know the path I’m heading down. Do you?


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