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Career paths. I'm lost. Answered

Hi, I'm lost, and I was wondering if you could help me.

I feel stuck in life, and I've decided that I'm going to put my life into action with as much vigor as possible.  I've decided to start with finances and education.  I've got the finances part figured out, but I have no idea on education.  

I'm twenty years old.  I went to a technical college for Information Technology and Communications Systems, and I left after a year because I was no longer interested, I don't believe I was prepared to take the educational leap (I hindered myself), and I left for a relationship.

I don't want to make that mistake again.  Being a maker, what types of possibilities are out there for career paths?  What type of education should I pursue?  How do I make sure that what seems like a great choice doesn't turn out to be a passing fad like my past venture?  

I feel as if I've wasted too much time.  I haven't been in high school for three years, and I have nothing to show for it.  I need to get this going as soon as possible.


Step one: start at the end and work backwards - decide where you want to end up, then work out how to get there.

You don't need to pick a specific job to aim for, but a field and a context.

(Bear in mind that most people do not get to follow a career that makes them happy, but the income finances whatever it is makes them happy. For instance, my father is a self-employed consultant in his field, and spends two to four months consulting, then takes time out travelling the world.)

Great advice! Who was your mentor?

I've never had one - I'm entirely self-taught, philosophically (I believe you've seen my Tao?).

Oh yes! I remember the day I read that, I really wanted to leave a better comment but I wanted to re-read it when I had a little more time. Kiteman, you amaze me! America needs a few more people that share your ideas. When you are an old man I imagine many of your students visiting you and telling you how you helped them become the people they are. You probably already have!

When you add up those little bits over time it adds up! Thanks for your little bits!

And thank you for your kind comments.

You are welcome! Teachers who care are under appreciated in my opinion. It must be rewarding though in ways.

Aye. That's the idea. I just have no idea where I want to be.

Then do what I did at your age - go with the flow, see where you end up.

If you're wanting to return to education, pick a course that genuinely interests you, not one that promises a progressive career.

If you're passionate about the subject, and do well at it, you will, somewhere along the line, figure out a way of monetising your passion.

Classic flip-flop? Start at the end and work backwards, oh OK, then start at the beginning and work forwards instead.
Which do you think is actually best? I'm interested since you've thoughts about both.


"It depends"

If you do have a clear destination, an ultimate goal, then it's best to work backwards ("I want be a head, so before that I'll need to be a deputy head, and before that, I'll need to get involved in pushing through grand scheme X to bolster my CV").

Me, I'm not in it for the career. I'm happy teaching, but I've gotten involved in interesting projects as they've arrived, filled in slots as they've needed filling. I didn't apply to be a head of year, I was invited to fill the role because of what I was already doing. I didn't plan to be working [specifically] at my new high school, but it turned out that a scheme I got involved in at my last school fits right in with my new school's future plans.

Some people need goals to work towards to feel happy in their lives, and they need plans to work through to get there.

Some of us make sure that we are happy where we are, but don't mind moving on.

Yes that's sense.
I had a nice feed this evening, being happy with what you've spooned onto your plate is what life's about.


I admire you Flintlock! You should credit yourself because you have discovered something within that a lot of kids your age don't seem to find until later in life. Everyone has offered a lot of great advice. The twenties are great years to discover who you are and where you want to go. You will change a lot in the next few years don't rush it! Be smart though.

Hang out with positive people. Continue your education by getting all the required subjects out of the way. By the time you have that accomplished . . . you might have a lot of your questions answered. I have known a lot of kids who have continued their education and did not know where their passion was.

This will help you feel like you are accomplishing something but allow you to grow and explore your options and discover who you are. Knowledge is power! Stay free until you know who you are. This one thing could save you a lot of heartache and ensure a positive future for you as well as your future family.

How long ago were you in school? Maybe now you are ready to go back. I wish you the best!

Stay active. As long as you're doing something, you're bound to find a passion somewhere. Don't be afraid to try new things either.

You read my book. No one wants to waste life, find something you can get into and then apply your talents to that.
It's important to have something for which education counts, first (once you get beyond your basic job-entry points-score).
I spent years doing Chemistry, I'm bored with it now - waste of time? I got things out of it which work for me in what I like doing, the certification doesn't mean much really.


I share your frustration.....I have worked in the computer industry for 25+ years and it is a dying needed skill set around here. I have to find a completely new skill to learn or be left back working in a few dish-washing places. . . my problem though, is no one wants to hire a "newly trained 52 year old" *sigh*


6 years ago

A good starting point maybe to have better self awareness; take a few weeks/months to find out who you are. Explore your likes, dislikes, preferences, strengths, weaknesses, values etc. There are loads of tools out there to help you, or just simply reflect. From there you may have a better understanding of what direction you want to follow.

Also, don't give yourself a hard time about the past. Mistakes will help you learn, don’t be paranoid about making them as it will restrict your progress, learn from them and move on. Stay focused on who you are, and what makes you happy then you can’t go wrong!