Actually, it may start even before kindergarten, maybe even as early as shortly after you learn how to talk. What am I talking about? Why, choosing your career, of course.
Did you ever notice how early in life a child chooses his career? One day it’s “When I grow up I want to be a fireman.” The next day it’s “When I grow up I want to be a doctor.” The list goes on and on, each day, a different one. And maybe that’s how the selection of a career should be done.
I know it sounds unrealistic but just think about it. If you were a medical student, you’d be required to go through clinical rotations in different specialties and treat patients under the supervision of physicians. By the end of these rotations, you’d know which specialty was best suited for you.
So, why can’t everyone do something similar to that? Why can’t they try out different careers before making the final selection? Why is it necessary to decide what they want to be when they grow up after they graduate from college? Why can’t they continue trying out different careers like they were doing before kindergarten?
People are living longer these days and most of them aren’t happy with their careers. They start out by looking at the fields that pay the most money, not taking into account that the economy fluctuates and many fields eventually become obsolete, especially the ones that fall under the realm of technology.
What does a kid in his late teens, early twenties, know about life? How can he possibly know for sure that the field he wants to enter will still interest him in ten years?
I think I would tell every student to take summer jobs in as many different fields as he can, between the beginning of high school to the end of college, even if he has to work without pay, just to find out what kind of work appeals to him.
And if you’re already in a career that isn’t a good match, investigate other options and don’t be afraid to take the risk of starting over in something else. If this is what you’re going to do for the rest of your life, you’d better love it.