Taking the Leap: Changing Career Paths

If you haven’t noticed yet, our world has been a little hectic lately. Between the pandemic, possible UFO’s, and the craze of Netflix’s Tiger King, I think we can all agree it’s been a rollercoaster of a year. Add onto the fact, there are approximately seven million Americans that were prevented from looking for jobs according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these individuals are recent college graduates, like myself. 

So, let’s cut to the chase…

Approximately 70 percent of America’s workforce are not engaged in their work

The Beginning

I recently graduated with a master’s degree in forensic psychology. When I first started that degree, I had so many plans and dreams for where this degree would take me. I didn’t necessarily realize what would actually happen by the time I finished this degree. Yes, I graduated during the middle of a nation-wide lockdown but, right before that, I started to get burnt out on the degree I was working so diligently on. I started getting second thoughts on whether I wanted to work in this field. Then you add in the extremely hard time I was having just trying to find a job. Seriously, In a matter of a few weeks I applied to over 50 jobs and only had one interview. One that didn’t even go very well! 

When I started to seriously consider changing career paths, I had done an extensive amount of research. In fact, did you know that most people don’t even end up in jobs that are related to their degrees? Only about 27 percent of college graduates end up in jobs that match their majors.

Do what you love, and everything will follow.

With my research I covered a variety of different career paths I might enjoy – teaching, freelancing, and even creating my own business with my sewing hobby I do on the side. When I started looking into these other paths was when I really discovered that all I wanted to do with my life, was something fun and creative. A job that I enjoyed going to everyday.

Do What You Love

I was starting to feel more and more stressed out and I started realizing my heart wasn’t necessarily in this field. I wanted to do something I loved. Something fun and creative, but I was worried that I would be a disappointment to my family if I bailed on the two degrees that I worked so hard on. As I pursued the possibility of changing career paths, I searched for approval from them but never got what I was looking for.

I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life. I just know that I want to have fun while doing it.

I know there are so many people out there that are in the same boat as I am – looking for that approval to go outside the lines that you laid for yourself. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to color outside those lines and expand your horizons! Do what you love, and everything will follow. Whether that’s going back to school (or going to school for the first time!) to change your career entirely, learning to run your own business, or selling handmade items on eBay or Etsy. When you do what you love, you’ll love life a little more. 

As for me, I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life. I just know that I want to have fun while doing it. If that’s continuing to write in hopes that my words on a blank page will inspire people, then that’s what I’ll do. Changing career paths can be scary, but it can also be worth it.

Before I leave, I want to leave you with this statistic from the American Psychological Association: approximately 70 percent of America’s workforce are not engaged in their work. This statistic alone empowers me to go beyond my boundaries and to jump into something I enjoy so I can be a part of the 30 percent that is engaged in their job. 

For more information check out liveyoudream.org, and if you’re still in high school or lower, take a look at their “Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls” program that aims to help adolescent girls explore careers, create action plans, and identify personal values.

After earning her master’s degree in forensic psychology, Kara Miller is enthusiastic about exploring other industries that bring out her creative side. She wishes to help inspire people with her writing Outside of writing in her free time, she also enjoys playing video games, reading, and sewing.

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