Experiences and hobbies lead to a variety of career paths, but not all students will get the job they desire.
A 2018 LinkedIn survey revealed that 47% of professionals aged 35-44 feel like they are “sleepwalking” through their career, unsure of what their career path should look like. In the same survey, 80% of professionals 24 and under would consider switching careers to achieve their dreams.
Most people won’t find a hobby that will turn into a career, and most workers will find a job that leaves them dissatisfied or yearning for more creative input or involvement in their careers.
According to a jobs report published by CreativeLive, 51 million working Americans would quit their current job for more creative employment, while another 41 million would accept a pay cut for more creativity.
In a survey for the report, 19% of workers say they took their job because of a financial need, and 9% of workers have a second job that gives them an opportunity to be creative. 9% of respondents say they are underemployed, or working at a job beneath their education level or skill set.
Don Brown, 47, already has a bachelor’s degree and experience in the financial sector. He returned to Salt Lake Community College to finalize the requisites he needed for his teacher’s license.
“It was an underlying theme, an underlying feeling I’ve had, one that I’ve buried for a long time, because initially I just wanted to make a bunch of money, and teachers don’t,” Brown says. “A lot of people around me were really excited, because it’s not the normal approach to quit a fantastic job to go get paid less, but I was happy.”
Brown served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, later working in finance and banking until two years ago. His old job at Fidelity Investments had a program that had asked questions like “What career would you pursue if you could?” and “How would you achieve that?”
Those questions helped Brown realize that his dream to be a teacher was entirely possible. He says he didn’t have teachers with that interactivity he would’ve liked, but still found that teaching was a calling.
But the path isn’t clear cut for everyone.
Students like Wisdom Agbabli, who is majoring in computer engineering, know what they would like to do, but aren’t entirely certain what fits the best.
“I just feel like I’m kind of forced to find something to do just so I can get [a job], but then, at the same time, I want to also find something I really enjoy, something I can see myself doing for a long time,” Agbabli says.
Agbabli says the innovation behind creating something new or improving on existing work is what drives him to understand his major. Even if something doesn’t work out entirely, because of the various areas that computer engineering is involved, he sees it as a skillset that can be implemented wherever it is needed.
While computer engineering is a path, Agbabli says he would like to have a more detailed idea on what he wants to do within his field.
“[I’m] just trying to find a company or a job that I can go to … so I can explore my options and get a very in-depth sense of what each job does and [what each] position has to offer,” Agbabli says.
Currently, Agbabli is satisfied with his choice, as long as he is able to work on the design and building side of a process. He still enjoys spending time fixing things for fun when he can.
SLCC students who would like help choosing a career can visit the Career Services office to learn more about career exploration and other resources.