Every teenager (or even adult, at this point) reaches the stage of their life when they need to decide which career path to take. And it is a tough choice indeed. Even though everyone has the option to change their profession, no one wants to spend years (and a LOT of money) obtaining a degree to just throw it all away. On the other hand, there’s a lot of pressure and societal expectations that can also confuse young adults when they find themselves at a crossroads. So no wonder that recently, the question of how teenagers should tackle the situation and find a suitable job was brought up on Reddit.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Finding a career often requires exploring through hands-on experience, which provides clarity and insight beyond what can be learned online.
  • Careers in creative fields can be rewarding, but they also require passion to sustain through challenges like burnout and low pay.
  • Choosing a career involves balancing self-discovery with practical considerations, focusing on what aligns with your values and what can provide a stable, fulfilling future.

As teenagers, we all had our hobbies and things we simply enjoyed doing. Most of the time though, our parents don’t see any of those things seriously. They want us to find a good stable career (truly a rare specimen in this economy) that would pay us well and just let us have a life they probably didn’t have. Whether we want that or not, these narratives get embedded in our brains until we find ourselves not knowing what we want from this life at all.

A similar situation happened to this Reddit user, who recently shared his confusion as to choosing a viable career path.

Reading this post, it’s clear that many teenagers struggle with similar concerns about their future careers. The uncertainty, pressure, and desire to find a suitable path can be overwhelming. However, this particular post sparked a lively discussion in the comments section, where experienced professionals and empathetic individuals offered valuable advice and encouragement. Let’s explore some of the insights shared by the Reddit community and see how they addressed this young person’s dilemma.

Search for Hands-On Experience

The first advice that raised a decent amount of controversy, was given by a 71-year-old Redditor. They emphasized that when exploring potential careers, gaining hands-on experience can be invaluable.

“Well here’s what doesn’t work…Staying at home or just doing searches on the Internet. You need to go out into the world and talk to people doing different jobs. This calls for thinking outside the box because there are regular boring jobs that are a dime a dozen and there are unique jobs, like working for wealthy people”

This advice resonated with another commenter who acknowledged,

“I really needed to hear, ‘doing searches on the internet doesn’t work.’ I’m on Reddit all day searching for answers to my life.”

While online research can certainly be resourceful, as one software developer pointed out, practical experience often provides a clearer perspective on what suits one’s interests and skills. However, another user argued that telling someone to ‘go out there and be hands-on’ sounds similar to ‘just follow your passion’ which is not the most helpful advice. They highlighted the challenge of committing to a trade school only to realize they dislike it. Nonetheless, most people still think that hands-on experience doesn’t always require full commitment. Small steps like writing a blog about potential interests or experimenting with a hobby can be insightful.

Considering this fact, some Redditors even expressed regret over the fact that they skipped on that part when looking for a professional path.

“I realized recently that it’s just avoidance… while I’m still pretty young, I’m only going to keep getting older, and facing this reality is just going to get more and more painful.”

From the first view, it seems like the overarching sentiment is that while researching online has its benefits, getting practical, real-world experience helps teenagers better understand their passions and career preferences, preventing future regrets.

The Realities of Creative Careers

Exploring the topic of opportunities for creative individuals, some Redditors said that pursuing such a career can be both rewarding and challenging. As one Reddit user, an artist, pointed out, mental blocks and the lack of original ideas are common challenges. They emphasized,

“It’s all derived from our life experiences and interests… But yeah, working in games takes a lot of work, and the pay is generally low.”

This highlights the need for passion to sustain oneself in such careers. Another user, who studied graphic design, shared a similar sentiment, noting that pursuing their passion was a bad idea due to burnout and lack of job opportunities. And it looks like it’s not uncommon for people in creative fields to lose their passion or find that their work becomes a chore. As one user put it,

“That’s why I said, you need to know that you like it, and that you won’t lose passion after.”

This aligns with another user’s story of starting as a bioengineering major, then transitioning to nursing, and finally becoming a healthcare attorney. They concluded that’s important to enjoy your journey, especially if you are young with a whole life ahead of you.

Changing a Career: Is it Really an Option?

Changing careers and paths is normal and often expected, as another commenter expressed relief in learning. They noted,

“I definitely get caught up in fear sometimes. And I get so influenced sometimes by salary that I sometimes find myself researching high-paying jobs that I know will make me miserable.”

For those considering the competitive field of video game design, one user warned,

Given the uncertainties of creative careers, it’s important to think about future demand, location, and personal interests. As was revealed, in creative fields, adaptability is a major key.

Self-Discovery and Practicality

the last point that many users collectively agreed with, is that choosing a career involves a balance between self-discovery and practicality. As one Reddit user emphasized,

“Knowing what career suits you goes a lot deeper than the job itself. It comes from a self-discovery work to help you really understand your values and beliefs.”

They suggested getting creative with envisioning your future and understanding what truly aligns with your dreams and desires. Another user, reflecting on their 15 years of experience, offered a practical perspective:

“Sometimes I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I look back at what I’ve been good at and that will pave the way to greener pastures.”

They stressed the importance of investing in oneself and recognizing that career paths can change over time. The pragmatic approach was also highlighted by some other people, advocating for choosing a career that is tolerable and marketable:

“Just pick something mildly interesting and tolerable and run with it. The money and freedom from picking a career this way removes all financial stress and allows you to pursue hobbies during your free time. I have started 100 dumb hobbies and continue to do so.”

The Key Point

In sum, career choices often come down to a blend of self-discovery, using your strengths, and practical considerations. However, no matter what you choose to do, it is all about what you make out of it. Each path offers unique benefits and opportunities for growth.

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