Leah Shockley has been involved with various aspects of higher education for the past five years. She has worked in both private and public school sectors, developed online campuses, and stood as a career coach for students on various ground campuses nationwide. Currently studying Organizational Leadership, Leah is constantly looking to share her talents and expertise in a number of professional avenues including marketing, freelance writing, PR, and entrepreneurship. She has developed her own relational blog, vested in a number of startup companies, and has been in the field of song writing over the last decade. Leah thrives when helping others define their life path, personal goals, and long term career objectives.
If I could give college students one piece of advice it would be: choose a direction and a career you’ll be happy [or at least content] with, long term. This is not to say you won’t go through a trial and error process discovering what that direction is, but be mindful of your passions. It is easy to succumb to the money making industries as well we their professions, but will it make you happy? If there is one thing I’ve learned entering the world of professionalism and career development before finishing school, it is truly how easy it is to buckle to the “comfortability” of entering a career field or industry.
For a number of years I have found myself entering into one career field after another, not necessarily because I had a passion for it, but because it paid the bills – each providing me with more money than the last. I had money, a nice car and my own apartment in the city, but (you guessed it) I was not happy. I dreaded going into work every day, doing something that provided stability but resulting in me being treated poorly as an employee and/or not providing me with a sense of fulfillment. It was just another mundane work experience that most Americans cease to resist because it lines the pockets, some more heavily than others.
While we cannot under estimate the importance of taking care of said responsibilities or even placing a price on freedom, there is nothing saying that we cannot take care of those responsibilities as well as retain our freedom while doing something we love. Sure, we have heard such statements growing up, but how many of us really take it to heart? I’m here to officially tell you, YOU SHOULD. Being young, the possibilities and choices are endless, and so it is easy to get caught up taking on ventures now [whether in school or in the “real world”] that may not pan out as we would have hoped futuristically.
Remember, the choices we make now in college and outside of college set the foundation for what we do in the future. So, if you are passionate about the arts partake in them whole heartedly. If you want to become a doctor because you are nothing less but fascinated by human anatomy and helping your fellow man, become one. If you like building things with your hands or coming up with structural design ideas for homes and furniture, design it and build it! There is nothing more unsatisfying or ultimately depressing than doing something routinely if it doesn’t make you light up from the inside out.
So I encourage you to dabble and dance around the idea of a few different career options, do not settle for one career path over another because it lands you an extra $10,000 to $20,000 a year. The figures seem great at first, but once you realize you spend more time in the work place than you do with friends or family going out and having a good time, you start to realize the importance of doing something you love and making sure that you understand the true essence of happiness within making the right career choice.