‘No… I Don’t Know What I Want To Be When I Grow Up’

a photo of me holding up two signs stating: "your opinion sucks, but i'll pretend to care about it"

edit by: Shamil Ahmed

We say this all the time to relatives, right? Or is it just Sham? Either way, he’s here to tell you that it’s okay not to know what you want to do for a living. Because part of the fun is curiosity, discovery and finding out for yourself.

Dear Old Relatives Who Ask Me At Every Family Function Whether I’ve Decided What I Want to Do With My Life Because Being A YouTuber Isn’t a Profession

A picture of a classy ol' bloke captioned "well played sir, well played indeed"

source: Mohamed Nour-Elmi

Stop asking me what I want to be when I grow up. Things are different now. There’s not a choice of careers or free degrees. Everything from school, jobs, and even living has changed.

There are a crazy amount of subjects at school and college. Don’t even get me started on university (you can get a degree in Beyonce now, oh my god).

With the job market being so competitive, what would make me stick out ahead of others? Would it be my degree? Would it be my experience? What are employers actually looking for?

The cost of tuition at MOST universities in England is £9,000 a year. The average course takes three years, which means that it costs around £27,000 to get a degree, not including rent/bills, cheap stationary, all the kebabish takeaways and whacky attempts to cook.

student graduation photo captioned:

source: http://quicklol.com

Not everyone is willing to take a £30k gamble on whether their degree is going to land them their dream job. Therefore apprenticeships, internships, gap years and volunteering become much more appealing.

To get into a career that one both genuinely enjoys and makes a living off is a different story.

Just getting into a particular industry involves special skills and knowledge. Where does one seriously get the time, energy and cha-ching to get that knowledge and level of skill? Can we even afford to figure out?

I’ve heard accounts of people having to work two or three jobs just to get closer to a better paying job, that isn’t something just anyone can do, nor is it something anyone should have to do.

So when you ask me what I want to be when I grow up, how am I supposed to know? I can’t afford to take a gamble on a degree, internships involve working for free and I can’t get a job because I don’t have experience, and I can’t get experience because I can’t get a job. 

And FYI, YouTubers like Zoella are estimated to be making around £300,000 a year, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Dear Person That Has No Idea What They Want To Be

Don’t let it get to you. Not knowing what you want is a completely normal thing.

Leo Dicaprio in Inception saying: "so getting a job is as hard as me getting an oscar"

edit by: Shamil Ahmed

I’m not saying that the above is an excuse to tell your mum why you aren’t a millionaire yet or at least pulling a part-time shift somewhere; I’m merely reminding you that it isn’t always your fault.

While some aim for success (whatever that means), and others are aiming to make a living, that doesn’t guarantee any of us know what we’re doing.

the road to success: expected route shows a straight route, whereas the real route is in reality a hectic one.

edit by: Shamil Ahmed

If you are someone who can’t exactly put their finger on what they want, now is the time to get seriously motivated.

Lock yourself in your room, and have a serious one-to-one with the mirror and ask yourself what your interests are; from there, do some searching.

Start doing stuff.

I don’t mean go out and spend your life savings on a random course that happens in your local community centre. Go to recruitment agencies, go to career advisors, go speak to your teachers, there are a lot of opportunities around. You just might have to hunt for them.

Volunteer, do apprenticeships/internships, shadow, network and go to events.

A lot of this may be unpaid, but as long as you’re strategic about what you’re doing, you will find something that interests you.

The frustration of being asked what do you want to be can make you feel a little bit like this guy:

Disney's rendition of hercules doing a timeout hand sign.

source: http://a.dilcdn.com

But find comfort in you not being the only one being asked.

You are just like everyone else, so don’t ever think you are hopeless, you are awesome, and you just don’t know it yet.

It’s okay to not know what you want to do yet. Part of the fun is figuring it out.

So did this article change your perspective on nagging confused young people? Tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up? Where are you working now? Fill us in or rant your heart out @rifemag (on Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr) or at Rife Magazine (on Facebook), you can be completely honest. 

Related Links: 

You Vs. Stress

Learning Partnership West

The Station Bristol

Rife Hangout