Career Plans are Risky

For the past four years, ever since I stepped foot onto a college campus, everyone has been asking me…”what do you think you want to do when you graduate?” This is a version of the question, “what do you want to do with your life?” I think these types of questions are nuanced and incredibly unfair to ask most people…in fact, I think most people are really just trying their best in life, and probably will never have an ‘absolute answer’ to pinpoint and articulate their life mission. 

I write this, as a senior now, and never before I have been targeted for this type of questioning. It almost feels like people have a personal bias/ego attached to knowing my answer. 

The truth? 

The absolute truth?

I do not know what I want to do when I graduate. The other truth? I do not care to know what it is I will want to do 6+ months from now!! 

Why should I? 

People get offended when I give them this answer…”But isn’t that risky? Isn’t recruiting right now?”

I am now learning that my style, amongst other things, is quite unconventional for these types of things in life, but I give people the genuine answer from my perspective: “It is risky to lock myself into doing something 6-12 months from now!” 

I have no idea what I am going to want in 6 months. I do not know what I want, really, in 2 months. 

These long career roadmaps, if anything, are risky. It is more risky to lock yourself into doing something terribly boring or low-growth profile when you could be doing something super exciting and fun! 

Instead of focusing all my time on the future, I try to at least do things in the present. I find people are always looking for the next rung on the ladder. Perhaps that gives many people satisfaction…I care more about tomorrow’s rung…perhaps a week from now! 

Also published on Medium.