The move from early to mid-twenties can often be overlooked as a pivotal moment in your life. It is now believed there is such a thing as a mid-twenties crisis and at the heart of this plight are career choices. It is a time when the solid vision that you had as a child that you were going to grow up to be a princess, cowboy or the main character in the latest film you had seen (I spent a long time wanting to train dolphins after watching Flipper) has long gone, so where does that leave you?
Choosing which field to go into often involves making a choice about what is more important to your future, money or the things you are passionate about. Questioning whether to follow a path that will pay the rent or one that will, touch wood, after years of graft earn enough for you to get by and ultimately leave you feeling fulfilled. There are some people for whom the acquisition of money in itself is a passion, but for most of us we are stuck in a dilemma between earning a decent wage or go with the long haul option we love.
This is difficult in many career fields, but none more so than the 'suffering artist' stereotype. Artists, musicians, actors, dancers are all at some point confronted with a decision to make particularly as you enter your mid-twenties and start thinking about adult life, things such as mortgages, marriage and children. There are many upsides to building your career around the things that were once just a hobby, but unfortunately unless your hobby is finding gold you need to find money for essentials from somewhere.
Unemployment at the end of last year fell by 167,000, with youth unemployment (those in the 16-24 age bracket) decreasing by 39,000 from the previous three months to 920,000. Statistics show that a big part of this is due to the number of people registering as self-employed. Self-employment is allowing young people just starting off in the real world after university to control their own path and make some money out of subjects they are passionate about along the way. Following this path may mean that the idea of having to substitute what you want eg to love what you're doing, for what you need eg food and somewhere to live, will no longer apply.
However there are many out there who still want to climb a corporate ladder. A case is point is a young woman I spoke to the other day, who has just turned down a position in music for the chance to work at a company that allows her the potential to work up into a management position and hopefully one day be making big bucks. It seemed to me that while this involved an incredible amount of fore thought about future finances, it was a decision made because she felt that was the grown up thing to do. But what happens in ten years time, when she is bored witless in a job she has no motivation for?
Today's society despite what many believe does pressure many young people to get a job quick, almost without thinking or caring what it is, just so you can say you have one. Sometimes it can be hard to take a moment to consider what could be the most important direction for your future career path.
While a lot of people may say these choices do not have to be made right now, if we start out doing what we love then want to change to work at a big company for money, have we missed the opportunity? Those young people that leave it too long before deciding have the potential of being passed over for those that have been working in companies since leaving university. While life fulfillment is a great goal, how you achieve your passion may in the long run have to adapt and change as your career grows.
This choice while usually presenting more questions than answers does help to convey how much twenty something's need to query these aspects before it gets harder to change your mind.