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How could you know at 18?

How could we know at age 18 what we want to do with our working lives? The odds are stacked high against us.

There are thousands and thousands of professions and jobs in so many different locations and industries...and at 18, it's unlikely that we really know anything about more than five or ten.

When I was 18, here are the jobs I had actually seen performed. (And even for these, there was lots of behind-the-scenes stuff I hadn't seen.)

1. Professional athlete or other live performing artist - from watching TV

2. Teacher - from going to school and b/c my dad was an English teacher

3. Coach - from playing sports and b/c my dad was a coach

4. Pastor - from going to church

5. Garbage Collector - from taking trash cans to the road on Tuesday mornings

6. Mail delivery person - from seeing mail delivered but not in my hometown

7. Lawn mower - from mowing lawns with my dad and brothers

8. Waiter - from dining in a restaurant

And to think that most people haven't actually seen their parents perform their jobs! When you think of it this way, it almost seems hopeless that we'll find the work we love. And it is, if we don't proactively search for it.

Posted by Ian Ybarra on 14 October 2005