Go For Your Dream Job, Not Your Ideal Job

Do you constantly find yourself worrying and wondering what you will be doing after graduation? Well, we all are and I want to assure you that although everything seems so undetermined and up in the air, it’s all going to come together. Now, if you’re sitting in this same situation and wondering if you picked the right major, career path, or lifestyle, you are not alone. Don't let your chosen degree or career path hinder your choices after graduation.

The first day of freshman year, I went to the Career Development Center to take multiple tests and surveys to determine the “ideal job for me.” I went through the whole process and ultimately came to the decision of occupational therapy. So, I decided to go down the exercise science pathway.

I found a drive to pursue this degree not through being intrigued in my classes and degree, but instead by the fact that this would get me to my “ideal job.” I did enjoy my internships and actual hand on experience in the field, but lacked a passion like I had in other interests. I almost changed majors at one point, but held myself back because I felt I was too far into my program and thought it would be best to be in a secure job field.

Throughout my time in college I had many opportunities to travel abroad, in which I developed a true love and desire for traveling. However, I continued on pursuing my major, disregarding this.

It came down to senior year and I started applying to occupational therapy schools. I quickly started receiving denied letters and become increasingly discouraged. When the final letter came with the same news as all the previous, I hit a low point. I cried out of frustration and felt completely lost. How could I have worked so hard for four years, only to reach this point? What I didn’t know was that I thought I had lost the best opportunity for me, but in reality I lost the best thing for me. I had no idea what I was going to do, or what I was going to be.

Talking with my boyfriend in utter disappointment and sadness he said, “you realize you don’t have to be an occupational therapist.” He continued, “do something that you love, something that intrigues you, something that’s fun.” And in that moment it all hit me, I was pursuing my “ideal job,” not my “dream job.”

I thought for a moment and within seconds said “well there are two things I truly love in my life: traveling and cooking.” To which he replied, “well do something fun with traveling, like being a flight attendant!” The next day I applied for a flight attendant position with United Airlines. Within a week and a half I was sitting in Newark in the final phase of an interview being told I got the job. This entire year I have been dreading graduation, but now I couldn’t be more excited for the next phase of my life.

It seemed so easy to come to this conclusion of pursuing a job that I loved, I’ve been working towards one career path for four years and in less than two weeks I decided on a completely different path. I realized that the whole time I have been in college I’ve been pushing myself for the “ideal job,” the job that’s secure, pays well, and has job openings. But, I was missing the most important part: if I had a passion for it, if it excited me every day, and if I looked forward to pursuing it.

I’ve finally found my dream job and I could not be more excited for my future. If you feel the same way that I did, don’t be discouraged. It’s never too late to change your major or career path. It might not be easy, but it will be worth it. Don’t be afraid to confront how you feel about your career choice, and have faith that everything will ALWAYS work out the way that it’s supposed to.