Careers I’d Love to Try, From A Girl Who Can’t Commit (And Doesn’t Want To)
College is confusing because it’s one of the final stops left before you’re supposed to have things figured out. At least, this was what I had always thought. When school counselors and family members asked what I planned to do with my degrees, I resorted to answering that I was still figuring that part of the equation out – I had time, after all (right?). My problem has always been that there were too many things that I could see myself enjoying. As Sylvia Plath said: “Why can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?”
As I near the end of my junior year of college, it’s become more evident that a neatly designed career plan may not be in the cards for me. At the moment, my favorite hobby is finding a destination that interests me and searching job offerings there. I’m committed to trying on different lives and experimenting with as much as I can that piques my interest. As I’ve been searching, I’ve come up with quite an expansive list of the careers I could see for myself. While realistically, Plath is right – we can’t try on multiple lives – we can have multiple careers, and at the moment, this is the only type of career plan I wish for myself.
1. BRIDAL CONSULTANT
Ever since my mom and I started binge-watching Say Yes to the Dress when I was in middle school, I have been obsessed with following my favorite designers and eagerly awaiting New York Bridal Week. My understanding of the difference between a trumpet and a mermaid gown might give me a leg up in making the pursuit of this career a reality. To me, it would be such a special experience to be there for the moment a bride turns around in the mirror and says “yes” to a dress that I picked! While the dream would be to be a bridal consultant at Kleinfeld, the bridal salon where Say Yes to the Dress is filmed, this is something I’d love to do anywhere around the world. To be in a room full of dresses designed by luxury designers such as Gahlia Lahav or Pnina Tornai? This is an experience I know I want to fit into my lifetime.
2. TEACH ENGLISH ABROAD
As someone who loves working with kids and traveling, this career almost seems too good to be true. Even more so than traveling, I love the prospect of being able to experience a life in another country – something I got a taste of for the first time this summer, when I studied abroad in Tel Aviv. Creating my own routines and uncovering my favorite cafes and restaurants is something that I would love the opportunity to continue in any corner of the world. Teaching English is a route through which I plan to do this. At the top of my wish list would be to teach in Southeast Asia or the Middle East.
3. WORKING AT AN ART CENTER
As a summer camp counselor for my local Boys & Girls Club, my favorite activities to lead have always been art activities. There is something so special about handing paintbrushes and watercolors to a bunch of six and seven year olds and watching their creativity unfold! I know that at some point, I want to return to a career that’s centered on youth, and an art center would be such a fun and inspiring place to continue doing this type of work.
4. DESTINATION ELOPEMENT ADVENTURE PHOTOGRAPHER
This one is a mouthful, but for good reason. My bridal obsession has expanded from wedding dresses to photography as I’ve found several wedding photographers on social media whose content I love following. Rather than traditional venues, these photographers photograph couples wading in waterfalls in Iceland or hiking up cliff sides in Hawaii! It would be the most perfect way to combine my three loves of travel, bridal and creativity.
5. WORKING AT A WRITER’S RETREAT
One of my other passions that I simply do not dedicate enough time to is writing. While this has never transitioned into a desire to publish my own book, I love being surrounded by other people who share this passion. To me, it’s one of the coolest things to bring in a room full of people who get a jolt of energy from the same things that you do! And what better place to experience this than in some castaway cabin or island for a writer’s retreat? This would be the perfect job to fulfill my writer’s dream.
There’s the expectation that at the end of my college career, I’ll look at this list, choose one, and stick to it. However, I know that for me, there is little likelihood I love something enough to give up all the other things I want to try and places I want to live. So, maybe I can’t stick to one career, and while this perceived “commitment issue” is usually labeled as a downfall – I personally haven’t ruled out the very real possibility that my inability to choose might just lead me to some pretty exciting experiences. I think I’ve landed on my version of “figuring it out” – realizing that actually, college isn’t the end all be all. We have a lifetime to try on different careers, test the waters of what we love, and reject what doesn’t. I’m excited to leave college and become more aware of what my passions are and to follow them wherever they might lead me. Whether it’s in the bridal industry, teaching English abroad, or working at a writer’s retreat, I know that this first step is just the beginning – and I’m excited to keep figuring it out, always.