What if my job has nothing to do with what I majored in?

While picking the right major is important, if you choose to do something unrelated once you graduate you won’t burst into flames or have your degree taken away. It’s actually more common than you think. The worse that will happen is you might have to work extra hard in order to get on a level playing field with someone who majored in that area.

Some people do pick a major and end up hitting that career path fresh from college, but some don’t and that’s okay too. Try not to compare yourself too much to others. Now I’m not saying to throw a dart at a major and go with it, but rather find something that does interest you and you genuinely WANT to do.

Picking the “right” major boils down to what is right for you

This also might reflect college you, but not necessarily ‘you’ upon graduation. What are your interests? What are you passionate about? While in college that “right” major might be suitable at the time; when you get into the real world it could shift. Don’t be too hard on yourself for that.

My advice is to pick a major that you have interest in and want to learn more about. Investigate jobs related to your major of choice and if those jobs sound like you’d enjoy it, dive in!

I’m right where I am meant to be

If you had told me when I was still in college that I would now be living in Amsterdam working in tech, I would have laughed and said “yeah, right, doubtful.” If you had then told me that I would go down various and seemingly unrelated career paths, go to grad school in health communication and move to Cambodia, I probably would have skipped the laughter and just slapped you. Not everyone’s path ebbs and flows as much as mine, but I can say without a doubt that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

There is no right or wrong

Only what’s best for you. While my current job is not reflective of what I went to undergrad for (Art Education), I wouldn’t change a thing. I don’t beat myself up for my extravagant career path and the twists and turns that it’s taken. I have met some amazing people and keep in touch with many of them, some of whom helped me land my next job. All that I have done has provided me with unmatched experience and I wouldn’t trade any of it. I am happy and successful. That is what is most important for me in this life.

You can always use your degree down the line if you so choose

What I mean is, it doesn’t expire. If you decide to pursue a career related to your major down the line, do it. While I never used my degree, I can go into the field if I so choose. Well, with a little extra training.

You will still learn something

Now you might be thinking, “isn’t it a waste of money not to pursue a career in my major?” Personally speaking: no. However, if I became interested in engineering after college I would have kicked myself. I would have definitely had to go back to school and wasted my first go ’round.

College, for me, was never a waste of time or money. I learned valuable lessons, made awesome mistakes and realized I am capable. In addition, many of the skills I have today are from on the job learning.

My college life and experiences to this day have laid a foundation for me to realize what it is I want to do and how I envision my future. I knew I didn’t want to pursue a career in medicine, IT, or engineering so perhaps that allowed me to explore my career options once out of college. Choosing a different career path outside my major has not caused any real pain and I haven’t combusted or had my degree revoked. I’m still the same skin and bones I was in college, albeit a smidge older and wiser.

If you choose a major, stick with it and have a long career based (entirely or loosely) on that major, kudos to you! However, if you are on the opposite end of that spectrum, know that college is just the beginning of life’s adventure. Cut yourself some slack if you find yourself interested in something entirely unrelated to your major upon graduation.

FindMino – Get inspired

Finding the right major is a challenge for all of us. FindMino is here to inspire you and help you discover the right path – and at least reduce the amount of times you would change majors. See below for some suggestions.

Check our other blogs related to career advice here.