Today's economy is really rough - that's not news to anyone. Even the people living under rocks know that no one has enough money, there aren't enough jobs, gas is too expensive, and the prices for everything are increasing while our paychecks either decrease or stay the same. Most of my friends from my high school graduating class don't have jobs, or at least, we don't have jobs in the fields we've chosen to go into. Seriously. I get asked all the time about my friends and I's jobs and I'm hard pressed to find anyone my age who is currently in the field of their choice (let alone bringing home the bacon. More like we're bringing home the bacon bits - you know, the dried bits of flaky grossness found in a can in the dressing isle - if it's bacon, shouldn't it be refrigerated??).
The annoying thing is, as children of the 90's, we grew up with a lot of hippie education tactics. Aside from planting trees every Arbor Day, we were constantly, and I mean constantly, told to pick a career choice that would make us happy. Not "pick a career choice that's smart," or "pick a career field that is growing," or even "pick a career that will make you financially stable, even if you don't enjoy it."
And here's why I think that is: I think the generation teaching us (and yes, that's some of you) is unhappy with the job choices they made, and out of the goodness of their hearts they told us to do something that would make us happy, because in the end, happiness is better than money. I don't disagree with this philosophy, and I don't disagree that their hearts and minds were in the right place. HOWEVER, my generation is getting royally screwed over right now, and yes, that is a fact.
But, as an unemployed High School and Middle School English Teacher (who has yet to use her degree) and a Music Technology Major (who has yet to use his degree)...we can't do a darn thing about it except to keep trying to find better paying jobs in better fields.
But what we can do about it is to find some perspective.
It's always been my life philosophy that I shouldn't have to do anything I don't want to do because I only have ~80 years of this life to live, so I sure as heck shouldn't waste my time doing something I dislike. (Hence why I remained mostly unemployed through high school and college - true story). Ideally, we can't all do exactly what we want for the exact pay that we want, but I think it's good to take a step back from reality to decide what we could be doing if "anything were possible" (like our elementary teachers told us). Because maybe by recognizing what we would do in the ideal, we can bring ourselves closer to finding the paths to get us there.
"I'd be an usher dude at the ballpark. Wipe off people's seats. Watch Baseball." - George L.
"I would run a coffe shop/pastry cafe with George...at the beach." - Amber L.
"A day trader. Or financial analyst." - Mark R.
"Buyer for TJ Maxx/Homegoods!!" - Dianna R.
"A Baseball statistician." - Nathan W.
"I would be a profession movie critic. Getting paid to do what I love to do. Watch movies." - Jason H.
"I think I would be happy with eighty thousand working part time but it's not very logical. Sounds good though hee hee." - Denise M.
"Haha all that my current career path is missing is financial stability, so we'll go with what I'm doing! Researching happiness/spirituality/meaning in life at some university's psych department. Orrrr maybe I would be a blogger or a cook!" - Caroline L.
"...Um...probably working with the court system to help abused/neglected kids...something I've always wanted to do, but never really looked into." - Sharon C.
"Hot person gyno." - Travis R.
"Cook I suppose...though I wouldn't want to be a chef or work in a restaurant. I would want to be Paula Deen." - Nova Fleming
"Film or TV Producer." - Michael V.
"I really like being a REALTOR, just wish I could make my ideal income. Actually, I would enjoy it more if I could do the business in a beachside community!" - Janet R.
"Doing something that helped to better someone else's life." - Julia S.
"I would be an independent contractor doing computer programming." - Dean V.
"A travel journalist, or the host of my own travel show!" - Kelly D.
"Teaching high school, furreal." - Charlie R.
"Photography or chasing after serial killers." - Megan R.
"Maybe something where I get to help people...like some kind of non-profit for kids or teens...I have felt called to be a teacher...maybe something with leadership...maybe...that's kind of a tough one...I would be happy doing so many things." - Mark C.
"College Professor." - Ben C.
"Either a dancer or a counseling psychiatrist." - Emily B.
"Either a pizza deliver person..or something that involves professional shopping." - Maggie R.
"I know this is going to sound corny, but I cannot see myself in any profession other than the one I am in already. When I read Helen Keller in 6th grade, I knew then. Every day is a new challange and through their eyes that are blinded physically, I see and learn something new! After 31 years, I get up excited to start my professional day! I am very, very lucky!" - Kathy B.
"I don't think this job actually exists but I would want to be a person that looks through houses that are for sale. I don't want to be a real estate agent, I just want to go and look at the houses and then be done! Or someone that takes care of baby tigers/big cats. That would be awesome, too!" - Courtney M.
"Pediatrician." - Mark S.
"Writing reviews for video games." - Cecil S.
"Chef. Or Beach Bum. (Addendum: or professional taste tester)" - James W.
"Writer or TSOL Teacher." - Kaitlin G.
"I want to be an image consultant. I want to be able to coach people to be able to come across to others the way that they want to, whether it's through counseling, wardrobe advising, etiquette, etc." - Sam G.
"Teacher." - Jen R.
"I rather enjoy watching other people do their jobs! I think it would be awesome to observe people, possibly evaluate them, and then provide the necessary resources to help them or their program grow and improve. It'd be like take your child to work day...only it'd be take this random chick to work with you so she can watch you pull a pointy object out of some idiots side day." - Kendalynne H.
"I would travel and visit my friends. Other than that, I would go play with Shamu at Sea World or shop for a living." - Tracy Y.
"Escort." - Jeff W.
"Professional roller coaster rider, or professional vacationer!" - Shelby M.
"Economics Professor." - Joe W.
I don't know if you would call it a profession...but if I could do anything...I would do equestrian therapy. Working with horses and people with physical or mental challenges. Working with a trained dog, doing canine search and rescue is another thing I thought would be rewarding." - Sue W.
"I would like to work in a crash lab. Or on a race team." - Aaron R.
"I'd still be a math teacher." - Kurt M.
"Civil Engineer." - John W.
"Writer." - Brock S.
"Silly rabbit, I would be a fireman or course, or a male stripper." - Tristan S.
"I guess I'd still want to teach German at a University." - Lorene P.
"Um...we'll go with a Scuba Diver. I'll have to get over my fear." - Abby W.
"I would be a foster parent or do something that helps families, especially kids, get a step in the right direction." - Rachel S.
"Teacher." - Stephanie A.
"My ideal job, without a doubt, would be a stay at home mom!" - Jennifer S.
"I guess I would do product review either with cars or tech stuff. I would like to get to travel and try new stuff for free and give a review for it. I think it would be fun. I could do it for anything I like really, instruments, cars, tech gadgets, stuff like that." - Stephen W.
"Film archivist and preservationist somewhere like the National Film Preservation Foundation, MoMA, or The Library of Congress. I want to research, study, preserve, archive, document, and essentially save silent filmography." - Vanessa W.
"Professional Squirrel and Bird Catcher." - Anya (okay, she obviously didn't say that...but I feel that if she could talk, this is what she would say she wants to be.)
Job Types By Category
Arts (film, literature, art, etc.) 12% (dark blue)
Sciences (medicine, computer, technology, etc.) 24% (red)
Humanitarian (teaching, animal, or human services) 26% (green)
Business 12% (purple)
Entertainment (shopping, cooking, sports, etc.) 26% (light blue)