Not Everyone Takes The Same Path

By Nick Ellis, Editor at The Water Coolest

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Success is not a straight line. Not everyone who ‘makes it in life’, whatever that phrase means, follows the typical career path of High School 🡪 College 🡪 Climb the corporate ladder. So, when someone takes a nontraditional route, like taking a gap year between high school and college or taking a victory lap at university, they may be viewed as a ‘slacker.’

But, I’d say people should hold off on that judgment. There are many of us that follow the traditional route, because that’s what we’re told to do, and we find out years later that we hate it. That working in a cubicle in an accounting job because it’s a ‘safe career’ doesn’t provide any fulfillment. Saaay, Adam Scott’s character in Parks n Rec when he joins the accounting firm multiple times just to quit shortly after. 

So what would you rather have: a safe career where you go home at the end of the day depressed, knowing that your night’s sleep will result in you waking up to the same sh*t every day (a la Groundhogs day), or would you rather have taken a risk in life and gone into a slightly different profession that it turns out you actually love.

This isn’t to say all corporate cogs are wrong. There are many people out there that have taken the typical path and love their jobs. I know from experience, dude. Ok, not me personally, but a guy I know…

And getting back to the nontraditional route, who’s to say that the people who pursue this path aren’t the ones that have it right? That the gap year they take to find themselves and discover their passion will actually pay off ten-fold in the future. I mean, sure, some of them are just burnouts who live in their parent’s basement their whole lives, but I digress. 

But maybe there’s a way you can do both? That you can have a stable career that you relatively enjoy, and also find a hobby that acts as your creative outlet that your 9 to 5 lacks. Heck, I know it’s possible, because that’s why I’m writing here.

So, if you’re in a lull, questioning your career choice, know that there are other options out there. You can keep searching within your company to find a similar role you may enjoy, or you can even take some time off, go back to school, and get a degree in something you’d prefer.

There’s no right way to do it, so keep searching. You’ll find it eventually. Or you won’t, and that’s OK, too. See you out there!

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The Water Coolest is a daily business newsletter consisting of business news, financial advice, and unfiltered commentary. Delivered fresh in your inbox every morning so you're ready to snap necks and cash checks. Written by Tyler Morrin, AJ Glagolev, Nick Ellis, and Ian Barto.