Why It's Actually a Great Time to Have Career Goals

If you’re a recent grad or working an entry-level job of any kind, you’re probably used to people talking to you about one of the following:

  • How it’s impossible to get a job
  • How you’ll have to work really hard for really terrible money
  • How the job market is terrible

If the person talking to you is a bit older, they may even preach to you about how you have to work for years before you can begin to have a job that you love. They may tell you that you have to pay your dues and climb the ranks, completely disregarding your interests and passions.

To some extent, I completely agree. Jobs are hard to come by, and even many of the most talented new grads struggle for a significant period of time before finding employment. But lately I’ve realized that a lot of the career “advice” that you might receive from well-meaning people is actually not true at all.

stand-out-of-crowdWhile it’s a tough world out there, and you will certainly have to pay your dues and work hard to get anywhere in life, I think this Internet-obsessed era provides creative, motivated people with more opportunities than ever to make their mark. In years past, you had to slave away at a company for decades, hoping for a promotion. You kept your head down and ignored your personal interests.

If you were a musician, your options for getting your music out there for public consumption were limited. You had to hope to get booked at a local bar or club. If you were a writer, you had to hope that a magazine accepted your work or that you got a book deal. We won’t even touch on fields like web design or graphic design, since those are still so (relatively) new that many of those types of jobs didn’t even exist decades ago.

While traditional forms of getting your voice heard (such as through clubs or magazines) are still vital and exciting, it’s way easier to stand out when you can take matters into your own hands. Want to be a writer? Start a blog and let people see what you’re capable of and interested in. Want to sing? Start your own YouTube channel and get performing. This method worked for someone named Justin Bieber, you know?

Now if you realize two years out of school that you hate your major and want to do something else, you have the option of going to grad school (if you want) OR you can find websites and webinars and articles online devoted to your new area of interest. You can learn for free. You can get good at Photoshop through free tutorials, or you can find sites where you can hear talks from industry leaders while you sit in your PJs. You can connect directly with your favorite brands, or with people whom you admire. It’s no longer about where you live or who you work for, it’s about what you want to do and how badly you want to do it.

The main thing is your content. If you have content that people want to look at/read/see/listen to/etc., then that’s the basis for success. Yes, a platform for display is important, but the world is much more DIY now.

Is it hard to stand out among millions of other talented singers/web designers/writers/artists? Definitely. But the ability to abandon traditional paths to get to where you want to go allows you to start doing what you want to do now instead of having to wait ten years for someone to grant you the opportunity.

Just a little motivational speech for the day.

Do you think it’s easier to make an impact on the world thanks to new social media platforms?

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