Terrible career moves I made in my 20’s

My job sucks butt. Oh, how I wish I could be working for a dynamic, young, positive company that rewards hard work and creativity! But no. Life is not a movie, and I have this soul-sucking job that makes me look forward to lunches way too much.

I have no idea how I got here…actually just kidding. I do know how:

I chose to study English literature


Seriously? Ugh. The only reason why I chose English was because my 9th grade English teacher wrote on my report card, “I hope you become a writer one day.” Thanks, Ms. Moore. Now I am forever unemployable (but I still love you and appreciate all you did), and all I can market is my ability to use “your” and “you’re” correctly.

I did not do any real work during college

Okay, that’s not 100% accurate. I did work. I was an RA, a tutor, and I even had an internship….but none of these really helped my resume/job search because they were all over the place, and I acquired very little real skills. Working in retail would’ve been better. At least it would’ve taught me some real world stuff.

I went straight to law school


Why. Why did I do this to myself? What even led me to think that I wanted to go to law school in the first place? No 20-year-old should ever decide to go to law school without first spending some time in a typical law firm. I thought I knew what I wanted BUT I WAS WRONG.

I learned little as an intern…by helping too much


At my internship, I spent most of my time helping EVERYONE, meaning, I did very little focused work that would help me learn something (which would make me hirable down the road). For example, I did 10 different things for 10 different people while another intern only worked in HR. She got hired in that HR team after the internship was over. I got nothing.

I took a weird career switching path

Going into teaching through NYC Teaching Fellows program was such a random move. I think I naively thought, “Oh, I will do this amazingly selfless, community-service type of work for few years…then go back to seeking my dream job.” NO. never do this. First, it’s super unfair to the students who become a part of a cruel policy experiment. And second, it will most likely kill your career. In the end, I had a crazy difficult time getting back on a non-teaching career path, and now I am like, 5 years behind everyone else.

In the end though, it’s already happened, and I am learning to live with it. I have found peace.

No. That’s a lie.

I still believe something crazy cool might happen in my career. I am slowly digging myself out of this career-death-hole, and who knows what might happen in the next 10-20 years? Maybe I’ll be the second female president of Korea (and the first female one not to get impeached). Life is weird and anything can happen!


What terrible career mistakes have you made? Can you relate to any of mine?

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