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

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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

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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

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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!

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

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Alice

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