I chose the wrong career!

A person sits at the bottom of a fallen pyramid. The person is thinking "I chose the wrong career".

How I got into the wrong career.

It all started with a blinding lack of knowledge, experience, and ZERO wisdom.

Without other reasons, except I have to choose something, and architecture sounds good. I ended up choosing the wrong major and career.

Why was it the wrong major?

Simply put, it had little to do with my skills, and I didn’t care much for the results. Envisioning built spaces and designing big objects meant nothing to me. I didn’t care or feel anything for it.

Unfortunately, I had to come into contact with the field of architecture to realize that it had no connection with what I valued in life.

I realize that how my university approached teaching architecture and its price tag had a negative impact, too.

How did my university let me down?

After high school, I didn’t want to pursue higher education, but through a combination of false ideas, I became convinced it was the most likely way to succeed in life. And that I should do it right away otherwise, I’d be left behind, ideas marketed throughout the education and labor systems.

The truth is that higher education is over-marketed. Most professional paths do not require the amount of information, finances, and time that the education market tries to sell.

The primary goal of universities is not to facilitate our pursuit of the right career path nor to gain a proper education. The amount of people pursuing professional paths unrelated to their college degree is too high for it to be so. The amount of people holding a degree and feeling unprepared is too high.

Universities charge an absurd amount of resources. They hinder and cripple many people’s lives, not just mine.

job occupations list, alphabetical list of occupations, occupations index, list of common occupations

The pursuit of the wrong career path

After my pursuit of a necessary certificate but an unnecessary education, I pressed on, convinced of the necessity and urgency of pursuing a straight line from an architecture degree to internships, and an architect’s license.

Why would I think otherwise? If it wasn’t so, why did everyone say I needed a degree?

It took me years to realize and finally decide I didn’t want to spend my days looking for solutions to problems I didn’t care for.

I won’t describe how a wrong career choice that didn’t match my strengths affected my ability to produce good work or made me feel inadequate and unhappy. I will only say that it did.

Changing careers

I took the hint and the opportunity to jump off the architecture field after a contract expired and wasn’t renewed.

I came to terms with the fact that I chose the wrong career. I spent over a decade on the wrong job.

Fortunately, I grew while pursuing the wrong career path. I gained the experience and the knowledge that allowed me to develop a better sense of my preferences. Experience and growth made it clear. I knew the issues I cared about, the issues that repelled me, and the ones I was indifferent to.

I became aware of the activities I was most capable of. To my surprise reading, gathering, organizing, working, and re-purposing information.

Information, its veracity, usefulness, and availability were the key. I care about issues that deal with truthfulness, I like to judge useful information. By useful, I mean concepts that have a beneficial impact on a person’s life.

Finding a new career path

I built my career change on keeping a distance from design, visuals, materials, and spatial concepts. I didn’t want to think of or conceive objects.

Without a complete picture, I started searching for new work positions I could picture myself doing. The opportunity came through my language skills.

A multinational hiring language natives to review and increase their language commands database. It was a two-month project, eight hours, five days a week. I didn’t particularly enjoy reviewing and entering new sentences in a database, testing the new voice commands, and writing reports. But I was good at it!

They required us to complete many sentences daily, and I could do far more. I was good at dealing with information. I didn’t care for the result of my work effort, but I found out that I enjoyed working with information.

What is a good fit for me?

I cared about truthful and useful information. I had my first professional successful experience dealing with large volumes of information.

Teaching and translating were my next attempts.

Going through information and explaining it to young people seemed to suit me, and so did staying home alone doing translations. I enjoyed both activities in appropriate doses.

Three staircases, representing different career paths.

The right career path for me

The right career path was not a single path.

I learned through experience that work put on the eight hours, and five-days-a-week schedule was incompatible with my well-being.

So what is the right career path?

I liked teaching, searching, and writing information. The problem was not the type of activities I did nor a lack of care for the results I produced with my work effort. It was all going downhill because of the amount of effort. My mind and body were getting drained by too much time dedicated to one task and subject.

Do we all make the wrong career choice?

Most people I know try to pursue full-time work. As experience showed me, it made clear to many that extensive work activity takes away well-being.

So what to do about it?

What does career success mean to me?

Different people with different answers are inevitable, but here is what I am currently doing, and it seems to work.

The career change I needed was variety and controlled amounts of effort. The same type of task and the same subject doesn’t work for me.

Part of the day I write, part of it I read, part of it I learn, part of it I teach, and part of it I rest or go outside and spend time with my wife.

I work long hours, yet I do it on top of a diverse routine.

Multiple career choices

If one full-time job doesn’t work for me, why should I get stuck with it? Here is a list of the type of work I have done after changing careers:

  • Language specialist

  • Language proficiency evaluator

  • Translator

  • Teacher

  • International conferences booth host

  • Commercial and voice actor

I select work that deals primarily with information and my language skill, avoiding a wrong career path.

I do acting work because it’s short-term, diverse, and pays well. I don’t particularly value the result.

How do my new career paths work?

I don’t get all my eggs from the same chicken. Teaching and acting are the primary providers.

I don’t own a car, a house, or a pet. I don’t owe anyone anything. My wife and I work and live in four different countries. Change is built into our way of life, and I can’t remember the last time I felt bored.

My wife is an actress and also adopted the same multiple-careers approach.

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Because of my journey, I developed whatastep.com to share lessons I learned and help others surpass this challenge.

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Related post

Feeling stuck in life

Nice suburb home with trees and beautiful lawn.

As I sat in my comfortable home, accompanied by my parents, pets, and the peaceful surroundings of my neighborhood, I felt somehow stuck. Despite my relaxed life, I couldn’t help but compare myself and my life with what it might be.

I had a good life, but I couldn’t shake the idea that I was missing out on something bigger. The appeal of new and exciting opportunities became persistent and hard to ignore.

A negative feeling

A negative feeling started to emerge, along with negative thoughts. I began to wonder if I had made the wrong choices and if I should have taken on more challenges and risks. I had always been hesitant to take on the stress that came with more challenging paths and stepping outside of my comfort zone, but I was starting to question how far I wanted to go. Had I gone far enough? Was I truly happy with myself and my life?

Why I was feeling stuck in life

What was causing me to feel stuck? Could I try new things? I needed to assess myself and identify what was missing in my life and what I was already content with. I believed that if I felt stuck, it meant that I wanted to pursue something different or go somewhere else. I began to ask myself questions such as, “Where did I want to be? What did I want to achieve? Did I want to achieve that now, or was it okay if it took one or ten years?” I was trying to gain a better understanding of what I hoped for and what becoming unstuck meant to me.

What was holding me back

I was torn between the comfort of my life and the change and opportunities I longed for. “Should I have taken a chance and pursued a more rewarding career or started a family, even if it meant sacrificing my life balance? Or should I continue with my comfortable daily routine, knowing that it would most likely impede my ability to gain the new and different experiences that I admired and wanted in life?”

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