Recently, we were up north at our summer cottage with one of my sons and my daughter. They each brought some friends, so we had about 12 friends up there that weekend. My son and his friends are in their second year out of high school. My daughter and her friends just started their senior year of high school.
At one point, they all were playing a volleyball game, and the guy’s side had too many players, so they were rotating in and out. They came and sat next to me as they rotated out, which I started calling “the hot seat.” It was just a way for me to talk with them, see what they’re up to and catch up with them. Some were heading back to college for their second year; some weren’t in college. Some were thinking about trades or apprenticeships; some had already started their careers. Some had their majors picked out, and some didn’t.
It was interesting talking with each of them, and it reminded me of something I’m passionate about: you don’t need to have everything figured out. I told them they don’t need to have it all figured out, especially not at 19 or 20. I certainly didn’t! As you may know, I graduated with a teaching degree, then moved into sales and here I am as President and CEO of a technology company. It was a long journey getting to where I am today.
I remember golfing with my dad, and one of his friends was lamenting that one of his sons had changed their majors after his sophomore or junior year. I said, “hey, if it makes you feel any better, I changed my major after graduating,” and he started laughing. My dad really started laughing, saying, “It’s true! He thought he would be a teacher, and now he’s this whole other thing.”
There are many options, it’s a long journey, and there’s no one way to do any of this. College is great, but not for everyone. Trades are great, but not for everyone. There are many paths and journeys. I think sometimes we make people feel they need to have all the answers right away, and I disagree with that. There are no wrong answers!
I will say, in my opinion, the only wrong answer is not doing anything. I love the term, “God can’t steer a parked car.” So do something! Always be going after something or trying something. You may try a few things that you don’t like; then, you can move forward and continue searching for your passion. That is how I did it; this is my experience and opinion, which may not be for everyone, but it’s something to try.
My daughter and her friends are going into their senior year of high school, and I didn’t put them on the hot seat. I don’t think they need to worry about it right now. They’re thinking about their plans after high school, but I think they should just be engaged and enjoying their senior year of high school, soaking up that experience. Then they’ll be on their journeys after that.
I hope this resonated with you as you think about yourself and your career. You’re never too old, and it’s never too late to change your path. If you’re still searching, keep looking and keep exploring. Once you find your niche, plant, grow, stick with it, and watch the results.