I don't know what to do with my life...

and actually I’m OK with that but everyone else keeps jumping my ass about it and its getting on my last damn nerve.

See, I’m graduating college next month. Now everyone I know keeps needling me about where I’m going to work, what kind of job I’m looking for, etc., and when I tell them “I’m not sure” or “whatever I can find” they keep asking more questions.

Well guess what? I don’t have an answer because I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!!!

I don’t have some grand divine master plan, because I don’t know shit. Nobody I know knows shit. I picked a degree I thought I would like, but was probably a mistake. Whatever, life goes on, live and learn, blah blah blah. I just want to find a job I can tolerate and see if it will lead to anything. Hell, in this economy I need just about ANY job I can find.

I don’t even want to go to graduation just so I won’t have to deal with this.


I know that feeling.

It’s such an old-fashioned concept that people should know what they want to do with their lives when they leave education. And it’s doubly old-fashioned in that it assumes people keep the same career over a lifetime.

I mean, how many people take one job for life these days? Bugger all, from my group of friends. I myself have had about five ‘careers’ and I’m only 37. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left university and I took whatever job I was offered at the time. As a consequence, I’ve had some fantastic working experiences and with every change in career, I’ve been able to bring in skills and knowledge that I developed in other careers.

Maybe you should change your response? Don’t say, “I’m not sure,” say “There are a lot of different areas I could head for, and I’m looking into them.”

And that is a perfectly legitimate answer to folks who ask what you’re going to do with your life. You get bonus points if you follow that up with, “So if you know of anyone who is hiring, please let me know because networking may be my best chance of landing something.”

I know the feeling. I picked one of those “useless” majors (political science). I enjoyed the classes, environment, and professors to the highest degree, but I graduated without any real job prospects. It’s sometimes the price you pay for not picking a hyper-specialized major. If you major in electrical engineering, chances are good that you’ll do something directly related to that.

I landed a job as a clerk for the PA state gov’t, which does not even require a degree. The pay is decent and the benefits are good. That doesn’t mean that I plan to be a clerk for the next 30 years either. At least, I hope not!

I used to hear the same routine. Granted, it probably wasn’t as forceful as what you’re hearing, but I would still get the incessant questions. “Political science, what does one do with that?” Most people probably figured that was a nice way of saying “wow, good luck with that one kid.” You’d also get the relatives/close friends that would be snarky with things like “oh, we have the next President of the United States ladies and gentlemen!” :smack:

Never stop looking around. Take avenues you didn’t think you’d take. You never know what job might lead to something bigger and better. Networking is especially important (imo) for degrees such as mine. It has not really benefited me and I’m working basically under my own steam, but it never hurts to establish relationships with the right people.

As far as pressure, I can almost guarantee that most of the input you get from people is probably from an older generation, as was described from a poster above me. That or a peer that has already secured a potential career job. Trust me, it doesn’t happen all that much right out of the gate (at least from my minimal experience). Out of my 7 close friends, I can name 2 that have high-paying entry-level jobs (both in engineering, go figure). The rest have degrees like finance, marketing, communications, etc.

You don’t need to know what you’re going to do with your life, at any age. Only dumbasses think it’s possible to know that.

You do however need a job to work right now.

Get a job in the construction area and become a construction safety officer. They make good money and it’s a growing field.

Quoted for fucking TRUTH, man. I’m another one who suspects most if not all of the people asking OP this are, um … older. Times have changed, folks, and they’ve changed dramatically - keep up, especially if you’re going around spouting unrequested and unwanted advice.

This was going to be my suggestion, too, more or less. By giving a slacker-esque response like “Dunno,” you’re inviting them to start preaching to you about The Way Things Ought To Be. Head 'em off at the pass by spouting off some boilerplate like what Sandra suggested, and then immediately change the subject.

[bolding mine]

I’m one of those um…older people. And don’t pick on us too much because we went through the same thing when we graduated eons ago.
The worst of the um…older people in my time were a special kind we referred to as “Parents”. They constantly asked me that stupid question not just near my graduation but also years before it. It had something almost meaningless to do with the fact that they PAID for my education.

So I tried telling the um…older people that I DON’T FUCKING KNOW and they gave me some additional crap like , WELL YOU BETTER FUCKING FIGURE IT OUT BECAUSE WE’RE DONE FUCKING SUPPORTING YOU!

From that point on I got a better appreciation of why they kept asking me that question.

Just my experience. Yours may be different.

Words most wise. You are the incarnation of Buddha, are you not?

It’s not really talked about, the period after you graduate from college is one of the harder points of transition. You have a lot of options, but little direction. For the first time, you are outside of an institutional setting that is geared towards making you succeed. You are likely under financial distress, and having to lower your living standards dramatically. It’s tough.

That said, if you can muster up a sense of direction, it will help you immensely.

I have two sets of friends. One set graduated from a hippy liberal arts school, with stars in their eyes but no real plan for the future. Now that we are hitting 30, most of them are working random jobs…SAT tutor, waiter, elementary school computer lab tech, etc. None of them get paid well, but most are moderately happy. None of them have achieved much, but they live pretty normal lives.

THe other group joined Peace Corps right out of college, as part of a greater plan. Most of that group is now living in DC, all working in international relations jobs that give them opportunities to travel- which is their dream. All of them are having a blast living the young urban professional lifestyle, and have bright financial futures ahead of them. Most of them are 2 or 3 years younger than me and my college friends, but working “real” jobs on a career path.

I screwed around with the first mindset for a while, and all it really did was waste my time. The moment I jumped on the second mindset’s caravan, stuff in my life started coming together like magic. I just got a job, and I got paid more for 2.5 hours of filling out paperwork yesterday than I made in entire day during my first post-college job. When you figure out where your headed and know how to ask for what you want, you start getting it. A lot of the difference between success and stagnation is knowing how to ask for it. And if you can come up with your plan while you are young, people will help you. People want to see bright young things succeed.

Anyway, you’ve got my sympathy. It may take a bit to figure things out. But don’t dismiss the idea of a plan out of hand. If you don’t eventually start making decions, life is gonna make those decions for you.

Throwing my sympathetic two cents in too. Here’s what you do: carry on with your life but in the meantime purchase a disposable cell phone. Have someone with a professional demeanor record an outgoing message on it stating, “Hello, you have reached XYZ Corporation. All operators are busy so please leave a message at the tone and we will be contacting you shortly.” Then if anyone asks if/where you’re working give them the number of said fictitious company and go about your business of finding gainful employment.

Priceless! I think this would be a perfect Christmas gift for just about anyone. I can see its uses for a lot of other situations too.

So, what did you major in? What courses did you take? Which ones did you actually like? What kind of work-like activity excites you?

Exploring stuff you’d like to do doesn’t have to end when you graduate. It is hard to get a job today, but your chances are a lot better if you approach an interview as someone excited about the area versus as someone who doesn’t give a crap and just needs the money. A real job, I mean - I doubt this applies when you want to flip burgers.

The proper response would be, " After I fark your Mom, I’ll have a nice cuddle with your Dad."

Hope this helps.

I majored in finance and I mostly liked classes about investing and real estate. I also like working with computers but can’t hack serious programming and don’t see much future in the support side of things.

I guess I like analytical kind of stuff and don’t mind working with my hands. Something like fixing up old houses and renting them out sounds interesting to me.

I’ve supported myself independently for over 4 years now. Paid for my own car and fed it tires, oil, parts, and insurance. Rented a room instead of an apartment. I worked 2 jobs at the same time for a year and a half while going to school full-time. Still have one of them. Took out loans. Whatever it took, I did it.

Not singling you out but just wanted to clarify, because I worked hard for it, you know?

But yeah, I see what you’re saying.

Thanks to everyone who replied. It helps put things in perspective.

It’s not a fictitious company.

Then again… you already set up the cellphone with a message, now you even have a fully functioning website that appears to be legitimate. I’m officially impressed.

These are the kinds of assholes that make my unemployed, degree-holding friend uncomfortable about being a man of action. In these times, nothing is more important than action, even if it isn’t action in coordination with the GRAND-MASTER PLAN, FORGED BY THE DIVINES, WRITTEN IN STONE, WITH FIRE, ON A MOUNTAIN, IN A TOGA, MADE OF LIGHTNING.

…even if it’s the wrong action. So, he’s crippled.

Hey ‘Not Paul’.

When I went to college, I went to learn stuff, I didn’t go to college to get a job, I already had one of those, and they did and still do suck(jobs, 4 letter word like snow, cold, work and fuck).

I somehow now own a machine shop, no idea how the hell that happened. I’m guessing it has something to do with liking working with my hands, I like trying to figure stuff out and I refuse to wear khakis and a tie.

What I would have done, if I knew what I know now and what is still my backup plan. Hop on a fricken plane, head to Asia and teach English. You can live cheap, make some bang up bucks, and then learn chinese and then you can make some real money doing nothing but talking to people, and not even selling them anything.

My girlfriends brother is over in Taiwan, $20-$22 an hour for younger kids, teaching college age he can get $40. Private tutoring of adults can rake him close to $50 american dollars per hour, and he doesn’t even know Chinese. His girlfriend is an RN and makes about $8 American per hour.

If I was younger and didn’t have any roots here I’d be on a plane in a second. Those Asian chicks have very nice legs. No boobs, but nice legs.

Just tossing an idea out there for you.

Well, shit, you should have taken something practical like art history. :smiley:

Seriously, I’ve been in computer science for 30 years now, and the best thing you can do is to have both programming expertise and subject matter expertise - exactly what you have. You will be able to speak to internal customers in their own terms, which is real useful. You may already know, or may soon find out, that most people who want something done have a hard time defining it well, and have no way of knowing which requests are trivial and which are impossible. The most fun comes when they think something actual simple is impossible - then they think you’re a genius.

As for working with your hands, if you are good at it and can make money, fine, but my brother is a good car mechanic, but decided after about 15 years of doing it to get into IT. He’s self-taught. Times are tough, I know, but I think you did a pretty good job preparing.

Tell them you are planning on becoming a Brain Surgeon and a Patent Attorney.