{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Confession of a young professional. I'm 23 years old and I've realized I spent the last 5 years of my life grinding to get a good job because that's what society values. I thought working at a top firm was something I wanted, but now I realize it was totally extrinsic. Every internship, class, and side project was a resume filler to seem more impressive. \n\nNow I look at the rest of my life and I don't truly know what intrinsically motivates me. I don't know what I'm passionate about. What now?", "post_id": "629f4be2b94bee00238edf3f", "reply_count": 18, "vote_count": 20, "bowl_id": "5e8656b80bdab1002a7355dc", "bowl_name": "Confession ", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Confession of a young professional. I'm 23 years old and I've realized I spent the last 5 years of my life grinding to get a good job because that's what society values. I thought working at a top firm was something I wanted, but now I realize it was totally extrinsic. Every internship, class, and side project was a resume filler to seem more impressive.

Now I look at the rest of my life and I don't truly know what intrinsically motivates me. I don't know what I'm passionate about. What now?

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I would consider anyone lucky, if they figured out the meaning of life in their 20s

likeupliftingsmart

20s is a great time to find yourself.

Too bad most people have too many external pressures with getting set on their feet (career, financial stability, family/kids) to really devote the time and thought to it.

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Well, it sounds like external validation motivates you. This isn’t a bad thing, just is what it is. Here’s an idea: think about what you liked to do when you were younger, a kid even, before what society wanted had sunk in. Did you want to be a vet? Maybe your passion lies with animals. Did you dream of being a firefighter or a cop? Maybe your passion is to help people during tough times or feel like you’re rescuing people who need you. Did you loooove playing group sports? That’s an easy one to replicate now, or maybe you could find a gym with a group atmosphere like muy thai or cross fit. Do a little digging into what you loved as a kid and you’ll find some information about what you might be passionate about now, and then you can try different corresponding activities that are in line with your passions. Good luck!

likehelpful

Sounds like you’re already on the right track in terms of figuring out your passions! Are you making time for these things daily? Since you find comfort in numbers, maybe it would be ideal to stick with your “day job” because it is fulfilling in some ways and of course, it’s valuable work, but make sure to incorporate your passions into your day just as you do your work. What do you think?

Take it from someone who’s been in the accounting industry for 10+ years because I thought it would be a good degree to get out of college. Please begin something that you thoroughly have enjoyed doing during your life and find a way to make money with it now. Even if it does not require a college degree. Accounting is stable but boring and not exciting. Do something that makes you happy and don’t stop until it starts making you money. If I could go back, I’d do that.

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Accounting has worked numbers for my family. Solid pay, stability, benefits and helped grow my family. It will do the same for you. I’ve got about a decade on you in terms of age, so I remember being at that spot your in. “Go to school, get a degree, get a solid job, don’t take risks…” that’s what all accountants follow and that’s BS! I always liked working with my hands and building things so if I could I would have started a construction or landscaping company and took the risk. Think of what you always liked to do in your 23 years and think of a way you can make money off of it. Take the risk. Or 10 years down the road you will wish you would have…

Should have spent a few years after college while you’re young trying new things/places/experiences before succumbing to the corporate grind that will be the rest of your life.

likehelpful

You have two problems that you need to solve for:

1. Mental stimulation: what do you find interesting that you would enjoy? There’s probably thousands of jobs that you’ve never even heard of that you might find fun and enjoyable enough to build a career around. Like welding, woodworking, midwifery, whatever it may be, you need to start by looking at things that have figured out that you enjoy over the last 23 years and help that guide you a bit.

2. A salary to meet the life you want: not everyone feels the need to have a lavish life. Some people like a simple and minimalist surrounding or like being off the grid in a cabin somewhere in Canadian Yukon.

Balancing these two things will help you figure out what type of career life will give you the most utility, for lack of a better term.

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You’re 23. You do NOT need to have any of that figured out now. Enjoy the ride. Enjoy the questions. Relax

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There’s a good reason that it’s valued by society - the experience you gain in dealing with important info/data, the high-energy “do-ers” that you work with, and the exposure to a variety of important areas and useful techniques/methodology make it worthwhile. Your extrinsic motivation was/is not a bad thing, as being motivated by having certain “impressive” accomplishments tied to your persona is a good quality to have (as in, you have likely learned something new). What you may consider your extrinsic motivation may be intrinsically motivating to other individuals that you interact with.
An intrinsic motivator that you can maybe apply to your life is that you’re able to motivate others, through your accomplishments, which in turn leads them to accomplish more in their lives.

You will discover your passions/motivators along the way. Our world has an enormous amount of hobbies/interests - it’s possible that you just have to modify the way you think about the world or make changes to how you spend your free time.

Time to find some new dreams! :) Just don’t blow off your career until you figure it out. Money is a useful tool. I know it might feel scary, but try to enjoy this opportunity to be more than you thought you could be.

I love that you are realizing this at such an early stage in your career! I’m in my 40’s and just starting to figure this out now! I agree with the insights other people are sharing here. Find that thing that sparks joy for YOU and figure out how to do it for a living! This way you will never feel like you are working!

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