5 Career Lessons You’re Never Too Old to Learn, According to 5 Real Stories


By Abby Wolfe

Here at The Muse, we love giving you advice (could you tell?). But if there’s one thing we love about our career story features, it’s that they provide uswith some invaluable lessons, too.

If you’re feeling stuck or frustrated, if you want to try something new but you’re scared, or, heck, if you just really love reading about other people’s careers (we get you), read on to learn five lessons that, at the very least, will leave you feeling a little more inspired and motivated to hit the ground running.

1. Even Your Dream Career Will Have Downsides (But That Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Worth Trying)

Being in the fitness industry isn’t easy. The hours are long and irregular, making it hard to find time for friends and family, and the pay can be crappy at first. As Bo Hickey’s classmates started giving up, he was tempted to do so, too. But he just couldn’t.

“When I’d think about pursuing something different,” Hickey said, “it truly didn’t interest me. I thought, The passion is there, I’m not worried about that. I’ve just got to keep my head down until I find the best route for me.” And, he eventually did.

Read the Full Story: I’m an Online Fitness Coach Who Overcame a Lot of Obstacles to Make It

2. Just Because You Quit Your Job to Try Something New Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Come Back to It

When Vidya Kurella and her husband decided to move across the world, she decided to try something she’d never done before. She went to school for pastry baking.

“I was even open to pastry becoming my new career path. But [it] was much more challenging than I’d expected,” Kurella explains.

These days, Kurella just bakes for fun. Here’s how she switched back into law with the help of her network.

Read the Full Story: I’m a Lawyer Who Moved to New Zealand and Starting Studying Baking

3. Your Degree May Relate to Your Job More Than You Think

There’s a lot of pressure to find a career that’s directly related to your degree. And, though this isn’t always necessary, Neely Kartha is a great example of how, sometimes, the field you end up in does relate to your diploma, even if it’s not an obvious connection. Kartha, now a front-end engineer, says her English and psychology majors still play a part in her work today.

Read the Full Story: I’m a Software Engineer Who Majored in Psychology and English

4. Your Idea of Your “Dream Job” Can Change

By age eight, Erin McKean knew she wanted to work on dictionaries. So, she did. Then, she started her own online dictionary called Wordnik.

Through that process, however, she realized she thought tech was pretty darn cool. So, she decided to learn more about it. And now, she’s made it into her career.

Read the Full Story: This Is How I Went From Working on Dictionaries to Working in Tech

5. You Can Combine Different Passions to Make a Career (Even if You Think They Don’t Relate)

When Suzi Pond started college, she wanted to pursue (what she thought were) two very different paths—storytelling and technology. But, instead of choosing just one, she decided to create her own major called “Hypertext Writing,” a combination of writing, coding, online storytelling, and research. These days, Pond runs her own business, where she gets to tell stories via video and use all these skills every day.

Read the Full Story: I Turned My Passion for Tech and Storytelling Into My Own Production Company

This piece was originally published by The Muse.

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