Post-High School Life: What can I do if I'm unsure about my future career goals?

This article offers valuable advice for students who are feeling uncertain about their future plans as they approach the end of their high school journey. The author encourages readers to take a polyvalent approach to their studies, embrace curiosity, network as much as possible, and recognize that their career path may not be linear. By taking small steps and exploring different opportunities, students can discover what truly brings them joy and fulfillment. This article reminds us that success is not defined by one's academic achievements or career path but rather by living a meaningful and fulfilling life.


Majda EL Bermaki

4/8/20233 min read

The end of the school year is fast approaching, and you may be feeling the pressure of making a life-changing decision. Should you pursue a career in medicine, engineering, or something else entirely? Perhaps you feel like you're the only one who hasn't figured it out yet. Here's a secret: we have all been in your shoes, and you will feel lost and uncertain for the next decade, or even longer.

I graduated from high school ten years ago and looking back, it was a daunting time. I wish someone had told me, "Relax! You've been in a classical system for over 12 years, which has taught you to think a certain way. While school is important to some extent, things will only get real from here on out. Even if you're sure about a particular path, that certainly won't last long, and doubts and insecurities will creep in. So, Relax! Let it be! Go with the flow!"

The education system we grew up in emphasizes academic success, making us believe that the only way to achieve success in life is by pursuing a particular path, often leading to a university degree. However, this narrow approach fails to recognize that there are multiple paths to success, and success can be defined in different ways.
For those who are uncertain about their future plans, I recommend studying a polyvalent field. This means choosing a field of study that has broad applications across different industries, such as business, engineering, or computer science. By doing so, you can gain a broad range of skills that can be applied to a variety of career paths. This can be especially helpful for students who are still figuring out what they want to do with their lives.

Another piece of advice I wish I had been given back then is to embrace my curiosity and stop seeking a particular passion. Instead, I should have focused on exploring my interests and learning as much as I could about different subjects. This can help you develop a broad range of skills and knowledge, which can be valuable in a variety of industries.

It's also crucial to put yourself out there and network as much as possible. This can mean attending events, joining clubs or organizations, or reaching out to professionals in your desired field. By building a network of peers and mentors, you can gain valuable insights and advice to make informed decisions about your future plans. The earlier you start, the better.

Remember that your career path may not be linear. It's okay to change course, try new things, and explore different opportunities. Rather than feeling pressured to make a decision about your entire future, you should focus on taking small steps that can help you move in the direction you want to go.
As an adult, I have come to realize that the pressure to choose a specific career path at such a young age is not realistic. We are still young at 18, and we have yet to fully discover the world around us. We have yet to figure out what we're passionate about and what motivates us. We're still learning about ourselves and what we want out of life.
Even after finishing my architecture studies and becoming a practicing architect, I still question everything all the time. I am always searching for a better way to live my life, to be more fulfilled and happy, and to make shifts toward things that truly bring me joy. I believe this questioning is natural and healthy. It's a sign that we're growing and evolving as individuals.

Additionally, I know there is an ongoing trend of discouraging students from attending university, especially in countries like the US where it can be expensive. I understand where this comes from, but if the university is an accessible option for you and more education after high school is the option that seems most obvious and accessible for you, go for it and don't feel guilty about it just because you followed a parent or teacher's advice while you are not sure about that decision. It's important to recognize the value of education and university, even if a student is unsure about their future career plans. By attending university, students have the opportunity to develop a strong work ethic, hone their critical thinking skills, and build a network of peers and mentors.

So, if you're feeling lost and confused about what to do after high school, know that you're not alone. It's okay to take your time to figure things out, to explore different paths, and make mistakes along the way. Don't be afraid to try new things, take risks, and challenge the status quo.
Remember that success is not defined by one's career path or academic achievements. It's about living a life that is fulfilling and meaningful to you. And that's something that takes time and exploration to discover. So take a deep breath, trust the process, and enjoy the journey.