You may want to just get a job right out of school or college.
If your main motivation right now in life is money, then go for it. You'll need to hunt out employers in your area, and there are plenty of job-hunting websites you can do this on.
If, however, you want those deeper rewards like respect, creativity, helping people, a love of learning, a feeling of self-worth by working alongside an inspiring person who can help you learn a specific skill or craft, then just rushing into any old job at 18 just for a quick pay packet won't be your best bet.
Instead you might be best exploring packages like a degree, a degree with training, or a job that trains you for a qualification. Even just some life experiences that may lead to you meeting a range of interesting people who may be able to throw work opportunities your way in the future.
Let's put the breaks on a job at 18 for now, as even if that's what you end up deciding is best for the short-term, it's crucial you understand what a job is, and how they've evolved through history.
So, grab your flux capacitor and fire up the DeLorean; let’s go back to 400bc.
“Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.”
– Confucius, 400BC
He was a clever guy, that Confucius. He threw out this verbal gem amongst his teachings in ancient China, yet for centuries afterwards most people took no notice.
Up until the last century, you didn’t choose your job and you didn’t choose something to enjoy. You just did what you had to until you had enough money to stop.
The old word for business in Latin? Negotium. This literally translates as ‘NOT-enjoyable activity’.
And the Latin word for work? ‘Labor’, and if you look up synonyms of the word ’labour’ (the English evolution of the word) you get the words ‘struggle, strive, grind away, sweat away’ and the words, ‘drudgery’ and ‘toil’.
That’s what the western world (us) believed when it came to work, and that’s a belief that started over 2,000 years ago. No wonder we experienced the dark ages!
You only have to wind it back a few generations: if you were from a family of carpenters, you would be expected to become a carpenter. If you were from a family of farmers, you would be expected to be a farmer, for your whole life.
Class systems were much more rigid in centuries past.
The same is true if you came from a family line of aristocrats, lords, engineers, doctors, cobblers, or blacksmiths: you were born into your profession, and it was very difficult to move up.
You either worked the land, or were slightly higher in class as a tradesman skilled in a specific craft, or you were higher still; a knight, a nobleman, or finally a Royal.
This was the way things were. Think about where your surname comes from. ’Smith’ were black/gold/arrow/swordsmiths, ‘Taylor’ was a tailor.
Entire families stuck to a single type of career, and you were there to carry on the family tradition with no time to stop and consider if you were interested in it or not.
If you were from a family of blacksmiths, you couldn’t decide to become a lawyer, or vice versa. If you were from a family of doctors, you couldn’t just decide to become an actor. An accountant couldn’t suddenly become a ballet dancer.
Yes, there’s a lot of pressure to choose a career nowadays and there’s more choice than ever out there. Weird and wonderful new jobs are popping up every day and over half of the jobs that you’ll be doing in 10 years’ time don’t even exist yet.
We know from going through all this ourselves that choosing what you want to do with your life can feel really scary and overwhelming. But we’re actually so lucky to live in a time when we can A: choose something B: choose something we can enjoy and most importantly C: have a higher probability of rigid class structures not getting in the way.
Oh, and there’s actually even a D: we can research it like never before, thanks to that little thing called the internet: online research, online networking, in-person networking, tutoring, and mentoring, help to start up companies ourselves, technology allowing us to become aware of opportunities that are 1,000s of miles away.
All this, plus a chance to get there relatively quickly and cheaply, or have a Skype interview for it.
To love what you do (employability), you just need to think about what you want from life and move towards it each day by developing that roundedness we mentioned.
This comes from three things:
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