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5 Jobs to Experience Before Committing to a Career Path

Ahh, the age old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some of us know right away, while others struggle to choosing the right career. Even if you think you know what you want to do, you might change your mind later or you might end up enjoying a couple of different things. Here are the top five jobs to experience before you commit to a career path.

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1. Retail

It may sound like a basic job, but retail teaches you a lot of life and career lessons you may not have thought of. Dealing with happy and unhappy customers, keeping a store clean, money management, and multi-tasking are just some of the benefits you’ll get from a retail job. 

2. Hospitality

I never truly appreciated the service industry until I experienced working in a restaurant. Whether it’s hosting, serving, expediting or cooking, restaurant jobs require a quick mind, an ability to roll the punches, and team work. These jobs get you in top form quickly, from testing your ability to deal with challenging customers to exercising your communication skills with both your team and restaurant patrons.

3. Childcare

Whether it’s a regular babysitting stint or working as a camp counselor, working with kids will definitely give you a front row seat to what it might be like make a career out of pediatrics or teaching. Kids and teens present the challenge of having to entertain, teach, guide, and discipline. If you’re up for a real test, try you hand at daycare or camp work. With multiple charges you’ll up the odds for excitement as they test your patience and skill.    

4. Office

Now a day offices come in all sorts of varieties, from fresh and modern to traditional and conservative. The best way to find out if you’re cut out for work in a cubicle is to work in an office. Find out that you’re more conservative than you thought? More forward thinking? No problem! When you research companies once you’ve found your career path, check out their company culture for an insight into what they value and the perks of working there.

5. Manual Labor

Do you live to do something physical? How do you feel about the outdoors? Manual labor jobs are vast and varied, from warehouse work to landscaping to delivering packages. The physicality of these jobs will not only give you an appreciation for them, but will also give you an insight into what style of career you want to follow. If you find that you enjoy working outdoors, but don’t like gardening, perhaps a position working at a zoo is more your speed. Or do you enjoy grunt work? Running around at top speed? Why not try a job as a nurse? There’s a reason they’ve got special shoes for the medical field. 

What’s your top “must experience” job to get you ready for the “real world”?

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