​​24 And Don’t Have A Career? 5 Actions To Take Before You Hit 25

Reaching age 25 can be a huge milestone because, at that point, we’re a quarter of a century old — Mind-blowing! Reaching the age of 25 can feel particularly pertinent if we haven’t settled on a career by that point. It doesn’t matter whether you were academic at school, into sports or went to university or not. Some people still have no idea what they want to do with their life by the time they’re 25. So if you’re 24 and don’t have a career, you’re not alone.

While it’s only natural to worry about not having your life figured out, anxiety will only make it harder to find a way out. So go and grab a cup of tea and try to relax while you read this article. You will have a few ideas of practical steps you can take to find your ideal career by the end.

5 Actions to Take That Will Get You Closer to Finding A Career

Either way, if you’ve found yourself in a dead-end job, there are steps you can take that will lead you to a more satisfying life.

Lady with her head in her hands at her desk
Many of us realise we’ve made a bad career choice before we make the right one. Sometimes we only learn what we want by finding out what we don’t want.

Realise That Hardly Anyone Has Their Career Figured Out By 25

The top five professions youngsters had ambitions to be in 2011–2012 were:

  • Writer, Actor or Producer — 11.22%
  • Teacher or other Educational roles — 8.76%
  • Pharmacist, Dentist or Vet — 8.17%
  • Police Officer or a Firefighter — 4.04%
  • Nurse or Midwife — 3.53%

However, the actual jobs they ended up working in in 2017 were:

  • Sales and Retail — 6.2%
  • Personal Care — 4.8%
  • Teacher or other Educational roles — 4.5%
  • Elementary services — 4.3%
  • Sales and Marketing — 3.7%
  • Administration — 3.3%
  • IT and Telecommunications — 2.8%
  • Childcare — 2.8%
  • Financial Administration — 2.7%
  • Business Finance — 2.7%
  • Customer Service — 2.5%
  • Construction — 2.5%

These statistics prove that even the most ambitious teens did not end up in their dream careers as young adults. So if you’re 24 and don’t have a career worked out yet, take comfort in the fact that you’re not on your own.

If you're 24 and don't have a career, 25 can seem scary - this lady holding a birthday cake looks worried
When you’re 24 and don’t have a career, your 25th birthday might not seem like something worth celebrating

Research What Suits You

Here are three of our favourites — all of these are free:

16 Personalities uses the Myers Briggs test to provide insights into your personality. After answering a series of questions, it will tell you your strengths and weaknesses and how you may behave in relationships. Most importantly for your situation, it will give you an idea of the career paths that your personality is best suited to and tell you all about your work habits.

Our favourite, because we mainly focus on IT, is the Codecademy quiz which helps you identify which careers, computer languages, and courses suit your interests and strengths. Upon completing this quiz, you will receive four career suggestions, including an example of what each job role does and a suggested career path to follow to reach that career goal.

The National Careers Service have two assessments you can take on their website: The first one will help you discover which careers you are most suited to, and the other assesses the skills you already have. After taking both assessments, you should have a clear picture of jobs that interest you and any obstacles standing in your way of getting there.

Get on LinkedIn

When you find a career you’re interested in, you can join groups to find out more about them and connect with people who already work in that field. Once you start connecting with people and getting involved in conversations, your network starts to grow. Then when you get to know people, you can ask them about opportunities for work experience.

Weigh up the Pros and Cons

As we’re all individuals, what’s crucial to one might not be necessary to others. So, for example, if you want to manage people, that might score highly for you. If the thought of managing others is your worst nightmare, you might score technical roles more highly.

Here are some examples of things you might consider before deciding on a career:

  • What is the earning potential for someone at your level?
  • How much can you expect to earn in five years?
  • What do you expect your work-life balance to be like in this career?
  • Where are the jobs? Will you have a long commute or have to relocate?
  • Does it allow you to travel?
  • Will you need to manage people as you progress throughout your career?
  • Does this career choice leave room for having a family?
Lady considering the pros and cons of one career vs another
The pros and cons of various career choices will vary depending on what’s important to you.

Devise a Plan

Whatever it is, having a five-year plan can help you justify your change of direction to interviewers. Having a plan can be the difference between rejection and landing an entry-level job in your chosen career.

It doesn’t matter that you’re 24 and don’t have a career yet. Making a five-year plan can help you get there by the time you’re 30 years old.

A Few Final Thoughts on Being 24 And Not Having A Career

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