Choosing your career path is undoubtedly one of the most stressful parts of adulthood — but there are a few things worth remembering about it: One, you can always change your career; and two, there are plenty of career paths you don't hear about in college. So, if whatever you've been thinking you're "supposed" to do with yourself just doesn't fire you up, there's always time to make a change — even an unexpected one.
When it comes to the "best" career paths, we often talk about the heavy-hitting jobs that we frequently see represented in our media — doctors, lawyers, teachers, business people, and so on. The reality is that there are a ton of jobs and skill sets out there and we do a great disservice to ourselves if we limit our options based on what job titles and paths we hear about the most frequently.
It's also worth pointing out that the "best" job or career path is relative. For some people, prioritizing income is the most important aspect of choosing a job; for others, it might have more to do with work-life balance. If you are in a position where you have options to choose from, it's always worth seriously considering how a job will impact your quality of life, your long-term future, and so forth.
Thanks to a recent thread over at AskReddit, we have a nice collection of comments from people on the best jobs they didn't hear about in college — or didn't have to attend college, period, to pursue. Here are a few of my personal favorite selections from the thread, but it's worth going over to Reddit yourself and checking out the full list.
1. Waste Water Treatment
Although some people might think this job has an "ew" factor, it's a well-paying career path that might be worth your time to consider.
2. Flight Attendant
Getting paid to fly around the country (or even the world) and meet new people every single day? Pretty awesome if you ask me.
3. Technical Writing
While some people can get into technical writing without a degree, you can also take classes in technical writing at community colleges or part of broader degrees (like English or communications) at many schools.
4. Interpreter or Translator
If you're fluent in more than one language, it's always worth looking into how you can become a certified interpreter or translator in your area. There are often opportunities to do translation work on the web, too.
5. Funeral Services
If you fell in love with Six Feet Under , you may have also discovered a potential career path. Working at a funeral home is probably not the first job to pop into your mind when you think about your long-term career, but it's totally respectable and, frankly, necessary.
6. Medical Laboratory Sciences
Do you love science? Are you OK with not talking to people for a long period of time while you do science-y stuff? Look into medical lab positions and rejoice!
7. Technical Business Analyst
If you're into computer science but don't necessarily love coding, there are many related positions in the field, including developing, business analysis, and so on and so forth.
8. Lesser-Known Hospital Roles
If hospitals don't make you nervous, definitely consider the plethora of opportunities you can find there outside of being a surgeon or nurse. From administrative roles to the people behind the scenes in the lab, there are a ton of options.
9. Instructional Design
If you're good with words and great with graphic design, instructional design might be the perfect role to combine your skills.
10. Technical Director
If you're great with technical information and are good on your feet, definitely look into roles that allow you to show off your knowledge and specific skill set, whether it's in radio, television, computers, or anything else.
11. Lesser-Known Medical Roles
If you're in school and know you want to pursue an advanced degree in the sciences, such as going to medical school or achieving a master's in a specialized field, make sure you look into all the specific and perhaps more obscure medical paths, such as occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, speech-language pathology, and so forth. There are a ton of specialities in medicine, so don't feel like you have to become a dentist or pharmacist just because that's what you hear about the most often!