Skip Nav
Budget Tips
The Lean Household: 5 Ways to Manage Your Finances Like a Successful Startup
Job Search
Follow Up After a Job Interview With This Email
The Average Student Loan Debt in Every State

Young Professionals Experimenting With More Jobs

Is Job Experimentation During Your 20s a Good Idea?

Uncertainty seems to be the norm when you're in twenties. Many of the 20-somethings I know are still in job transition mode — going back to school to figure out what they want to do, freelancing or jumping from internship to internship. Yes, this can be attributed to the downturn in the economy, but according to the New York Times, the rate of maturation in all areas, including career, has been slowing even before the recession. Young people are blooming later than ever, perhaps because society gives them less pressure now. Here's more:

Maybe it’s only now, when young people are allowed to forestall adult obligations without fear of public censure, that the rate of societal maturation can finally fall into better sync with the maturation of the brain. Cultural expectations might also reinforce the delay. The “changing timetable for adulthood” has, in many ways, become internalized by 20-somethings and their parents alike. Today young people don’t expect to marry until their late 20s, don’t expect to start a family until their 30s, don’t expect to be on track for a rewarding career until much later than their parents were. So they make decisions about their futures that reflect this wider time horizon.

Is testing out job paths during your twenties a good move or should young people start aiming for a steady career timeline?

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
WarEagleNurse WarEagleNurse 6 years
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I'm 21, and I've known what I wanted to do since I was little. Right now I'm working on my internship, and I'll be graduating next year.While it is important to experiment, I wouldn't want to be 30, living at home and still trying to figure out what I want with my life.
shukuo shukuo 6 years
I agree with Kitty. Most of my exploring has been mandatory, since there aren't many open positions for economic analysts (ironic, huh?).
Skeptic52 Skeptic52 6 years
I'm 24 and EXTREMELY qualified with a bachelors degree, other degrees, and training. I'm even entering grad school soon. I WANTED to go into my original field, but they're literally on a hiring freeze in my city (they aren't hiring new people, they're only shifting employees around). So, I had to try out other career options for the next couple of years. Right now, some of us are getting STUCK "exploring".
jamigi jamigi 6 years
I'm 21 and have no clue where my life is leading me. I don't think it has anything to do with my generation being less mature (please don't consider people on the hills and jersey shore as legitimate examples of my age groupd =] ). I think it has more to do with the fact people are living longer and that my generation will have to retire at a later age. So why rush into finding a job you'll be okay with doing forever, when you can spend more time and find one you'll love and won't mind doing until you're 70?
amber512 amber512 6 years
I am 27 and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. I have explored various things and nothing feels right! People have told me that no matter what age you are you can't count 100% on staying at your current job for life. So I shouldn't feel bad about not figuring it out yet.
chequettex chequettex 6 years
Yup, agreed - it depends on the person. I'm 30 and I've never known what I really want to do (besides be a mom) and I'm not really interested in having some big career where I make a lot of money. I am happier having less responsibility, less time spent working, and less money. I had a liberal arts major in college, so of course I've done my time at a couple of coffee shops, but I've also had some great jobs. I worked at a non-profit organization for a couple of years, and I worked for a publishing company in New York City for awhile. The job I have right now I'll probably stay with until my husband and I have kids and I take off work for a while. After that, who knows? I've been happy with my career path so far, though.
le-romantique le-romantique 6 years
I think it all depends on the person. I've known what I wanted to do since I was about 6 years old and I made it my "life" goal to get there. I'm 22 and there. My brother is almost 26 and has jumped from job to job his whole life and is still in college (he started right after high school but keeps changing what he wants to do.) It all depends on the person, and nothing is wrong with that!
Quick Weeknight Family Meals
Who Is Susan Tynan of Framebridge?
How to Make Goals | Video
Amazon Buys Whole Foods
From Our Partners
Latest Career & Finance
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds