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9 Millennials Share Their Unconventional Career Journeys

Nearly 25% of millennials expect to have eight or more jobs in their working life (!!!). Dive into Bank of America's Better Money Habits® Millennial Report for a look into how millennials are navigating their careers and finances.

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1. From Political Science to Nursing

“I was a political science major and thought I wanted to work in local government. During undergrad, I was a good student and I enjoyed college for the most part, but, after doing a few internships in my college town’s local government, I realized it just wasn’t for me. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do post-grad, and, after talking through it with friends and family, I decided to enter an accelerated nursing program. I love helping people and thought this would be the perfect way to do it! I’ve been a nurse for six years now, and I love it.”

—Sandy, 29

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2. A Finance Phenom Goes Nonprofit

“After scoring a competitive internship on Wall Street and working hard for 10 weeks in the summer of 2015, I was rewarded with a full-time return offer. I won't lie: I had an awesome senior year without the stress of interviewing for jobs or worrying about where I was going next. I started full-time in July 2016. Fifteen months later, I quit my job to work for a community development finance institution, allocating and managing federal grants for nonprofits around the country. While my first job gave me invaluable skills and exposure, in the end, I wanted to do more impactful work at a mission-driven organization, and I wanted a more sustainable work–life balance. I am glad I made the leap to the public sector.”

—Sivan, 24

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3. Dancing, Writing, and Everything in Between

"My childhood was filled with dancing. I loved telling a story through movement. My elementary school dance teacher passed away my senior year of high school, and I was determined to honor her memory by becoming a dance major at NYU. Spoiler alert: I got cut after the first round. I was devastated. I headed to University of Texas as a math major and thought all my hopes of dance and theater were dashed.

"Unexpectedly, I found solace in writing. I was excited to tell stories again — only this time through word, not movement. I did become a dance major, but I made sure to invest in my writing and social media skills on the side through internships. The one that changed the game was a not-for-profit in NYC that creates social cause campaigns for young people. After I graduated, they offered a full-time digital content position and I enthusiastically accepted.

"After a year, my true passion of dance and theater kept calling me back. A theater magazine company I loved had a social media manager position open, and I went for it! I’ve been the social media manager here for two years now, and it’s a perfect blend of my love for theater and social media. I get to tell stories. I get to experience incredible theater. I get to create content for the kids out there who want to be a part of this community one day!"

—Felicia, 26

4. From College Dropout to MBA Candidate

“College was rough. I had no direction and switched my major about five times. I ended up dropping out my junior year and working at my uncle’s company. A couple years went by before I realized I had to figure something out. I enrolled back in school, decided to major in marketing, and I loved it! It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I worked for a few small marketing companies in Washington, DC, and now I’m working on my MBA.”

—Allan, 31

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5. 2 Kids, 2 Degrees, 6 Roles, and 12 Years Of Slaying

"My BA was in biology, with intentions of going to med school. After taking two years to think about options, I decided to pursue business and worked in corporate for 12 years, during which I held six different roles and earned an MBA with tuition assistance. I got married, had two kids, and decided to pivot once again. I resigned from corporate in June to pursue real estate while prioritizing my family and my values."

—Tez, 33

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6. What Happens When You Learn to Have Faith in Your Abilities

"I was heavily involved in publications in high school and even ended up winning a journalism scholarship, but the expectations set by my immigrant family pressured me into studying something more practical. After weighing my options, I decided to major in health care management and policy. I had envisioned myself working for the UN or some health care NGO in East Africa, but, after doing a Digital Campaigns internship at a nonprofit in NYC, I realized I wanted to do something in the realm of digital marketing or media.

"Instead of changing my major and completely restarting, I interned in social media for another NYC nonprofit, and then did marketing for a tech company. After about nine months at that company, I started to wonder if I could break into media somehow. I always knew writing was my best skill, and I finally believed in my ability to monetize that. I started applying for different opportunities and ended up getting hired by a major media company in NYC. Ultimately, what I learned is that, if you work smart and have a hustle bone, your career opportunities won't be limited by your degree."

—Samra, 23

7. Trusting the Process

"When I was 26, I got fired from the job I had been at since I graduated college. For some reason, though, I wasn't too stressed out about it. It was almost a relief; I knew I needed to make a career change. Literally two days later, I got an email from an old college professor. His wife, who was an executive at a retail company, was looking for someone to join her operations team, and he said I was the first person who came to mind. I've been there for almost four years now, and they're paying for me to earn my MBA."

—Melanie, 30

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8. When Getting Laid Off Was Actually the Best Thing Ever

"I got laid off from my job in advertising when I was 23. I was distraught; I had only been there for about 13 months, and I felt like I had failed, even though I knew it wasn't my fault, and that layoffs happen all the time. Since I had to pay my crazy NYC rent somehow, I decided to hit the ground running applying for jobs, and I ended up doing marketing for a startup! I love my job now and see that layoff as a blessing in disguise. I don't know what's next, but for the meantime, I'm happy with what I've got."

—Ally, 25

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9. It's Not Over Just Yet

"Everyone thinks I have my life together. I would probably think I had my life together too if I were them. I went to an amazing school and have a great engineering job. I never worry about money. But something's missing. I don't know what I want to do next, but I'm really hoping I figure it out soon. Life is short, and every day I feel like I'm wasting my time, but I know I have options!"

—Yasmine, 29

From layoffs to degree-chasing to everything in between, career hopping is the norm these days. As millennials navigate their careers, they can turn to Better Money Habits® to make sure their finances stay in check during the ride!

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