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.
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.”
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.”
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!"
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.”
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."
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."
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."
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."
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!"
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!
Paid for by Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.