In honor of LinkedIn’s apparent 15th birthday, the site is trending #WhenIWas15 to encourage members to post what they wanted to be when they were 15. Reflecting on my teenage years, I remember myself to be someone not all that much different from who I am today. Still, my career aspirations changed drastically throughout the years, so it is fun to think about.

At 15 years old, I remember loving chemistry, of all things to be interested, considering someone who is now heavily interested in reading, writing and real estate. I remember taking my first chemistry class and believing I would grow up to be a researcher doing who knows what. This aspiration soon died and converted into a desire to be a nutritionist. Even today, I can see myself having pursued a career in nutrition, since I love to learn about new ways to improve my health. I had dismissed the idea after learning of the long road and low salary of the average nutritionist but that should not have discouraged me. At the time salary seemed like the most important thing to consider.

I have learned a thing or two about choosing a career 10 years later (wow, it has been that long since I’m 15, huh?) and I would give this advice to my 15 yr. old self had I known.

  1. You don’t have to know what you want at 15, going into college, during OR THEREAFTER OR EVER… Continue to shamelessly explore your interests
  2. Do not choose a career path based on Glassdoor salaries
  3. More education does not necessarily equal more pay or more opportunities
  4. Networking is the most important thing you can do when exploring careers and finding mentors
  5. Do not be afraid to change your mind. It is never too late.
  6. Always strive to learn something new everyday

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