Pursuit of Less Traditional Career Paths

March 3, 2022

Doctors. Lawyers. Engineers. We have all heard about these respectable career paths and perhaps have been pushed into career pathways from parents or family members because of the financial stability and moral convictions that they provide. Each profession has its own set of appeals that motivate students to propel towards a lifelong career but many students often feel an immense amount of pressure to pursue these traditional career paths despite an inner drive for a more creative and freelanced career. While the appeal and drive for financial success is alluring; with the birth of social media exposure to more niche career paths are being pushed into the limelight as traditional 9-5 fade into a thing of the past. 

One outcome of this exposure is the fact that success is no longer outlined by a conventional educational path but rather Gen Z has expanded the umbrella term of professional careers to the arts. Alluding to the idea that success is what you make of it and passion rather than conventionality is the only thing necessary for success. 

Kiley Shafer explains the moment she first felt that passion for culinary arts and the succeeding moments that shaped her trajectory into the creative profession. “My mom started us in the kitchen at the age of 2 because it was a fun way to keep us entertained as well as start to learn how to read. We would make box cakes or brownies and it was just a fun way to learn small skills like cracking eggs or how to measure ingredients. From there it really sparked something in me because it was fun and it made people really happy when you gave them the finished product. After that it became just a goal in my life to become a pastry chef up until freshman year of high school. I started in Mr.Brandler’s class and he saw my interest and showed me the reality of what it would be like. He also opened my eyes to the larger world of culinary arts and made me completely decide that I wanted to be a savory chef Instead,” Senior, Kiley Shafer.

Ultimately, our generation has put more of an emphasis on creating a career that suits their passion rather than trying to conform to a singular structured career pathway that might not be for everyone. The measure of success has never been as varied as it is now and it might be for the better as each person’s definition of career success is as unique and varied as the array of students.

From there it really sparked something in me because it was fun and it made people really happy when you gave them the finished product

— Kiley Shafer

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