It’s OK Not To Have it Figured Out


As I watch newly minted Emergency Mangers leave my classroom and move into the field, it is easy to assume that the first job they get is their passion and therefore, their forever job. This thinking does a disservice to the field and is not in line with today’s generation. I tell all my students that it is perfectly normal to be unsure about what exactly you want to do.

The Emergency Management field is gigantic and while many enter it knowing what their first few years will look like, many do not. Some take the first job they are offered and then realize that this is not what they want. I wish someone would have told me that it’s OK to be unsure of the next 40 to 50 years of my life when I was graduating a few years ago. I’m not the same person today that I was in my early twenties; what I found fulfilling changed as well.

I have students who came into the program convinced that they were bound for local emergency management work in some county office, but once they were introduced to the non-profit or private sector, they changed their tune. Other times it is not type of work, but the place of work. I have known emergency managers who loved their work, but were unhappy where they were or the level they were working at.

As you grow as a person and as your interests grow and change, the “perfect job” will also. Do not get stuck in a spot that is no longer giving you satisfaction just because it is what you think you should do. Actively be about determining your goals and the path you need to follow to reach them.

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