I'm pretty lucky I think, I was able to get my dream job pretty much directly after graduating high school. Three months after graduating high school and doing some computer programming work for a radio station my current employer contacted me with a job offer, to which I took and have held for the last 4 years.

One would think, "Dream Job right out of high school! Awesome", and one would generally be correct. I've thought the same thing for the last 3 and 1/2 years and have only recently realised that programming is possibly not for the dream job I thought it would be, or that I've just plateaued so early on in life.

I have no degrees, I haven't been to University or any extra education after graduating High School.

How would you go about deciding if the current career path you are on is the correct one to follow? (ignoring the fact my information solely relies on me plateauing after 4 years?)

Some Info:

  • I love programming, it feels so good to be able to produce something from nothing basically and for it to provide something for others
  • I'm not in bad rap with my Boss or work
  • Were you radio programing or computer programing?
    – Ben Mz
    Jun 21, 2018 at 3:27
  • 1
    computer programming
    – user60594
    Jun 21, 2018 at 3:37
  • 1
    I went off on an adventure in law enforcement for some years, trust me, if you have the brains for coding nothing will satisfy you. You'll always have that niggling feeling you're being treated like an idiot when you know you aren't. Do a degree and excel in what you do, if you still love it after 4 years then it was meant to be.
    – solarflare
    Jun 21, 2018 at 4:11
  • Hm, you make a really good point. I enjoy carpentry and cabinet making, but the pay, to begin with, is not enough (currently paying off a car and other bills) to satisfy me. My thought is too hang on for a few more years till I've paid off my car and then see if this is still something i'd like to continue doing.
    – user60594
    Jun 21, 2018 at 4:17
  • you will have more professional options if you go to college, and that's also a good time to figure yourself out without getting caught in the workaday grind.
    – dandavis
    Jun 21, 2018 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


How would you go about deciding if the current career path you are on is the correct one to follow?

It would depend on the following, regarding a carrer path (by order of importance IMHO):

Current salary+ benefit is matching your expectation?

Level of satisfaction for the job ( is there stress? pressure from managment? insane working hours? annoying customer service?, ...)

Salary that you can get in the next 5years and next 15 years? does it fit your financial plan (you want to live in an expensive city or can accept a low price countryside way of life?)

Learning curve (you are in the same position since 4 years, do you still learn new things from a purely coding point of view?)

Does your company or your current field will allow you to get promoted (if your are a skilled worker) every 5 years?

Commuting time ( your working field is not too far from an afordable/nice residential area?)

Can you work in this field abroad if you want to (if you are an english teacher it is very to work abroad for example).

  • This list will be very different for different people and it will change a lot over time for each person.
    – Ben Mz
    Jun 21, 2018 at 4:54
  • 1
    Agree with Ben, but Maxiem does make good points with things to think about.
    – user60594
    Jun 21, 2018 at 5:44
  • This is about the only approach that makes the question answerable. Good job.
    – jmoreno
    Jun 21, 2018 at 10:28

Lucky you!!

One thing you could do is audit some college courses. I used to just walk in and listen for a while to some classes that sounded interesting. You could even ask the teacher a couple questions.

Another great way to explore careers is to find and ask mentors who have jobs that sound cool. Most people enjoy talking about their careers and mentoring others. Let them know you're hungry to explore.

A final idea is to explore career resources online such as aRealMe and jdecision's career tools.

Good luck on your adventure! Don't forget to make plenty of mistakes!