I write in response to Kevin Symcox’s column “The View from the 40th Floor” (Feb. 3). While students may fear that career decisions made today will limit their future options, it is unlikely that any choice of career at this point will be their last. In fact, it is more likely that by the time an alumnus is 40, he or she will have had at least 10 jobs (according to a Labor Department study, baby boomers held an average of 10.8 jobs between the ages of 18 and 42).
As the principal career advisor for Yale College alumni, I often speak with people seeking to change careers, frequently to pursue what Kevin refers to as “something crazy or unique.” In the last few months, I’ve spoken with a 48-year-old investment banker seeking to become a teacher, a 29-year-old corporate lawyer wanting to work with the indigent and a 33-year-old commercial real estate professional looking to address the health and fitness issues of children.
Some students may worry that having gotten on “the corporate train,” they will have to ride it until they retire. They may find, however, that they really enjoy the ride, as many of our alumni have.
And for those who don’t, there will likely be plenty of opportunities to change trains.
The writer is a career counselor at Undergraduate Career Services.