I am 24 years old. I have been reading your blog for a while, and its actually making me feel a bit depressed. I went to college a year out of high school, and during my 2nd year found out my girlfriend was pregnant. Under the assumption that it would make me more money, I transfered in to the school’s business program. I am now almost graduated, with a bachelors in business management, and have no idea what I can do with it. I feel like I have no marketable skills, and would have better spent my time working at McDonald’s for 4 years, at least then I’d have some real good experience.

I completely disconnected from the world after my son was born. I have not made a single new friend since high school, and for the most part only hang out with my family, rarely even seeing my old friends. I have missed out on this whole blogging evolution, and just feel lost. What type of employer am I supposed to apply at? Is a bachelors of business administration worth anything to anyone? I have a lot of knowledge, but no one seems to care.

Where does someone like me go? My whole life the idea that college was what you did you get a good job was drilled into my head, but I can’t see it delivering now. I know I am smarter than many of the people I went to school with, and have abilities somewhere, but just feel so lost. I have always wanted to run a restaurant, but that takes a lot of money. I have so many ideas, but no capital. I have been applying as an assistant manager at various restaurants, hoping to build a skill set, but is that not completely lame? Most people with equivalent jobs probably got them just by working their for a few years, and earned money to get to that position rather than spend.

I don’t know, it seems like the world left me behind. Every other 24 year old seems to be so far ahead of me, and I don’t see them having a kid in the future as a way for me to catch up.

4 replies
  1. Penelope Trunk
    Penelope Trunk says:

    You’re doing fine. It sounds like you’re trying hard to be a good dad and that’s what matters most. Life is not a race, and you don’t have to worry that other people your age are in a better place than you. And anyway, being twentysomething is very hard for everyone. Finding one’s place after college is very hard for everyone. You are not alone in the way you feel, just people are too scared to talk about it as honestly as you are talking about it.

    A business degre does not make you qualified for any job. But thats ok because monone is qualified for a job just because they have a college degree. So just get any job and start trying to figure out what you’re good at and what you like to do.

    Your college career center can help you figure out a strategy for getting a job. I know they seem incompetent at times, but career centers actually do have good ideas for early-stage careers, and they are a good place to go if you get stuck. They will even help you even years after you graduated. So give them a call. Once you get a job, start looking for people at your company to mentor you so you don’t have to go back to the career center.

    You must have the capacity to do that because you sent me a great email. People will like you and want to help you.

    Good luck. Don’t panic. It’s okay to be lost when you’re 24. Most people are. Life will get easier.

    Penelope

  2. Carl
    Carl says:

    I worked in human resources for 34 years with a Fortune 500 company. Having a business degree is a good basic education to start from. It’s much better than trying to start with just a high school diploma. Being a good father is character building and employers like people with good character. Finding a company you like will help you settle down and feel better about yourself and your choices.
    Get experience working at a restaurant if it’s from the ground ip. If you want to own one, learn the business end by seeing how others do it.

  3. Lesley
    Lesley says:

    I felt lost in my 20s too. I knew what field I wanted to go into, but it took forever to get there. Have you thought about temping? That’s a great way to get experience in a couple different areas and see what interests you. I just switched careers and used a contract position to get into the corporate world. (It is a little risky, of course, because it’s temporary, but these days, what job isn’t?)

  4. kevin
    kevin says:

    Here’s a book about a guy who did exactly that, went to McDonald’s worked his way from fry cook up to wherever, and has about $300k in the bank in his mid twenties. The point of the book is that, with some smart big picture budgeting (housing expense, car) and a strong saving incentive, you can get ahead.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401324207/?tag=brazecaree-20

    However, as a dad, you need big wins and ways to increase your income. Check out Ramit Sethi’s stuff, I willteachyoutoberich.com

    He is discounting his ‘find your first profitable idea’ to $1 today (Friday, 8/5). I just bought it a few hours ago. Couldn’t hurt, and maybe you’ll be able to find a way to make some extra cash.

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