DR. WALLACE: I’m an 18-year-old guy who just graduated from high school and I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I’ve never had any specific career aspirations, but now that I’ve finished high school, I need to learn how to become independent and create a future for myself.
My parents and school counselor recommend that I join the military, as they think that would provide me with a stable sense of direction. I’m not opposed to the idea, but I definitely don’t want to be in the military long-term.
Is it worth pursuing for the short term while I figure my life out? — Not Sure of My Direction Yet, via email
NOT SURE OF MY DIRECTION YET: As a military man myself, I agree that this would be a potentially good short-term solution for you. You’ll gain discipline, self-esteem, new skills and new knowledge along the way.
I spent two years in the U.S. Navy and spent time aboard ship at wartime from the ages of 18 to 20, so I can absolutely relate to your situation.
Check with friends who have military connections. Get the inside story from as many people as you can. I do feel this can help you with the rest of your life, as employers in many fields like to hire veterans, given their strong skill sets and ability to work well in teams.
My service was limited to just those two years, but I gained a lifetime of benefits from what I learned back then. I can also attest that benefits such as the VA (Veterans Administration) are also more than worthwhile. Don’t make your decision solely upon that but do think ahead five to 10 years from now and visualize whether you feel you’d benefit from a few years of military service. Good luck to you no matter which path you choose!
MY NOSE KNOWS
DR. WALLACE: Over the past few months I have really wanted to get my nose pierced. I think it would look good on me and other people have told me that as well. My parents are open to it too, but I am worried about future job opportunities as I know not everyone is “down with” this particular personal choice.
I am unsure if having a nose piercing at my new job is unprofessional. I do not want to risk my employment over a nose piercing but also, I do not think it is that big of a deal. What do you think? — My Nose Knows I Want It, via email
MY NOSE KNOWS I WANT IT: I don’t know you personally nor what your preferred career path is likely to be. Therefore, it may depend on your profession as to how much impact (if any) this feature might bring about.
If you were a musician, for example, there would likely be little to no impact at all. However, if you plan to be a press secretary for a politician or work in personal wealth management, there could be an issue regarding a dress code.
I’d suggest you start by looking at what jobs and possible careers you plan to seek out. Check with a few friends and even some potential employers on their policies as this may provide you a better road map.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.