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Home » I Don’t Want a Career, What Should I Do?

I Don’t Want a Career, What Should I Do?

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We are led to believe that having a career has become a significant part of one’s identity. But what happens when you wake up one day and say, “I don’t want a career anymore.”

It might sound strange, but not everyone is interested in pursuing a career. Some people prefer to live a simpler life, work part-time, or pursue their passions. Many work in what they love and don’t consider their work a career. If you don’t want a career anymore, you’re not alone. 

This article will explore why some people don’t want to pursue careers, whether it’s okay not to be career-driven, and what you can do instead.

Why Some People Don’t Want Careers

Every person asking the question has different motives for not pursuing a career. Of course, some aren’t as career-driven as others, but why are the most popular reasons for such thinking?

We can look at ourselves and what others say about it and come to several conclusions. Therefore, here are some of the reasons why people don’t want careers:

A Career Doesn’t Align With Their Personal Values

People live their lives based on a specific set of values they hold dear. For example, some prioritize family, relationships, and personal growth over their careers. Others refuse to be a part of the 9 to 5 cycle and find other ways to make money. But one of the most common reasons people don’t want careers is they find it challenging to balance work and their personal lives. As a result, they choose not to have a career.

A Career Can Cause Burnout and Stress

Burnout and stress are common issues in today’s society. But did you know that stress and burnout can also come from your career? 

It’s not uncommon for people to have negative experiences from pursuing careers. But, while negative experiences aren’t uncommon, it leads to burnout and stressful days. These are the days when lack of motivation takes a front-row seat and makes it impossible to get up for work. Due to the stresses of our job requirements, people choose not to pursue a career anymore. 

A Career Makes Them Lose Interest

In some cases, high expectations directly cause people to wake up and say, “I don’t want a career anymore.” Unfortunately, these feelings aren’t unusual and uncommon, making us feel lost and unsure about the predicament we find ourselves in.

We might’ve loved our career once, but it became stale and uninspiring after some time. Losing interest in something makes it impossible to find the motivation to do it. And these feelings also apply to career-driven individuals who’ve set their lives on a path to pursue a particular career. 

Once the flame burns out, they no longer want a career. 

Is It Okay Not to Want a Career?

Not wanting a career is perfectly fine if you are satisfied with the decision. In the beginning, we mentioned that society is leading us to believe that careers are part of our identity. This couldn’t be more wrong. 

Plenty of other things make up our identity; a career isn’t one of them. These things include family and relationships, experiences, and our beliefs. As long as these things make you happy and help you lead a fulfilling life, it’s perfectly okay not to be career-driven.

What Should I Do Instead?

If you don’t want a career, what else will you do? Well, there are plenty of other alternatives to do instead. But some may ask, is it possible to live a fulfilling life without money? This is a valid point. After all, money makes the world spin. So even if you don’t want a career, you still need money to pay for your mortgage, food, clothes, etc. 

That means you need to find other ways to make money. Luckily, there are dozens of ways to make money without pursuing a career. That’s because a career is nothing but a metaphor for a journey to progress in a sphere of work. 

And the demands of this journey make us miss out on other things, things we deem more important. So instead of a career, here are some things you can do:

Focus on Personal Growth

Personal growth is highly fulfilling for your development as a person. Your personal growth journey can mean anything. For example, you could improve the skills that make you better at doing the things you love. 

Pursue a Passion Project

The vast majority of people indeed pursue meaningless careers. These careers aren’t essential for them. Instead, the lure of a better life appeals to them. But at the end of the day, they’re not happy because they’re not pursuing their passions. 

So what you can do instead is start a side hustle you’re passionate about, like photography or blogging. As the saying goes, if you love your work, you’ll never work in your life. 


Volunteering is one of the best ways to give back to your local community and make a positive impact. In addition, volunteer work provides opportunities to learn new skills and make valuable connections that could prove fruitful down the road.

Travel the World

Traveling can be a transformative experience that allows you to gain new perspectives and learn about different cultures. You can also use your travels to explore new opportunities or pursue new interests.


Pursuing a career isn’t mandatory and won’t make your life more meaningful. If one day you say, “I don’t want a career,” that’s perfectly fine. What’s important is to do the things that make you happy and make your life more fulfilling. 


Can you live without a career?

Yes, you can. A career is an optional journey that promises better work opportunities. 

What to do when you don’t want a career?

If you don’t want a career, here are a few things you can do:
Focus on personal growth
Pursue a passion project
Travel the world.

Is it OK not to want a career?

It’s perfectly fine not to want a career. As long as what you’re doing is ethical and legal and isn’t harmful, it’s okay to do something else that keeps your inner fire burning. 

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