Currently off the beaten path...choose finance?

Hi everyone,

I have recently been considering a career in finance, and I would like to get some other perspectives. I am going to do my best to make this post concise, so apologies in advance if this is long-winded.

Beginning in high school, I always wanted to pursue finance. I was strong in math and come from a family of commodities traders, so I found the field fascinating. However, by the time I was a sophomore in college, I realized I was doing it for the wrong reasons. I was under the illusion that a high-status, lucrative job would provide me with the excitement and fulfillment I was craving in life. I spent a lot of time alternating between career paths in order to "find my purpose": from medicine, to law, to psychology…and then back to medicine.

I ended up graduating with my Bachelor's in psychology with a 3.9 from a non-target large public university in 2019. This included some coursework in econ, stats, calculus, and the hard sciences. I started volunteering at a local hospital to gain some more experience for my med school application, but within two months of starting, I was not even allowed to step foot in the place for a while because of COVID. With clinical opportunities seemingly dried up, the overall disastrous shitstorm that was the first year of the pandemic, and having felt I exhausted all realistic career options, I spent those couple of years being idle, unemployed, and uncharacteristically indifferent about my future. It was a period of soul-searching that caused me to mature and grow in certain ways, but in hindsight I spent much of it spinning my wheels and wasting time.

The good thing is today is a new day. I've done a lot of personal work since then and have mostly gotten out of the rut I was in - caused in large part by the unpractical and indecisive approach I took towards my life. I am now in the latter half of my 20s. I am still young, but not getting any younger. I feel a sense of urgency to establish myself in a way that is this time both practical and decisive. I'm starting to think going back to my initial plan of pursuing finance is not such a bad idea.

I'm well aware that I'm coming across like a complete leaf in the wind. I'm well aware of the questions I need to ask myself: Why finance? Do you even find it that interesting? Are you yet again making an impulsive career choice for misguided reasons? This takes me back to a conversation I had with a close friend about how he chose his career path (majored in finance, now sells insurance making 6 figures in his mid-20s). He said straightforwardly, "Do you think I ever dreamed about selling insurance for a living? No, not at all. I do it because I need income. That's it." In other words, unlike me, he didn't dwell on questions of existential purpose, fulfilling his passions, and other useless abstractions. He, like many of you reading this, simply realized what he had to do and did it – with pragmatism and decisiveness.

I've went on long enough and am going to wrap this up. I think I have the aptitude and enough of a fire underneath my ass to succeed reasonably well in this field. I'm obviously off the beaten path and, if I were to pursue this seriously, would need to take some unconventional steps like breaking into entry level roles later than usual and perhaps even going back to school (MSF, MBA, etc.) to get things rolling.

I'd like to hear why you think I'm over my head, sensible, misguided, prudent, naïve, or some combination of those. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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