You Don’t Know What You Want To Do With Your Life? That’s Completely Normal.
Many of my friends have recently finished school and they were terrified in the months leading to graduation day. They realized that after all of these years of schooling, all the homework, late night study sessions and problem sets they still had no clue what they wanted to do when they “grew up.” Yes they completed their requirements for their degree but that didn’t mean they were passionate about the work or could see themselves in that field for the next 30-40 years.
If you’re finishing youth service soon or you’re in your first real job and still haven’t found your passion yet I have good news for you. You are completely normal. Some people know from the time that they are 5 years old what they are going to do and others figure it out when they are 25, neither is better than the other. Unfortunately you can’t just spend all of your time relaxing on the beach thinking about what you want to do, so here are some ways you can move towards that career passion even if you aren’t sure exactly what is.
Calm Down: We are not like our parent’s generation where they got a job in a bank and stayed there until retirement. Many people change careers four or five times over the course of their careers and that is normal. Stressing and worrying will not help you find your career passion. It is best to take a long-term approach and focus on creating a plan.
Get Off The Couch: Once you have calmed down, you need to get off the couch. Figuring out your career passion will not come to you if you spend all of your time watching shows or surfing the web. It is important to discover what you do and do not like, what environments you do best in, and what kind of people you flourish around. By truly understanding yourself better you’ll be able to narrow down what types of careers you will do well in. One friend thought she wanted to be a consultant but she hates travelling and prefers to work alone, basically the exact opposite of what is needed in a consultant. She eventually found a job in communications that still gave her the ability to work on different projects like she was looking for, but kept her in one place and with limited team projects. There are personality tests like the Myers-Briggs and other career tests that can help you better understand what types of fields may be better for you. Take the time to do your research.
Talk to People: My mother sees things in me that I don’t see and that is probably the same for your mother, cousins, friends, and colleagues. Ask your friends and family what types of jobs they believe you would be good at. Also reach out beyond your circle and begin developing relationships with people in key industries that interest you. If you think you want to become a music video producer, search online for a local producer and ask to shadow them or ask them some questions over coffee. Most people will be more than happy to meet with you and will give you an honest perspective of that industry. Oftentimes we see the glitz and the glamour of a job but don’t recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to make it happen. By talking to people who currently work in those fields you can get a firsthand perspective before you make any big life changes.
Ultimately, it takes time to figure out the role your career will play in your life. For some people, it where they live out their passion but for other people it is a way to support their families and they showcase their passions in other ways. The most important thing is to figure out what is best for you.
Have a good day and enjoy the rest of your week.
Photo credit: Google Images
Afua Osei is a strategy and communications consultant that has taken her expertise from helping companies and political campaigns to helping young women achieve their career goals. You can find more tips at www.TheSavvyMadam.com.