The next part of my New Year’s blog series is about figuring your s**t out. A.k.a., your life goals, career goals, your direction, etc…
Do you have absolutely NO CLUE as to what you want to do when you “grow up”?
Maybe you don’t even know if you LIKE your current job/career, and if it’s ACTUALLY what you want to be doing for the rest of your life (or the next 6 months!)?
YET, you don’t really like/can fathom doing anything in particular for the rest of your life!?
All I have to say is… I’VE BEEN THERE.
I thought my “weirdo” friends and I were the only ones who seemed to be in this “quarter-life-crisis” thing, feeling completely lost and unfulfilled. So, of course, I went on Google and was relieved to find that we weren’t alone. I found that 25% of young employees will have worked 5 jobs by the time they are 35!!
As a recruiter, the above statistic is a little scary. You see, I am a big advocate of NOT job hopping and staying at a company for at least 2 years or more. Yet, I also understand what it’s like for something to simply not work out, or being cursed with heavy indecision over what you actually want to do…. I am pretty sure I changed my mind about 5 times a day during my first job out of college. But honestly, how could we not? We are living in a world where some people are getting “insta-famous” for just being attractive, or making YouTube videos. Then there are the overnight millionaires who randomly came up with a cool idea, invention, app or technology… Kinda hard to look at your 9-5 desk job and not think, “Damn, what have I done? …WTF am I doing here?”
Take a deep breath and remind yourself that IT WILL ALL BE OKAY (at least that’s what my mom would say, and she’s NEVER wrong).
Here are my tips/tricks to get you on a less stressful life path, and help you navigate all the confusion:
1. THINK ABOUT YOUR LONG-TERM LIFESTYLE AND CAREER GOALS.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither is a career (unless you’re one of those “insta-famous” millionaires). Ask yourself:
- “Where do I see myself in 10 years?”
- “What will I be doing?”
- “If money didn’t matter, what job would I have?”
Then plan your life in reverse. For example, I know I ultimately want to make a lot of money so I can live in a house by the water. I visualized and wrote down each detail of that life, and thought about what it would take for me to get there, and what I can do on the daily to inch me closer. Chunking goals into small bite size pieces makes them so much more attainable. You don’t need to climb the mountain in one day, you just need to take one step at a time
2. START WHERE YOU ARE NOW.
Look at your current company and job, and come up with a pros/cons list. Ask yourself:
- “What do I like about my job, and what do I hate about it?”
- “What am I good at, and what do I suck at?”
- “What would I like to do more of vs. what could no one pay me enough to do? “
Once you answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of the direction you wish to head in, and can begin searching for better suited opportunities, internally or externally from your current company.
PERFECT EXAMPLE: I was an accountant for a little over a year after college, and pretty much hated every second of the job (not to mention that I really wasn’t that good at it). After my fifth failed attempt at the CPA exam, I decided to brainstorm for alternate careers, since accounting was clearly not my destiny. I wrote down all the aspects of my job that I liked vs. the ones I disliked, and then identified what I was really passionate and good at in my past. Ultimately, I realized that I needed to be in more of a people-facing role, one that also gave me the opportunity to make an unlimited income (a.k.a. sales). That’s exactly what I am doing today.
3. EMULATE SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE.
I get the whole being-creative-and-original frame of thinking, coming-up-with-something- that-no-one’s-done thing… but there is a lot to be said about the incredibly successful people who have already paved the way, and live pretty awesome lives!
Find someone you look up to and inspires you: whether it’s a doctor changing the world of medicine, a coach who has led their team to multiple championships, a top producer at your company, or just a great person who helps make the world a better place each day… Find out what traits they possess and what they did to get where they are, and then follow a similar path. The blueprint more often than not is already out there, and we just need to utilize it. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. Learn from those who have already done it!
You will not achieve full clarity overnight. It will require some heavy soul searching and figuring out who you are and want to be. BUT, when you’re living a life that you love and are excited about every day, you’ll be so happy you did… The effort you put into figuring out what you truly want could end up paying countless dividends in the future. So put in the effort NOW and start working toward the life you want. I’m so glad I did, as I’m on my way! YOU CAN DO IT TOO!