How to figure out what you really want to do with your life
They start asking us when we’re 5 what we want to be when we grow up. By the time you graduate from high school, you’re supposed to have a plan. We are supposed to know what we want to do with our lives from a very early age. Like it’s so easy to just figure out. It’s one of the biggest questions we ask in life, yet knowing where to look for the answer can seem impossible. I’ve been trying to figure it out for myself recently, so I thought I’d share a few tips I’ve learned along the way.
Look at successful people and the paths that they have been down
One of the best ways to figure out what you want to do with your life is to look at people that have had success. See whether their journey is one you would like to mirror. Let’s say you’re interested in politics. Don’t just look at the president and those at the top of the tree. Look at the likes of Arizona secretary of state candidates and other local politicians, as this will give you a more realistic viewpoint and a fuller picture. Look at their education, how they had their big break, and what they do on a daily basis. This can help you to decide whether this is something you want or not.
Don’t think about today, think about where you will be in five years time
One of the biggest mistakes we make when attempting to figure out what to do with our lives is thinking about the here and now. Instead, you need to think about where you want to be in say five years time. Right now, you are simply plotting the map to get where you want to be. You won’t be at this stage for the rest of your life. It’s really important to think about the future and what you can see yourself doing then.
Get to know yourself better
In order to determine what career is going to be right for you, you really need to get to know yourself. Start by writing down five weaknesses and strengths. You should then ask your friends and family to describe you, so you can build a better picture of yourself. Finally, write about some of the experiences you have had in your life and how they shaped you. What did you learn? What experiences did you get the most satisfaction from? This should help you to determine what sort of career suits your skills and personality.
Shadow or volunteer someone who is in a job you are interested in
Once you have a good idea regarding the type of job you want to do, you do not need to overcommit. Before you decide to dive in, you can shadow someone in a job you are interested in, or you can do a bit of volunteer work. If you do not like the job, no big deal! You’re not locked in. If you do, you’ve got a little bonus for your resume and are one step closer to finding a position in that field.
There is no denying that this is an incredibly difficult thing to figure out. It’s really easy to get discouraged, but you don’t need to figure it out overnight! I’m 26 and still working on it. You might need to try out a bunch of different possibilities before you find the right fit. Put in the time and thought, and you’ll be able to make the right decision eventually.
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