Many students often had this question pondering in their minds about what they should do in their life after graduating from college. Some may have studied or majored in a field that didn’t match their interests or passion, and ended up pivoting their career paths – simply because the jobs or internships that they have worked at, are depressing and unsuitable for them.
On the other hand, older individuals who have been in the same role or sector/industry for many years often want to switch careers due to the following reasons:
- Lack of professional advancement or career dissatisfaction
- Job Burnout/Stress
- Job isn’t suitable for you: Being bored or depressed because of the work you do
- Loss of interest in that specific field/sector/industry
- Re-entering the path of self discovery
- You want to earn more income
- You want better benefits, perks and rewards
- Your life has changed because you have to take care of family or an illness so workplace flexibility is a must
- The job outlook has worsened for your career field
During this uncertain time of the pandemic, it is difficult to imagine what the future of work will look like since anything can change over the course of the next few months. However, it is still crucial to establish personal and professional goals that pave the way to success.
So the big question is, “Where do I begin?” “How do I figure out what I want to do with my life?” As you are discovering what you want to do in life, the way to do it is by shifting your mindset from looking for a job, to achieving a purpose. Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck. This is a reminder that what we want isn’t always what will be the best in the long run. You could say you have the passion to become a Mental Health Counselor because you have that kind of personality – compassion, empathy, therapeutic and you just love to talk to people. But you strongly dislike completing the caseloads and paperwork at the end of the session because administrative details aren’t really your forte.
With that being said, a good tip to consider for undergraduates or graduates who are still in school – you want to go behind the scenes in the professional world. In other words, you want to explore different career paths to see what really is your cup of tea. This will then establish your vision and clarity. Know where you want your dreams to take you.
Figure out your call to action. Prioritize what deserves your time, energy and happiness. Face the things that you have always desired to do and achieve. You want to map out a career plan/road map for yourself. What you want to do should align with your core values and strengths. Know and validate your strengths. Think about the jobs that you have worked for and think about what you do in your personal life and during your free time. List the things that you truly enjoy doing; things that bring a smile to your face and boosts your energy. Then list the things that you do not enjoy doing. Also, brainstorm and write down where you see yourself about 5-10 years from now.
You may also want to discover more things along the way. Discover what you don’t like by exploring, traveling, tasting, feeling, experiencing the things that you don’t like. Go out there and be fearless. Do the things that you’re afraid of because who knows, it may turn out to be your hobby/passion.
Another way in evaluating your core values, strengths, weaknesses, interests and skills are to take personality tests or career assessments to see where you want to be. There are numerous free career aptitude assessments that you may want to check out. Career Explorer also offers a free assessment to help you discover your career matches.
Once you have your road map in place, invest your time to hone those skills. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or connections who have landed a full-time role in Microsoft, Google, Facebook with good pay, perks and benefits. They are not you, and you are not them. Instead, you want to learn from them — and what I mean is learn from like-minded individuals — those who already have their life figured out and take advice from those who have what you want. In other words, surround yourself with individuals who are already at the level you want to be or those who possess similar goals who inspire you, motivate and encourage you to achieve your goals. Who you spend time with the most is who you will become. It’s important that you surround yourself with positive individuals — be it your friends, family members or colleagues.
Surround yourself with friends, family members and colleagues who serve as your life mentors; they believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself. Surround yourself with leaders who will set you up for success by helping you learn, grow and taking your life to a new level!
LinkedIn is also a huge asset during your job search process. Reach out to your contacts on LinkedIn and set the tone. See below for an example.
Hello (Your Connection’s Name),
I hope this message finds you well. My name is (Your Name) and I decided to reach out to you since your background really stood out to me. I am interested in seeking for your advice regarding career transitions in (Role OR Sector/Industry) as this really piqued my attention.
If you have some time to chat, I’d love to hear more about your career trajectory and current role.
I know your time is valuable, and this is a big ask coming from a stranger. If it is too much right now, I totally understand. Either way, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy.
Rushing yourself to create success will cost you more in the long run. Speed costs accuracy. You don’t want to do that. What you should do, is lay the foundations carefully step by step. Do these things accurately and slowly, and you will get to where you want to be in life. It is never too late to rewrite your future, reignite your dreams and reinvent yourself. Keep learning and growing because your greatest achievements haven’t been accomplished yet. You matter and your value doesn’t go unnoticed. Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavors, future leaders and topdogs! Onward and upward!
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”— Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios) via Stanford University Commencement on June 12, 2005