What To Do When You Don’t Know What You Want To Do… Yet!
Some of us have a calling, a passion, a clear idea of what we want to do and where our lives are heading. When you look at a class of preschoolers and they all vow to grow up to become ballerinas, firefighters and dolphin trainers – it’s easy to think that they’ll all end up becoming bankers, lawyers or architects but some of them will stick to their preschool promises.
How do we know? Simple. Whilst the world can sometimes seem overpopulated by bankers, lawyers and people in grey suits working a nine to five, the world also has a full complement of ballerinas, firefighters and, yes, even dolphin trainers. Some people really do find their calling a four years old.
Where does that leave the rest of us though? The muddlers, the ‘figure it out on the way’ types that aren’t quite sure what they want to do ‘when they grow up.’? First things first, there’s nothing wrong with being one of those types, in fact, you’re probably in the majority. To fall fully into cliches, sometimes we have to get lost to find ourselves, kiss a few frogs to find the prince, take the road less travelled just to be sure.
So, what do you do when push comes to shove and it’s time to make the leap into the working world and you’re still not quite sure what you want to do yet? Well, there’s no clear cut path forward, no one size fits all response but we can present a few potential paths that might pique your interest and help you move forwards towards that ever-elusive goal of finding a calling.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to never stop learning, never close ourselves off to the possibilities of broadening our horizons, being educated and re-educated on subjects. Not only does skilling up and getting qualifications in new areas make you a more attractive candidate when you’re in the process of applying for jobs, but it can help you find a new pathway that might open your eyes to a job that might be your calling. Many of these further education courses, like those run by Courses.com.au, are available online and have government supported placements which means you can upskill and educate yourself from home without breaking the bank.
The phrase ‘I’ll try anything once’ isn’t often used in relation to career paths but, if you ask us, it totally should be. One of the most effective ways to learn is by doing. Getting to experience the day-to-day elements of certain careers is a great way to get your feet wet and learn more about a certain career path or industry. If you’re curious about a particular industry but aren’t quite ready to commit just yet, it is a good idea to apply for casual entry level jobs or look for internships and work experience.
If you’re really not sure what you want to do but want to enter the workforce and start earning a pay cheque right away then consider getting a job that will serve the community. When you’re working in a job that pays the bills but doesn’t feed your soul it can feel a bit like you’re wasting precious time but giving back to your community is rewarding, fulfilling and never a waste of time. Consider working with an NGO or not-for-profit organisation or in community services as a social worker or counselor or even as a teacher or childcare worker. This way you can make a difference while you’re waiting to be inspired and find your calling. Check out this list of amazing jobs that give back to the community and see if any of these career paths pique your fancy.
Cut Yourself A Break
The prevailing narrative is often that we should automatically know what we want to do and should get on the path to that calling and never stray from it. If you’re passionate about medicine the idea is that you should study hard in school and get the marks you need to get into a good medical school and then work as a doctor until you retire. It’s a path that’s straight-forward and clear but not all careers have such a clear pathway cut out for them. So, to everyone on the job hunt, particularly for young people, it’s important to remember that your path to a fulfilling career does not need to be direct or without detours. It’s perfectly fine not to know what you want to do with your working life, travel, see the world, read, be young, experiment! If you’re not sure what you want to do, don’t force it – give it time and eventually you’ll find your way.
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