When you’re planning a career, it can feel awfully like carving a declaration into stone: painful and inescapable. This causes anxiety, stress, and a great deal of self doubt because for most people there is so much riding on our decision.
When I graduated high school, 95% of my friends rushed out to college or university the following September – most of them choosing either business or general studies. And in my opinion, business may as well been general studies since most of them had no idea what they’d do with a Business Degree at the end of it anyway. I’m a big fan of not deciding when I can’t decide. Deciding to “do nothing” until you know what to do is far more effective use of your time. When my crowd was enrolling in classes, I booked a trip to Europe (to see what they knew, after all) because I knew General Studies would be a waste of money. Travelling provided to be lessons in sociology, finance, history, and culinary. After that it took me another five years’ for my vocation to come calling. But I didn’t rush it. I had some interests based on my personal and professional experiences so I took a college course to see if I’d like learning more about my interests. Then I took another course and then one more. I took my time because — well, why not? I wanted to enjoy the process and be sure it was the right path.
Do: First off, breathe. Consider that GenX’s, Millenials, and GenY’s are predicted to have as many as three different careers in their lifetimes which thankfully means that you don’t need to choose one job for the next fifty years. Consider that you are a fluid being who will learn, grow, and change and that you can use all your life experiences to find a vocation.