Our brains hate uncertainty. Which is why we like to predict what’s going to happen at the end of the movie when we’re still watching the early scenes unfold. Simply put, we all wish we had a crystal ball so we could see what the future might hold for us. But when it comes to the question of ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years’ at an interview, we lose all our foreseeing capabilities and the idea of a future career plan starts to crumble down right in front of our eyes as we peer into the void for an answer. There’s no amount of career advice that can save you now.
For some, it might be different. They might have it all figured out and are ticking major goals off their list as they go about their day, oblivious to the rest of us who don’t have the slightest clue.
But here’s the thing about not knowing what to do with your life: that’s okay!
Our brains do like to predict the future, yes, but do we always love it when we’re right? When predicting what happens in a movie, if your predictions are right, do you enjoy it as much as you do when the movie surprises you with an unpredictable twist?
It all depends on what you want out of life. Do you always want to be correct so you can say ‘I knew it’ to yourself? Or do you want life to surprise you and make you say ‘That was a great watch!’ ?
Here are some things to ponder on if you don’t have it all figured out yet.
1. Your career plan won’t always work out
Like you on a lazy Sunday, plans don’t always have a plan to work out. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop trying. But if you don’t have it all chalked out, it’s okay. The most important thing to do here – if you aren’t sure about your future career plan – is to learn to enjoy the present.
Do you like what you do right now? If yes, is there a future career plan you can build on? If no, can you do something to change it? If you don’t know what to do with life, how can you work it out? The thing is – career plans aren’t the ultimatum.
If you do have a strict career plan in mind, it might be upsetting if things don’t work out your way all the time. If you don’t have a career plan at all, the stress might keep you from sleeping well. So what’s important here isn’t a surefire career plan – but a balance between knowing and not knowing. Say it out loud: I try to think therefore I try to am!
2. EXPERIMENTING WITH THE NEW NEVER GETS OLD
Look on the bright side – when you don’t know what to do with life – you can try your hand at everything! So when you’re stuck in your career and would love to do something else – but don’t know what that something is, take up the opportunity to explore new things.
So whether you’re just graduating college, or working a mundane job you hate, keep doing that while you make time to try out new things. Take workshops, volunteer at organizations, or learn a new skill, and just have fun while you’re at it.
3. INSPIRATION IS HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT
The thing is, we tend to envy people who seem to have it all figured out. But envy doesn’t inspire. In fact, comparison mostly just makes you feel bad about your own achievements. So, when you do find someone who’s figured it all out, instead of being jealous, or assuming some people are born lucky or exceptionally talented, find inspiration there. Remember, good career advice can come from anyone.
Talk to them about their journey, did they always have a fixed career plan? What bothers them? Do they love every little aspect of their career? What are they sacrificing? What advice can they give you?
Inspiration is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes and see it more clearly.
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In the end, trust that you’ll figure it out, in your own sweet time. So don’t worry and keep doing you!
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