There have been many times in my life where I have been stuck and not known what to do next. I have agonised over what I should do or not do and whether I was making the right choices.
This state of not knowing what to do next applies to all of us, at any age and at different stages of our lives. Whether we are heading off to university, graduating, choosing our career path, recovering from heart break, being made redundant, or entering into retirement, we all have a point in our lives where we don’t know what to do next.
The answers or solutions we seek vary according to where we are at in our lives. A young graduate will focus on answering this question in relation to their future and choosing the right career.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know You Want to Do
- What Am I Really Passionate About – and Why?
- What Does My “Dream Job” Look Like?
- How Does This Job Fit Into My Life?
7 Steps to take when you don’t know what to do with Your life
You may find in your career that the journey getting there is more fun than the destination.
Seriously ask yourself, “What skills do I have to offer?” “What are my strongest personality traits?” and “What do I do best?”
Lean in the direction of your strengths.”
Think about what type of work environments excite you.
In college, did you thrive in large lectures or small classes? Did you perform better on group projects or individual assignments? This could indicate the size or type of company you’d prefer.
If you did better in large lectures, perhaps you could work for a large, established company. If you preferred more intimate seminars, maybe you see yourself at a small startup. You could also consider working on a small team within alarger company.
Also consider whether you prefer to be autonomous or supervised.
Write down the job elements and tasks that you enjoy and those that you dislike
Do you like talking to people, thinking in the abstract, working independently, and using your brain more than your feelings? Maybe you should consider a career as a reporter.
The four dimensions of personality type.
Next, write what is the most important part of a job to you. Do you care most about salary, status, or the job tasks? Also, are you more attached to the job description or the industry?
When looking for jobs, refer back to this list to filter through the positions you should and shouldn’t apply for.
Contemplate your level of education.
Be on the lookout for certification classes, online courses, seminars, or even graduate schools that could set you above the competition or help you explore out a different area of interest.
Look at your experience level.
Be honest with yourself about the job experience you have to offer and at what level you can enter the fields you’re considering. You may be interested in a coordinator or manager position but have to first look for an assistant job.
Reach out to your network.
Ask friends, family, family friends, professors, alumni groups – really anyone in your network you can reach out to – to help you set up an informational interview with this person. Then soak up as much as you can about what she does, the steps she took to get there, and any advice she can offer for success.
DO YOUR BEST THAT’S ALL YOU CAN DO.