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What Should I Do with My Life?

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what should i do with my life
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What Should I Do with My Life?

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It’s the question “What should I do with my life” many 30-year-olds are asking themselves amongst the chaos of political, environmental and economic changes around the world. Many are confused about the career path they have chosen or perhaps they have tried many jobs and now are reaching 30 dissatisfied with their efforts and the results of those efforts. Whether we like it or not, today in 2018 we operate in a world where the workforce is sensitive to the domino effects of globalisation and technology moving at faster rates than we could have imagined. The psyche of people has also changed. In an ageing population, many people have acquired the material comforts of life but are looking for something more.

Individuals are confused as to how they fit into this new world and are trying to reconcile what they know with a future that looks insecure. The greasy corporate ladder looks even more slippery than before and a lack of career direction seems to dominate your thoughts if you are looking at changing career paths at 30 or at any age group.

If you are serious about know what you should do with your life, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Know yourself. Clique as it sounds, if you want to sell yourself in this new labour market, you need to start at the foundation of who you are. It’s not about what others expect from you or all about what your skilled at. Ask yourself, can you tell me what your personality preferences are and how they affect you in every aspect of your work?

Each personality type has a hierarchy of functions, two of which reveal your greatest strengths. Being unaware of these functions may have you choosing the wrong career pathway which supports your weaker personality functions resulting in poor performance and ultimately having you burn out in a career. Knowing your personal story is also significant. Within each person’s story there are hidden gems waiting to be uncovered and connected to your next career step.

2. Know your personal obstacles. This is a big one. Personal barriers can vary from person to person and usually stem from their experiences from when they were young children at school to negative experiences from previous or current jobs. Identifying and discussing these career roadblocks with a career professional can remove the very things holding you back from finding out what to do with your life.

3. Identify your support system. With any decisions in life, you need a least one person cheering you on from the side. This can be a husband, wife, brother, sister, best friend or a mentor. This will be a trusted person to keep you accountable, focused and able to pick you up when you are down. They can give you the assurance that you are on the right track with your career decisions and can provide objective but realistic feedback along the journey.

4. Adapt the right mindset. A positive mindset is probably an overused term when it comes to any change we undertake. I like to refer to it as having the right career mindset. It simply involves having the following ducks in a row:

Being razor sharp about what career you want, having belief in yourself and managing any self-doubts along the way. When you are confident about what change you want to achieve for yourself, this becomes infectious with those that want to help you make your career decision.

5. Be proactive not reactive. Be in charge of your career at the start. Don’t put off making a step and have someone else make the career decision for you. I see too often people wait till change is thrust upon them and they have not been active in thinking about what they should do. Change may come about because of illness, redundancy or another crisis. Some wait till the safety of staying in a miserable career is no longer palatable. Ask yourself, if I stay in this job or career, what will it cost me in the long run? Sometimes the costs may be things you don’t expect like your marriage, time lost with your family or your mental/physical health.

6. Commitment. The reality of working out what to do with your life takes time, effort and preparation. The commitment you have for the whole process will ultimately determine the outcome. Like anything else you do, the rewards will be there if you are emotionally and mentally prepared to take a deeper look.

Working out what you want to do involves a number of steps: you need to understand where you have been, where you are now and where you want to go next. Nobody expects you to have all the answers. Deep discussion with somebody who is objective and experienced will stop you procrastinating and finding the answers sooner than you think possible.

It is an opportunity for you to do some soul-searching work on yourself. Done with time and effort, you will look at yourself with renewed confidence and energy.

Reach out and contact me if you are serious about finding your purpose and how you fit into this new world. Feel free to share what you think below in the comment box.

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