Being the “now, now, now!” generation that we are, millennials are oftentimes in search of more meaning in life. We want to do work that actually matters. We spend our 20’s working toward a career we think we like – you know, the ones with the sexy titles and "prestige" that’ll impress people we don’t even like - only to find out that it’s not what we want to do, and it’s not as fulfilling as we had hoped. However you got to this place – be it for the money, for the association and/or recognition, or just trying to live up to other peoples’ dreams for you – you’re unhappy. You're regretful. You want out. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “There has to be more to life than this,” then you’re absolutely right – there is more to life. But complaining about it to your significant other or calling home crying to your mom is not going to get you that "more" that you seek. You have to make the conscious decision that you are in control of your life, and you can go after what you desire.
This post was written to get your mind going, so you can get out of stuck-mode and into action. There are 3 questions you need to ask yourself if you’re feeling unfilled at your job:
1. What am I good at? What are my gifts/talents?
This is probably the most toughest question for people to answer. Why? Because we've never taken the time to really think about it. We just jump into jobs without ever asking ourselves if it's in alignment with our gifts.
If you're uncertain of your gifts, then think about the times where you're doing something and you get lost in the moment. Pay attention to the emotions you have when you're doing that thing. For me, I'm in my moment when I'm doing something creative - writing, coloring, making graphics or collages, etc. Yours could be cooking or planning events. You have to spend time to find your thing. The thing you'd do for free because you enjoy it that much. Begin to do work that is in alignment with your gifts and purpose. This book helped me to hone in on what I was placed on this Earth to do.
2. Are my skills transferable?
If you feel like you've made the wrong career move, look at the skills you've acquired over time and see if they could be transferred to something else. For example, when I made the decision to pursue law school, I looked at the skills needed to be a successful attorney (e.g., acute attention to detail, good researcher, understanding of the law), and started looking for careers that required similar skills. I landed an internship in a human resources department soon after.
If your skills don't transfer over seamlessly, what do you need to do to acquire them? Get a certification? Take a 10-week course at your local junior college? Look at the gaps in your knowledge or skill-base and start filling them in.
3. What's one thing I can do RIGHT NOW to take a step in the direction I desire?
If you're interested in traditional employment, you can take a career assessment to find what areas best suit your natural talents. Here's 10 free career self-assessments.
If you're entrepreneurial, are there conferences in your desired industry you can register for, off/online communities you can join? Do you have a friend who's on the same journey? You have to find where your tribe is, and they're most likely at the places that interest you most.
Gentle Reminder: When people tell you, "Such is life," or "That's the way life is," know that THEIR acceptance of the life they live has nothing to do with yours and how you feel about it. You can choose.