I Don’t Know What to Do with My Life: Discovering Your Profession Path


Are you having hassle determining what to do along with your life? Then, preserve studying; I’m sharing some real-life ideas for locating your profession path.

Are you aware how some individuals develop up realizing what they need to do from a really younger age? Yeah, effectively, that wasn’t me.

At any time when individuals requested me what I needed to do with my life, I’d reply one thing completely different: a college trainer, nurse, mother, mannequin, secretary, or flight attendant (I grew up within the Seventies, are you able to inform?). 

Even after I obtained to highschool, I nonetheless had no clue what I needed to do with my life. I dabbled in artwork, Spanish, sociology, and psychology, however I didn’t really feel a powerful pull in anyone course.

My Faculty Years

After I went off to varsity, I began out as an undecided main. I took my fundamentals together with quite a lot of social sciences. And whereas I loved my lessons, I nonetheless had no concept what I ought to do for a profession. I ended up switching majors quite a few occasions till I lastly settled on anthropology for a significant with a sociology minor.

What did I plan to do with these?

No clue. All I knew is that if I obtained my bachelor’s diploma, every thing else would fall into place.

After faculty, I took off a few months from my waitressing job to backpack round Europe and to determine what I needed to do with my life. All through my travels, I saved considering again to the folklore class I had taken. On this class, we had discovered in regards to the various start practices from around the globe. And abruptly, it hit me — I needed to be a midwife!

After I obtained again to the US, I began researching midwifery and labor and supply nursing and determined to use for nursing faculty. I felt so proud that I had lastly found out what I needed to do with my life.

Working as a Nurse

Quick ahead a couple of years, and one nursing diploma later, I discovered myself working in a hospital on a pediatric unit (Yup, it seems I didn’t get pleasure from labor and supply like I assumed I’d).

There have been many issues I loved about nursing, such because the essential considering that was concerned, the enjoyment of serving to others and dealing with a fantastic workforce. However there have been extra issues I disliked about nursing than I appreciated, resembling staffing shortages, odd and lengthy working hours, coping with medical doctors who had been demanding, demeaning, and condescending, and don’t neglect the stress of getting sufferers’ lives in your palms. In the midst of one brief 12 months, I went from idealistic and excited to completely burnt out.

From there, I went on to prior authorization for Medicaid, then to surveillance and utilization overview, and eventually on to medical analysis for pharmaceutical corporations. These roles had been higher than my hospital days, however they didn’t convey me pleasure. In reality, I dreaded going to work each Monday morning.

Changing into a New Mother

As quickly as I obtained pregnant with my daughter, I deliberate for my departure from the work world. Since I knew I’d be unemployed for an prolonged interval, I saved as a lot cash as I might throughout my final 9 months working as a nurse. I saved $15,000, which I assumed would final me a few years. However my financial savings dwindled a lot sooner than I anticipated. Although my husband’s earnings lined our main bills, I nonetheless needed to have cash for mommy and me lessons, play-dates, and my common espresso repair at Starbucks. It was throughout this era that I began on the lookout for work from home gigs.

I had no clue what I needed to do. What I did know was that I didn’t need to put my daughter in daycare, and I didn’t need to return to the nursing subject. My aim was to make simply sufficient cash, so my daughter and I might proceed collaborating in our exterior actions.

Discovering My Profession Path

I searched on-line for work from home alternatives however encountered a bunch of scams. I learn tons of books on altering careers, beginning a enterprise, and dealing from dwelling. I talked with family and friends about completely different profession choices and had even thought of beginning a private concierge or digital assistant enterprise. I additionally requested previous employers and pals who had been self-employed if they’d any work that I might do from dwelling. My networking efforts lastly paid off, and I began working from dwelling, 10 hours per week for a small publishing firm, finishing advertising duties.

Beginning a Weblog

As soon as I had cash coming in, my thoughts was free to deal with different issues. And that different factor that saved popping into my head was beginning a weblog. If I had such hassle discovering a home-based profession, there should be different individuals who had been going through the identical points. It was at the moment that I made a decision to create The Work at Dwelling Girl.

For months, I researched work from home concepts, wrote content material, and brainstormed monetization strategies. Ultimately, I bit the bullet, employed a graphic designer, and created the web site. I formally launched on March 19, 2009.

For six years, I continued to do freelance work for the publishing firm and work on my weblog, which continued to develop by leaps and bounds. However I used to be wired. My place with the publishing firm developed into a way more dynamic function, as did my running a blog enterprise.

Although my weblog was making a very good amount of cash, I used to be afraid to let my freelancing gig go as a result of it offered constant earnings every month (by no means base choices on concern). I lastly determined to half methods with my freelance gig and deal with my weblog full-time. I ought to have made this break sooner, however dwell and study.

Fifteen years later, I nonetheless have a profession that I LOVE. I by no means dread Monday mornings; in reality, I sit up for them. And relating to earnings, I make far more cash now, than I ever did working as a full-time nurse. When you could have a profession that you simply adore, there’s no restrict to what you are able to do.

So, what ideas do I’ve for locating your profession path? Preserve studying; I’m attending to the good things!

9 Suggestions For Discovering Your Profession Path

1. Do Some Self-Discovery

If you’re having hassle discovering your profession path, it’s worthwhile to do a deep dive into what you need your life to appear to be. To determine your life goal, begin by asking your self some self-discovery questions. 

  • When are you happiest? 
  • What drains your power?
  • What areas are you naturally expert in? 
  • Are you prepared to return to high school? 
  • What subject do individuals all the time ask to choose your thoughts on? 
  • If cash had been no object, what would you be doing proper now? 
  • What makes you are feeling fulfilled? 
  • What causes you nervousness? 
  • What do you assume your dream job is? 
  • Would you want to start out a enterprise? 
  • What are your short-term and long-term targets? 

By going by this listing of questions, you’ll start to see patterns develop, and you should utilize this data to discover potential profession paths. Conversely, should you discover areas that make you sad or wired, you possibly can determine these careers and industries to steer clear of.

If you happen to want extra self-discovery questions, take a look at this listing from writer Tim Ferriss, 17 Questions That Modified My Life. 

2. Grow to be a Voracious Reader

Now that you’ve got a greater concept of some potential profession concepts, you possibly can delve deeper into the subject by studying some books. Don’t fear should you haven’t found out a potential profession path but; there are books that may assist! 

One e book that I learn after I was making an attempt to determine what to do with my life is What Colour is Your Parachute? Your Information to a Lifetime of Significant Work and Profession Success. This e book has offered over 10,000,000 copies, and it nonetheless stays a staple amongst job seekers in the present day. The writer, Richard Bolles, updates the e book each couple of years, so it’s nonetheless related in in the present day’s job market. 

Some newer profession books that you could be need to discover embrace: 

  • The Squiggly Profession by Helen Tupper
  • Do What You Are: Uncover the Excellent Profession for You By means of the Secrets and techniques of Character Sort by Paul Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger
  • You Flip: Get Unstuck, Uncover Your Path, and Design Your Dream Profession by Ashley Stahl

Studying can spark new concepts, make it easier to acquire useful perception, and study new issues. It’s additionally a cheap approach (or free should you use your native library) to spend money on your self-development. In accordance with this TikTok video from Rachel Pedersen, the typical individual solely reads 4 books per 12 months. If you happen to learn one e book per week for the following two years, you’ll be forward of individuals for the remainder of your life. 

And should you’re interested by beginning a enterprise, I’ve a listing of top-notch entrepreneurship books right here.  

3. Take a Profession Evaluation Check

One other technique to discover your splendid profession path is to take a profession take a look at. There are a lot of completely different on-line assessments that may make it easier to hone in on the right profession on your character. Some widespread assessments, just like the Myers-Briggs (MBTIonline Careers) take a look at, price $79.95 and can make it easier to discover profession satisfaction by matching your character outcomes to completely different occupations and the way probably you’ll be happy in these roles.

Different career-related assessments, together with some Enneagram character assessments, are free. If you’re struggling to determine which profession path is best for you, these assessments can generally make clear new profession concepts. I took an Enneagram take a look at a couple of years in the past, and it was very correct in suggesting viable profession paths for my character: an entrepreneur!

4. Strive New Issues

One purpose individuals get caught of their profession search is that they don’t depart their consolation zone. And consider me, I’ve been there. It’s really easy to get caught up in doing the identical factor time and again; in any case, we’re creatures of behavior. So, get on the market and check out one thing new. Take a category, attend a networking occasion, take up a brand new pastime, join an on-line course, and discuss to individuals, a number of them. The extra you open your self as much as new alternatives, the extra concepts and knowledge will circulate your approach. 

After I started on the lookout for distant jobs exterior the nursing subject, I immersed myself within the profession house. I linked with individuals on social media, learn career-related articles, attended networking occasions, and advised anybody who would pay attention about my profession search. The extra I put myself on the market, the extra I discovered, and the nearer I obtained to discovering my dream job. Don’t be afraid to attempt new issues. Apply for a unique job, begin a facet hustle, enroll in a free course, or return to high school. Every new step you’re taking leads you one step nearer to discovering your profession path. 

5. Conduct Informational Interviews

If in case you have some perception right into a profession path you’d wish to discover, begin conducting informational interviews. With an informational interview, you discuss to somebody who is definitely doing what you need to do. As an example, if you wish to develop into a nurse, you’d discuss to nurses who’re working within the space you need to work in, and you’d ask them questions on their function. 

Inquiries to ask might embrace: 

  • What’s the finest a part of your job?
  • What do you dislike about your job? 
  • What do you want you knew earlier than going into this subject?
  • What does a typical workday appear to be for you? 
  • What was the hiring course of for firm ABC?

The aim of an informational interview is to provide the inside scoop about an occupation and generally a hiring firm. Getting a real-life account of what a task entails may help you establish if that is certainly the proper course for you. Informational interviews may also be useful for creating new connections and getting your foot within the door with an organization. Take a look at this put up for extra data on conducting informational interviews

6. Hearken to Podcasts and TED Talks

Identical to studying books, listening to podcasts and TED Talks may help you generate new concepts, encourage your self, and create optimistic habits. The wonderful thing about this medium is that it’s available and will be carried out whilst you’re driving, cooking dinner, or exercising. 

Undecided the place to start?

Take a look at these curated podcast lists for job seekers and aspiring enterprise house owners!

  • FlexJobs – 10 Inspiring Profession Podcasts to Add to Your Listing
  • The Work at Dwelling Girl – The Finest Podcasts for Rising Your Small Enterprise
  • Vault – 10 Profession Podcasts to Assist You Discover Your Dream Job and Unlock Your Potential

7. Search by Expertise As a substitute of Occupation

In accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 867 various kinds of occupations. With so many various jobs you are able to do, it’s probably that you simply’re not aware of some roles that you simply is perhaps keen about or certified for.

To seek out these thriller jobs, attempt looking by your abilities as an alternative of occupation. You should use websites like Certainly or Robert Half to perform this activity. Simply kind in your talent and see what different occupations pop up. As an example, I typed in quick typist in Certainly, and the next occupations popped up: 

  • Information Entry Clerk
  • Chart Retrieval Specialist
  • Doc Care Specialist
  • Workplace Clerk
  • Administrative Assistant

If you search by abilities as an alternative of occupation, you’ll find out about new positions which you can discover additional. If one thing piques your curiosity, you possibly can conduct informational interviews to search out out if it’s a very good match for you. In some circumstances, chances are you’ll not want any further coaching. 

8. Volunteer

When my daughter was youthful, she thought she needed to be a vet and work with animals. So, sooner or later, we volunteered at a cat sanctuary for 4 hours. Throughout that point, we scooped a whole lot of litter bins and cleaned up cat vomit. As quickly as we had cleaned all of the litter bins, we needed to begin over as a result of they had been soiled once more; there have been so many cats! By the tip of our session, my daughter mentioned that she didn’t assume being a vet was for her. 

Volunteering is a superb technique to give again to the neighborhood and discover out if an occupation is basically all it’s cracked as much as be. 

There are tons of corporations which can be more than pleased to have you ever work as a volunteer. I’ve volunteered for organizations just like the Texas Convention for Girls and Austin Girls in Tech, doing social media duties and roundtable talks. When my daughter was a freshman, she volunteered at our native library, reshelving books. 

Volunteer alternatives are limitless, and it appears to be like nice in your resume! Take a look at VolunteerMatch to search out native and on-line volunteer alternatives. 

9. Rent a Profession or Life Coach

If you happen to’re having a tough time discovering your profession path and you’ve got the funds, hiring a life or profession coach will be a wonderful technique to uncover new passions. A coach may help you determine what you need to do along with your life, set up a plan of motion, and preserve you accountable in your journey. Some coaches even assist with writing your resume and interviewing abilities. 

Hiring a profession coach will price round $75-$150 per session (generally extra), however it could be well worth the worth should you’re feeling caught. 

If you search for profession coaches, you’ll need to perform a little research so that you simply rent somebody who will give you quite a lot of perception and worth. Take a look at issues like their coaching, testimonials, evaluations, and years of expertise. This text has some useful ideas for figuring out if hiring a profession coach is correct on your scenario.  

Discovering Your Profession Path Wrap-Up

There you could have it: 9 easy ideas for locating your profession path!

One final piece of recommendation. It took me 30+ jobs and 37 years to search out my splendid profession path. Don’t let different individuals’s expectations steer you down the mistaken highway. Preserve taking child steps ahead, attempt new issues, and study every thing you possibly can alongside the way in which. So long as you don’t quit — you’re in your technique to discovering your profession path, too!

Are you having hassle discovering your profession path? Join for The Work at Dwelling Girl’s e-newsletter and obtain useful perception and distant job leads in your inbox!

Initially revealed on September 6, 2018. Content material up to date March 2024.


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