What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?
As young children, most of us had an idea of what we liked and what our dream jobs would be. We then started to grow up and tried to morph that idea into a realistic goal. Some of us went off to college and educated ourselves in hopes of some day joining the professional world and living our dreams. I don’t think I could have swayed further from mine.
If you asked me a year ago what I wanted in life, I would have had it all figured out and given you the lifelong plan in five minutes. Now, six years after graduating college, I’m back at square one… just with more life experience.
You may think you know what you want right now, but in a few years, it may not be as glamorous as you once imagined it. You may find yourself in similar shoes as I was in, wondering if the path you had chosen really had the endpoint you wanted. It’s normal. You are constantly changing, growing, and figuring out what motivates you and makes you happy.
The big question is, once you realize you’re not going down the path you want, are you going to do something about it? Or, will you make a change that you think will secure your happiness in the long run?
If you feel that the direction you are headed isn’t going to give you that long-term satisfaction that you originally thought, maybe it’s time to make a change. Here are some questions you should ask yourself to evaluate your situation:
- Am I truly unhappy with the career choice, or is it the people I work with?
- Getting where you want to go takes patience and in some cases, a few lower-level positions that will lead to your goal. Are you lacking patience, or is the path just not for you?
- Is my current job situation affecting my personal life and relationships?
- What is it from this career path that I’m not getting? Is there another path that would fulfill that?
- Is my current career path becoming detrimental to my health?
I decided to abandon ship and venture out on a different course than I had originally planned. I have figured out the general direction of where I want to go professionally over the next few years, but that’s all it is… a general direction. Life is crazy and unpredictable – go with it. Don’t let it stress you out, and definitely don’t quit! We are fortunate enough to live in a country with unlimited opportunities and it’s never too late to make a change. As Charles DuBois said, “The important thing is this: To be ready at any moment to sacrifice what you are for what you could become.”
If deep down you know you aren’t happy or if life has thrown you a curve ball, do something about it. Take a leap of faith, move out of your comfort zone, and find out just how great you can become, because you’ll never know what’s around the corner unless you take a look.
Guest Writer: Nate Fukuwa