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


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

Have you learnt how some folks develop up realizing what they need to do from a really younger age? Yeah, nicely, that wasn’t me.

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

Even once I acquired to highschool, I nonetheless had no clue what I wished 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 School Years

Once I went off to school, I began out as an undecided main. I took my fundamentals together with plenty of social sciences. And whereas I loved my courses, I nonetheless had no concept what I ought to do for a profession. I ended up switching majors quite a few instances 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 acquired my bachelor’s diploma, the whole lot 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 wished 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 beginning practices from around the globe. And impulsively, it hit me — I wished to be a midwife!

Once I acquired 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 wished 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 believed I’d).

There have been many issues I loved about nursing, such because the vital considering that was concerned, the enjoyment of serving to others and dealing with an excellent staff. However there have been extra issues I disliked about nursing than I favored, similar to staffing shortages, odd and lengthy working hours, coping with medical doctors who have been demanding, demeaning, and condescending, and don’t overlook the stress of getting sufferers’ lives in your arms. In the middle of one brief yr, 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 assessment, and at last on to medical analysis for pharmaceutical firms. These roles have been higher than my hospital days, however they didn’t carry me pleasure. In actual fact, I dreaded going to work each Monday morning.

Changing into a New Mother

As quickly as I acquired 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 may throughout my final 9 months working as a nurse. I saved $15,000, which I believed would final me a few years. However my financial savings dwindled a lot sooner than I anticipated. Despite the fact that my husband’s revenue lined our main bills, I nonetheless wished to have cash for mommy and me courses, 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 wished 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 discipline. My aim was to make simply sufficient cash, so my daughter and I may proceed taking part in our outdoors 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 house. I talked with family and friends about completely different profession choices and had even thought-about beginning a private concierge or digital assistant enterprise. I additionally requested previous employers and buddies who have been self-employed if they’d any work that I may do from house. My networking efforts lastly paid off, and I began working from house, 10 hours every week for a small publishing firm, finishing advertising and marketing duties.

Beginning a Weblog

As soon as I had cash coming in, my thoughts was free to concentrate on 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 have to be different individuals who have been going through the identical points. It was presently that I made a decision to create The Work at House Lady.

For months, I researched work from home concepts, wrote content material, and brainstormed monetization strategies. Finally, 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 advanced into a way more dynamic function, as did my running a blog enterprise.

Despite the fact that my weblog was making an excellent sum of money, I used to be afraid to let my freelancing gig go as a result of it offered constant revenue every month (by no means base choices on concern). I lastly determined to half methods with my freelance gig and concentrate on my weblog full-time. I ought to have made this break sooner, however reside and study.

Fifteen years later, I nonetheless have a profession that I LOVE. I by no means dread Monday mornings; the truth is, I stay up for them. And concerning revenue, I make far more cash now, than I ever did working as a full-time nurse. When you could have a profession that you just adore, there’s no restrict to what you are able to do.

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

9 Ideas For Discovering Your Profession Path

1. Do Some Self-Discovery

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

  • When are you happiest? 
  • What drains your vitality?
  • What areas are you naturally expert in? 
  • Are you prepared to return to highschool? 
  • What matter do folks at all times ask to choose your thoughts on? 
  • If cash have been no object, what would you be doing proper now? 
  • What makes you’re feeling fulfilled? 
  • What causes you nervousness? 
  • What do you suppose your dream job is? 
  • Would you want to start out a enterprise? 
  • What are your short-term and long-term objectives? 

By going by means of this checklist of questions, you’ll start to see patterns develop, and you should use this info to discover doable profession paths. Conversely, in case you discover areas that make you sad or wired, you’ll be able to establish these careers and industries to steer clear of.

If you happen to want extra self-discovery questions, take a look at this checklist from creator 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 doable profession concepts, you’ll be able to delve deeper into the subject by studying some books. Don’t fear in case you haven’t found out a doable profession path but; there are books that may assist! 

One ebook that I learn once I was making an attempt to determine what to do with my life is What Coloration is Your Parachute? Your Information to a Lifetime of Significant Work and Profession Success. This ebook has bought over 10,000,000 copies, and it nonetheless stays a staple amongst job seekers at the moment. The creator, Richard Bolles, updates the ebook each couple of years, so it’s nonetheless related in at the moment’s job market. 

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

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

Studying can spark new concepts, make it easier to acquire priceless perception, and study new issues. It’s additionally an affordable method (or free in case you use your native library) to put money into your self-development. In response to this TikTok video from Rachel Pedersen, the common particular person solely reads 4 books per yr. If you happen to learn one ebook every week for the subsequent two years, you’ll be forward of individuals for the remainder of your life. 

And in case you’re involved in beginning a enterprise, I’ve an inventory of top-notch entrepreneurship books right here.  

3. Take a Profession Evaluation Take a look at

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

Different career-related checks, together with some Enneagram persona checks, are free. Whenever you’re struggling to determine which profession path is best for you, these checks can typically 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 persona: an entrepreneur!

4. Attempt New Issues

One purpose folks get caught of their profession search is that they don’t go away their consolation zone. And consider me, I’ve been there. It’s really easy to get caught up in doing the identical factor over and over; in any case, we’re creatures of behavior. So, get on the market and take a look at one thing new. Take a category, attend a networking occasion, take up a brand new interest, join an on-line course, and speak to folks, numerous them. The extra you open your self as much as new alternatives, the extra concepts and knowledge will circulation your method. 

Once I started on the lookout for distant jobs outdoors the nursing discipline, I immersed myself within the profession area. I related with folks 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 acquired to discovering my dream job. Don’t be afraid to attempt new issues. Apply for a distinct job, begin a aspect hustle, enroll in a free course, or return to highschool. Every new step you are taking leads you one step nearer to discovering your profession path. 

5. Conduct Informational Interviews

When you’ve got some perception right into a profession path you’d wish to discover, begin conducting informational interviews. With an informational interview, you speak to somebody who is definitely doing what you need to do. As an illustration, if you wish to grow to be a nurse, you’ll speak to nurses who’re working within the space you need to work in, and you’ll ask them questions on their function. 

Inquiries to ask could embody: 

  • What’s the finest a part of your job?
  • What do you dislike about your job? 
  • What do you would like you knew earlier than going into this discipline?
  • 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 typically a hiring firm. Getting a real-life account of what a job entails may also help you establish if that is certainly the correct course for you. Informational interviews may also be priceless for creating new connections and getting your foot within the door with an organization. Try this publish for extra info on conducting informational interviews

6. Take heed to Podcasts and TED Talks

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

Unsure the place to start?

Try these curated podcast lists for job seekers and aspiring enterprise house owners!

  • FlexJobs – 10 Inspiring Profession Podcasts to Add to Your Checklist
  • The Work at House Lady – 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 response to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 867 several types of occupations. With so many alternative jobs you are able to do, it’s doubtless that you just’re not conversant in some roles that you just may be keen about or certified for.

To search out these thriller jobs, attempt looking by your expertise as an alternative of occupation. You need to use websites like Certainly or Robert Half to perform this activity. Simply kind in your ability and see what different occupations pop up. As an illustration, 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

Whenever you search by expertise as an alternative of occupation, you’ll study new positions you could discover additional. If one thing piques your curiosity, you’ll be able to conduct informational interviews to seek out out if it’s an excellent match for you. In some instances, chances are you’ll not want any further coaching. 

Woman writing in a notebook finding a career path that is perfect for herWoman writing in a notebook finding a career path that is perfect for her

8. Volunteer

When my daughter was youthful, she thought she wished to be a vet and work with animals. So, at some point, we volunteered at a cat sanctuary for 4 hours. Throughout that point, we scooped lots of 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 have been soiled once more; there have been so many cats! By the top of our session, my daughter stated that she didn’t suppose being a vet was for her. 

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

There are tons of firms 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 Ladies and Austin Ladies 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 infinite, and it seems nice in your resume! Try VolunteerMatch to seek 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 might be a wonderful technique to uncover new passions. A coach may also help you determine what you need to do together 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 expertise. 

Hiring a profession coach will value round $75-$150 per session (typically extra), however it might be well worth the worth in case you’re feeling caught. 

Whenever you search for profession coaches, you’ll need to do a little analysis so that you just rent somebody who will give you plenty of perception and worth. Have a look at issues like their coaching, testimonials, opinions, and years of expertise. This text has some useful suggestions for figuring out if hiring a profession coach is true in your scenario.  

Discovering Your Profession Path Wrap-Up

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

One final piece of recommendation. It took me 30+ jobs and 37 years to seek out my ultimate profession path. Don’t let different folks’s expectations steer you down the improper highway. Preserve taking child steps ahead, attempt new issues, and study the whole lot you’ll be able to alongside the way in which. So long as you don’t surrender — you’re in your technique to discovering your profession path, too!

Are you having hassle discovering your profession path? Join for The Work at House Lady’s publication and obtain priceless perception and distant job leads in your inbox!

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



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