If this isn’t an age-old question by now, I don’t know what is. What do you want to be when you grow up? You were probably 3 years old when somebody first asked you that question. At that point, your answer didn’t really matter but as you got closer to 14, 15, 16… people started looking for more serious answers. By the age of 18, you are meant to have it all figured out and know what profession you want to go into and not only that. You have to know what you want to “study” and what your career plan is after that. Well, I am sorry but I call bullsh*it on all of it.
If you think that a person will most likely start working in their mid-20s and retire in their mid-60s, that’s an estimate of 40 years spent working. Do you realise how much time that is? That’s half of our lifetime. So why do we at the age of 18 are asked to have everything planned out for the rest of our lives? How stupid is that! If you are lucky enough to have developed a passion for something, good for you. You know what your next step is going to be, however, you shouldn’t be asked to have your whole life planned out.
If you have no idea what you want to do for a living then perhaps it’s a good idea to start trying out different jobs, get life experience and that will show you the way. Now obviously, you cannot go work in a hospital as a doctor, to decide if you actually want to become one. You could though, find people who are doctors and get an insight into what their career and life look like. That was just an idea. There are sooo many other jobs for which you don’t have to be professionally trained for. Many places will actually train you on the job. Go out there, work, meet people, talk and that’s how you’ll find your way.
No matter where you start off, remember that you have a long way ahead of you so keep an open mind. Just because you started off in a certain field, it doesn’t mean you have to stay there. I don’t know if some of you can relate, but I feel like society pushes on us this idea that you choose a career path and you stay in it until you retire and stop working altogether.Well, when you apply some logic to it, 40 years is such a long time, you can have multiple careers, go down different paths and work in multiple fields. I know that familiar always feels safer but this isn’t the point of life. If you find a job you love, excellent! As long as you are happy, stick with it. If you are happy to stay in the same field for your whole working life, then I can only imagine how passionate you are about it. If you go down multiple routes, then imagine how many experiences and knowledge you’ll gain. You will have such a vibrant work-life and so many stories to tell.
Now if you are unhappy with your job but you still stick with it, perhaps it’s time you do some thinking. There are many reasons why people stay in jobs and careers that don’t fulfill them and for some of those reasons people should be proud. However, if you stay in a job you don’t enjoy just because you are scared of taking the next step, then sit down and re-think what you’re doing with your life. Trust me I know it can be scary. There’s nothing I dislike more than being out of work (and I don’t even have a family, nobody is counting on me, so I can only imagine it gets worse as responsibilities increase). I hate the whole process of looking for a job and going to interviews and putting myself out there and getting rejected… But this is how we grow and move forward in life! Also, remember you are allowed to change your mind. Things change, we change. Just because you said you were going to do something, you don’t have to go through with it if it is no longer what you want.
Since the age of 13, I knew I had a huge passion for ballet. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it or how to turn it into a job in the future, I just knew I loved it. It has been 10 years now, I have been through a few ups and downs and even though ballet is still my passion and the core of my career, I have changed my mind about 1000 times about what I want to do and how I want to do it. And that’s okay. Remember, life is all about the journey?! As of right now I still don’t know exactly where I want to be in five years from now. I just want to be happy and healthy. I feel like the world sometimes needs answers from us that we don’t have, so we have to make things up. From now on I am okay with not having the answers and I am also okay with changing my mind! Yes, perhaps two years ago, I wanted to do so and so but I don’t anymore. Heck, I’ve changed my mind about things I wanted to do 3 months ago. It’s okay! I know I am being a responsible adult even though I don’t have it all figured out and I also know that I don’t need a 5 or a 10-year plan to reach my goals in life because all I want is to be happy. I hope that in 10 years if I teach at a ballet school, if I am as school owner, if I own a dance shop, if I am a fitness instructor or if I am in a completely different career, it would have all been by (my) choice.
So go on, live your life and enjoy the journey because only then you’ll find answers to your questions. Remember you live for yourself and you are the only person that truly knows if you have failed or succeeded in life. Do not be afraid to admit you don’t have answers or change the course of your life. Those are the moments in which you will truly be successful and proud of yourself. Remember this journey is not just until you find a career and get settled in a job, this journey is continuous and it’s your life.