According to Forbes, most people have at least 7 careers in their lifetime. Not 7 jobs — 7 careers. Long gone are the days of growing up to thrive in one certain profession — your education + employment is now more fluid + flexible. Although this gives you freedom to be anything you want to be whenever you want to be [AKA #GirlBOSS!], it can also be very stressful to decide what you want to do right now.
If you find yourself questioning what you want to do, the best way to approach the situation is to decide what you don’t want to do. Each less-than-stellar experience gives you lessons as to what your ideal experience should be.
If you’re feeling…
1] STUCK + STATIC
If you feel like in your current position, there is no room for growth + improvement, you might want to reposition. Life is all about growth, even well into your career. If there’s nowhere up to aim, you’re only going to look down.
2] UNMOTIVATED + UNINSPIRED
If you find yourself dreading to go to work or class every morning, you are probably not in your ideal setting. Your work shouldn’t leave you drained — it should give you energy! While it’s important to afford a living + finish your degree, you should be doing so in a way that makes you excited to be alive. You never want to feel bored at a job, even if it’s *only for now.*
3] NOT ABOUT YOUR MANTRA
Remember your personal mantra — if your current work doesn’t align with that mantra, don’t feel obligated to change your mission for that position. Your values are what keep you going day after day, so it is worthwhile to pursue a career that supports your mantra + strengthens your soul.
4] NOT IN YOUR TRIBE
You don’t have to be best buds with your supervisor//professor or your coworkers//classmates, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re alone in your position. If you really don’t get along with them, then that job also might not be for you. While classes may be temporary at least, in a job, you could be spending 20-40 hours a week with these people + they can make or break your experience. Find a tribe that supports you, holds you accountable, challenges you, keeps you learning + maybe even keeps you laughing.
SOOO… What now? If your major isn’t right for you, it can feel discouraging to switch after all the time + effort you’ve given, especially based on opinions from family + friends. If your job isn’t right for you, it isn’t always possible to immediately give your two-weeks notice. So what are your options?
Before you quit your day job — literally! — reassess your goals. Is it yourself you aren’t happy with or is it your position? Reflection can always help you truly understand your current frustrations.
2] TALK WITH A SUPERVISOR
Whether it’s your manager at your job or an advisor at school, it is important to always discuss your uncertainty with someone else. Sometimes, you might need to simply ask for help. It is advisers’ jobs to help you determine your academic path to success, + supervisors are there to help + guide you. Supervisors don’t want to lose an employee, so they will likely be willing to help you find your *niche* within your current organization.
If it is your position + organization that isn’t right for you, do your research + see if there are currently other alternatives to pursue. It could be something temporary to *hold you over* until you have established a more specific game plan. Remember, be stubborn about your goals + flexible about your methods.
4] FORM SMART GOALS
The most efficient way of accomplishing any goals is to be SMART — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, + Time-Specific. Whether it’s academic or professional, these goal benchmarks will help you through every aspect of accomplishing goals.
5] BE POSITIVE + PROFESSIONAL
Above all, always radiate those positive vibes. You don’t want to leave your current major or position with a sour taste in your mouth + you don’t want colleagues to think any less of you — networking + having genuine connections is always more important than you realize. Unexpected life changes are almost mandatory if you are human, but being negative + unprofessional is not.
More than likely, another CHAARG girl has been through a similar experience, so feel free to reach out to others for advice specific to your position or major. Take a deep breath + remember that when one door closes, another always opens. Be patient + enjoy being #inCHAARG of your life + career!
+Mary Kesinger [@itsmarykfit] // VirtCHAARG Chicago