Lots of people seem to have their life plans sorted. They’re going to go traveling, then do a degree in their best subject and go on to ridiculously successful professionals and they tell you all about their plans in great detail.
While it’s fine for them, speaking to people like this when you don’t have a plan of your own is possibly the worst feeling in the world. Not only are you made to feel inadequate but you also get that gut-clenching feeling that you’ve been doing it all wrong.
But, before you make plans to wander off into the wilderness and live like the Flintstones, you need to know just one thing: having a plan isn’t everything and leaving your options open is probably more sensible than closing them off so quickly in pursuit of a single goal. Lots of those people who talk about their 25 year plans as though they are set in stone are going to find that life doesn’t always turn out as expected and who will they turn to for advice? You.
You Don’t Need a Plan; You Need an Inclination
The secret to life isn’t having a plan, it’s having an inclination about what you might like to do. This could be anything and doesn’t even have to be job-related just yet. Sit back and close your eyes. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? How do you want to feel?
These questions might not sound like they will lead to a perfect career, but if the idea of travel appeals, you should look into jobs where you can travel and immediately stop applying for office jobs and think about starting a blog. On the flip side, if you want to settle down and raise a family near your parents, look for jobs in the right location.
Follow Your Passions and See Where They Lead
If you have a passion for something, you should follow that passion and see where it takes you. Even if you find that your passion for acting doesn’t lead you to Broadway but to an amateur theatre group in your local town, you never know where you could end up.
Following a dream isn’t just a romantic notion though. Take a masters in safety, do a tap dance workshop, network with people in the marketing industry, interview for every job that appeals. You have to work hard to follow a passion but if it feels right, you know you’re heading in the right direction. Just don’t give up when things get tough.
Enjoy the Ride
The career you have won’t be shaped in the same way as your parents’ generation. Technology is moving so fast now that it is imperative that you learn new things all the time and be prepared for change. While following your passion, don’t be afraid to look around and see what else is available. You don’t have to stick to one career path, you can swap and change, taking all your transferable skills and vast experiences with you.
You don’t need a career plan; you just need the confidence to follow your nose.