Have you ever said this to someone before? Did you really not know what you wanted to do in future? Or are you currently going through this phase?
It is actually fine if you don’t know what you want to do in future. Most people are not necessarily doing what, some years ago, they envisioned themselves doing. Life happened to many of us!
I have heard a lot of people tell me they are clueless about what they want to do after graduation, and they feel bad about it. I also went through this phase and I sometimes wish I had it all figured out – surprised?
The most important thing is to own the discovery journey. It is ok to seek counsel or advice from people. I am currently doing what I do because of some steps and decisions I made in the past although there is more to me than what I am currently doing.
This post is to help people who are still unclear about what to do. I will walk you through what worked for me, hopefully it helps you too.
Everything began to fall into place when I decided to……….
• Be friends with myself: This is the fundamental step to figuring what you can do with your life. I made a conscious effort to know myself better. I did this by spending time with myself to identify my weaknesses, strengths, interests, reflecting on happy moments, etc.
In doing this, I begun asking myself honest questions such as: What do I really enjoy doing? What would I do even when I am not being paid for doing it? What will I immediately do if failure didn’t exist? Who do I admire and why?
Often times, we let people tell us what they think we should be doing, rather than doing what we feel right about. Sometimes it is not really the case that we don’t know what we want, but what we believe we can do is not the ideal or accepted career for a graduate. Truth is, there is a reason why we all don’t think or act the same – and it is because we all have different missions in this life.
When I came to this realization, a lot of things made sense to me and I paid attention to my TRUE SELF.
Honesty really plays a vital role in the process of knowing self. There will be things you will discover about yourself that you might have to accept and work on if need be, rather than live in denial.
‘What you are supposed to do is what your true self is designed for, and until you discover it, YOU WILL ALWAYS LOOK TO PEOPLE TO TELL YOU WHAT THEY THINK YOU SHOULD BECOME IN FUTURE’.
• Get involved: After identifying some of the things that interested me, those I could do easily and those that brought me joy, I began exploring to identify opportunities I could take advantage of. One of the things I did that I believe has been and still is beneficial to me was to seize the volunteering opportunities that came my way while on the self – discovery journey.
I joined groups/clubs that were of interest, took up some leadership roles and stayed committed to the group. In doing this I boosted my confidence, I identified tasks that I do effortlessly and brought me satisfaction. I also met great people who encouraged me, leaving me with no option but to improve on myself.
In the self – discovery journey, after you spend time with yourself to know the path to walk in, you spend time with the right people and avail yourself to opportunities that will challenge you and help you identify your real potential. Try not to be too anti-social – No one is an island!
• Ask the right question: You get the right answers when you ask the right questions. I believe the statement – I don’t know what I want to do in future leaves you in a sinking sand. It sounds like there is no hope.
The most important thing is the IMPACT you are making in the lives of people. I changed the question I was asking myself some years ago, from ‘What will I become in future? To What problem do I want to solve in my own small way?’ Your solution to a problem doesn’t have to be big. ‘Start small with what you have’ – one of the many advices I got from Dr. Esi Ansah while I was her student in the university. I have lived by it and I believe it has paid off.
• Believe in myself: For every decision I took towards my career goal, I had to be confident in myself and ready to rise to the occasion even when I didn’t feel ready for it. I have come to believe that there’s no such thing as ‘the right time’ when you don’t prepare or are not ready to seize opportunities that are presented to you.
There are days I doubt my abilities but because I have an idea of what I want for myself, in terms of the impact I want to make in the lives of young ones, I snap out of fear and do what I have to do.
Knowing yourself and Believing in yourself are the most important ‘Must Dos’ when you are faced with career dilemma.
The future is unknown to us all, the Creator definitely knows what He has in store for us. Nonetheless we still have to do our part by planning towards a better future. If you are unsure about your career path, I believe the above points which are more reflective and intentional will serve as a guide to discovering your true potential.
It is my hope that the narrative that graduates are mostly clueless when asked ‘what they want to do’ will change. You don’t have to have it all sorted out, but at least have an IDEA of where you want to go from where you currently are.
All the best with the self-discovery journey 🙂
Written by Akua Ampah