Are you happy with what you do?
Take three steps to Self-Discovery!
Some people know from an early age what they want to be when they grow up and continue down that path into adulthood doing exactly what they dreamed of as a child. However, for some, it takes a long time and a lot of trial and error to find out what career path is right for them.
If you’re an adult and you still don’t know what your right career choice is, don’t worry and don’t be disappointed. Nothing is wrong with you! You’re intelligent and talented. It’s just a matter of finding your true match.
Some people have a lot of different interests and can’t choose which path to take, which makes them feel overwhelmed. The first time I heard of the term “rainbow personality,” was in my life coach training. The term refers to individuals with many different interests. I’m actually one of those people myself! What’s recommended for these people is not necessarily focusing on one area and abandoning their other interests, but to try doing different things even on the side to explore and to gain the fulfillment they need. You never know if you really like something until you actually do it.
I personally had a lot of different interests when I was in my 20s. It was really hard to know what to do. I’ve always had a great interest in art and design. I’ve taken different art classes, painted, obtained a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design, and renovated some houses. I have also had this fascination with psychology since I was a teenager. I loved reading psychology books and I was good at making genuine connections with people. I liked to have one-on-one conversations and to understand the other person and their perspective on life.
After I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Marketing Communication, I was still living on the East Coast when I applied to two different master’s programs in Interior Design and Mental Health Counseling. I really had a hard time choosing between the two when I got accepted to both programs. Most people around me, couldn’t understand and kept telling me that these two disciplines were very different and while it was true, those were my interests and I found it hard to choose at the time. Eventually, I moved to San Francisco and chose to pursue a master’s degree in Interior Architecture and Design and after graduation, I focused more on Graphic/Visual Design. I still enjoy reading articles on architectural design and browse through design magazines and blogs, but at this point, I know that my main passion and strength are in working with people. I really feel a great energy when I coach people and find it extremely rewarding when I see my clients gain clarity of mind and make positive changes in their lives through the coaching process.
I also recently, decided to go back to school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT.) As I mentioned earlier, I always knew that I had an interest in the field of psychology/therapy, but at this point in time, my life experiences and my work as a life and relationship coach, have proven to me that this is the path that I’m meant to be on. Many times, during coaching sessions, issues would come up that were more therapy-related and I knew that I didn’t have the expertise to help my clients in those areas, which was another reason that led to the decision of becoming a therapist because I wanted to help more people through therapy in addition to coaching.
Sometimes, I wonder what would happen if I had chosen mental health counseling and coaching in combination as my career about a decade ago. Maybe it would have saved me some time, had I done more of a Self-Discovery back then. Therefore, I recommend that you work with a life coach if you have a dream job that you’d like to switch to but you don’t know where to start or if you feel lost because you don’t know what is right for you. Working with a life coach can save you time, money, and the emotional exhaustion of not knowing what to do. Your life coach will help you gain the clarity you need to make this decision.
There’s no shame in not knowing what you want to do. As human beings, we constantly change and evolve. Our interests change and who we are today is not the same as who we were 10 years ago. Therefore, it’s ok to have a change of heart about your career as time goes by. You’re not a failure if you decide to change careers and feel unsure about what’s next.
If you can’t invest in working with a life coach right now, I recommend that you take the following three steps on your own.
1- Take a pen and paper and write down all the things that you have an interest in. Even if you get inspired by your friend’s job, but don’t want to think about it seriously, still write it down. Make a list of all the career options that come to mind, but don’t judge them and don’t reject the idea at this point. Just write it all down for now.
2- Come back to the list later with a fresh eye and try to narrow down the choices by eliminating some of the things that you really don’t think you want to do. Keep doing it until you have two career choices left on the list.
3- Do more research on those career choices that have remained. Find out as much information as you can about them. Ask people who are in those fields and interview them with a list of questions. If you know someone who has a job that you’re interested in, ask them if you can shadow them to see what a typical day is like for them. Take a class and learn about the subject matter and see if you still like it as you learn more about it.
Taking these steps will help you to find out if a career is right for you without jumping in with both feet and investing a lot of your time, energy, and money. Hopefully, you’ll come across the right career for you that makes you happy. Think about your strengths and how you can leverage them in your work. Think about what makes you feel fulfilled and purposeful. At the same time, it’s also important not to glamorize any profession, a mistake that a lot of us make which leads to disappointment when we discover the reality of it. No matter how passionate we are about a career, there are always aspects of it that we might not like. Try to see the whole picture because this way, you’ll also accept the less appealing parts without setting unrealistic expectations.
After this discovery process, you might end up realizing that what you thought you were passionate about, is in fact something that you’d like to do as a hobby and not necessarily for a living, which is ok too. If that’s the case or if you don’t want to make a drastic change and you like to keep your current steady income, you can still go through the same discovery process and find out what you’d like to do as a hobby and see what passion projects you can come up with. Take classes; learn new things as it all can bring satisfaction and fulfillment. It is important to focus on personal growth and take the opportunities to continuously learn. Don’t just get caught up in everyday life. It might not be easy with work, family, and other responsibilities, but it’s always possible to find a way to do what makes you happy, as long as you make it a priority.