So I began to look at my options…… what the heck were my options!? I felt completely lost (as most early twenty-somethings would oh-so-dramatically proclaim). I would make random lists of ideas I had for careers, but then have no idea what to do with them. Or I would research my ideas for a new career and realize I would be right back in the same spot wondering what to do. It was also horrifying to think about the fact that I would be throwing four years of college down the drain. Was it really the best idea to drop the career I am just starting for something else?
My initial idea was to segway into Graphic Design, another class I took my senior year that I found exciting and challenging. I also L-O-V-E stationery— what If I designed stationery!? So I sat down with my cool Adobe Fireworks program and decided I would get to work right away! I spent hours playing around trying to design something I could be even remotely proud of, but in the end most of my time was spent staring into space. What did I posses that would make me successful in this type of job? Certainly not a wealth of ideas…and how am I going to make a difference here? Hmmm…Moving on…
What happened next was a complete freak accident that would set me on the right path. I came across this book: The ANTI 9-5 guide by Michelle Goodman. I wouldn’t say I am “anti” 9-5, but I would say I needed career advice, and I would say I think outside the “cube”, so on a whim, I purchased the book.
Boy, did I hit the jackpot! This book was perfect for generating and directing my thoughts towards what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t even finish the book before I had my epiphany! You go Michelle, you go.
I simply read the chapters and completed the activities throughout the book and there it was staring me right in the face amongst a list of things I enjoyed-
The task in the book was simply to generate a list of things I enjoy regardless of whether or not it was considered a career, and then slowly narrow it down into feasible path. This book also allowed you to dream big (in a way that almost lets you get ideas off your chest and out into the open, in order to make way for even better ideas).
It made perfect sense. I had become really interested in fueling my body the right way, incorporating exercise into my daily routine, and I was a food blog addict. This was and still is a topic that I am constantly interested in learning more about and considering the overweight/obesity rates in the United States, this certainly met my job requirements of finding a way to make a difference. Overall, my selection of dietetics actually coincided with many items I had put on my list of things I enjoyed, which provided me with enough evidence to pursue the next step- Going back to College.
I guess overall I make it seem simple have the “aha!” moment and make that change in your career path or even declare what you are going to to “forever”.
Its. Not. Easy. There are people that struggle with this daily who are 15-20 years into a job that they don’t even like. It’s hard not to get discouraged and throw in the towel but you have to keep moving. If you are stuck in this spot keep pushing!
Here are some things I learned along the way:
- What are you passionate about in life? What makes you truly happy?Make a list and see what connections you can make. If you can, check out ANTI 9-5 at the library!
- Volunteer with professions you might be interested in. Its the best way to get exposure and figure out if it is right for you before invest some serious time and money into it. Even if you meet a dead end, you at least know you tried and can cross it off your list!
- Don’t turn down opportunities, even if you think they might be strange or maybe not worth your time. You never know what you might come across in the process!
Next week I dive into my college experience the second time around as a newlywed. With a mortgage. With a full-time job…stay tuned!