Do You Know Where You Are Going?
Being at a crossroad in life or on a path that you don't know where it leads to can be daunting. For some, if not most, it can be scary, confusing and even frustrating, especially when asked the question, “Do you know what you're going to do after you graduate?"
The common advice is: Take a deep breath and relax. Tell yourself that you are not alone and there is nothing wrong with you. First and foremost, do not listen to those people who tell you that you MUST pick a career when you graduate. That is a heavy burden on young shoulders. Know that there is no specific age that demands you to make a decision about your career and your life. Every individual is different and every person has his or her own map in life. As a young graduate, most of you would not have a clue or be still unsure what is going to make you happy for the rest of your lives. Nobody does. Even if you believe you have found the right calling, remember, it may not be so. Do not fret yourself when everybody else knows what he or she wants to do but you still do not. Be optimistic and take one day at a time, especially during these challenging times, where jobs are scarce and the future seems bleak. Do not feel desperate or overly stressed.
Life is Not Like a Google Map
What you know now is what makes you happy at the present time. Just do what you feel is right at the moment. If you love gardening, sports, photography, volunteering or technology, go and pursue something in that area. Sign up for courses or try new things with friends and family. Take part-time or freelance jobs to fill up your time while searching for a permanent position. But always keep an open mind and tell yourself that things may change in a few months or a few years. It is good to know that many institutions or companies now are offering free/cheap online courses. Take advantage of those opportunities and do something different and which you believe is beneficial. Having multi-disciplinary skills is the zeitgeist of today. Life is often about trying and experiencing things and finding out which ones suit you. When the time comes, you will know it in your heart what is the right thing for you.
It is okay if you cannot find the right job or figure out your whole future right now. Life is not like a Google map where you know where every single thing is. It is neither a bed of roses nor a crystal stair. Instead, life is made up of interesting corners, side roads, bumps and paths. Do not be disheartened or compounded. Continue to pursue things that you enjoy doing, while at the same time brace for uncertainties and challenges. It does not matter if you make the wrong turn or the wrong path. It is never a waste. Whatever you have gone through, whether good or bad, are valuable life experiences and will prove useful in the future.
A Rainbow Only Appears After a Storm
Do not feel hopeless or exasperated if something unpleasant happens. It is not because of you or your bad luck. Afflictions and predicaments happen to everybody; even to those who believe they have made the right choices in their lives. Sometimes life wants you to change your path, to somewhere better. Go with your heart. Every affliction is an opportunity to make something good happen. Remember, a rainbow only appears after a storm.
Dream big. Nothing is impossible. Try out something in the area that you are interested in and see if it is really the occupation that you want to do. If you read the biography/autobiography of famous figures, you will realise that most of them, if not all, never envisioned themselves being famous, rich and accomplished. Most of them go through different phases in their lives, trying new things, venturing into new areas and experiencing new boundaries. This is what you need to realise - nothing is constant. Everything is fluid and changeable.
Success Only Comes to Those Who Seek It
Having said all these, there is something that needs to be emphasised. You have to get up and go. You cannot achieve anything if you keep on lying down in bed mulling over things or if you keep on scrolling down the posts in your Facebook or watching movies. If you want good things to come your way, you have to start learning and working. Take the first step. Stop procrastinating and start reading up on your chosen field or learning the specific skills that you crave for. Do volunteer work. Explore the world. Participate in activities. Invent new things. Know more about yourself and what interests you.
Seek for opportunities, no matter how small or unimportant they may be. Sometimes opportunities knock at your door, without you seeking it. Grab it, no matter how inexperienced you think you are. Seize it and do not let the opportunity leave your doorstep because as the saying goes, “Opportunity doesn’t knock twice”.
So, go out there and try out new things. Take action and fill up your life with useful activities that can bring you closer to the career that you aspire to. Make informed decisions, but even if you made the wrong ones along the way, do not be discouraged; instead, try out other things. Success will only come to those who seek it. Not to those who sit still and feel sorry for themselves. Persevere and the fruits of your labour will surely greet you at the end of your thorny roads.
by Hanna Abdelwahab