In high school, at some point in the syllabus, you're granted career advice from either a guidance counsellor or in some schools, a dedicated Careers Advisor, however in all reality, you haven't the faintest clue what your plans will be, what the world will even be 5 years, 10 years, even 30 years down the track. Knowing the way interests and trends are so cyclic makes it difficult to even conceive of what road to take this early on.
Some of you knew what you wanted to do for as long as you remember and while a good percentage of those people will flourish in those careers courtesy of grand ambition and ceaseless drive to achieve, others find themselves back at square one after years of study for that dream career when they realise it isn't a good fit - like the girl who dreams of being a surgeon only to find out she doesn't have the stomach for the gorier aspects of medicine.
The good news is that it's no longer your grandparents' generation or even that of your parents'. We now have the ability to change professions at any stage in the game, start businesses of our own, manage with single incomes and children all while pursuing a career we love, one we're finally passionate about.
It's easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the choices, by the knowledge that you can do absolutely anything you set your mind to, the world is entirely open to you, ready for you to make your mark, and you may be stuck on how to manage it.
While back in the day, the plan was to decide what to do with your life, the question now is rather, what to do now, what to do 5 years from now, 10 years from now because the career landscape is forever changing and evolving. Opportunities we didn't have even a decade ago are now abundant.
But while it can be overwhelming whether you know what you want or you haven't the faintest clue, here are a few pointers to help you edge in the right direction:
1. Try Different Things
While most wouldn’t advocate 'shopping around', trying different professions on for size, discovering different passions and interests is the best way to determine what you love and what you want to put your efforts into. Don't stay in a role so long that you're wasting time planning for a career that doesn't interest you but also, make sure you give each role a real chance.
A role should excite you and invigorate you. There shouldn't be any issue with Mondays. Trying a role on for size will help you to determine both what you like and what you don't allowing you to cross certain professions off the list as you go. The same goes for hobbies - you’re more likely to discover something you love to do through friends or partners inviting you along to try their hobbies than going it alone because so many of us are anxious about trying new things by ourselves. Next time you get asked to join in, try it on for size, see how it fits and if it doesn’t you haven’t lost anything by trying.
2. Say 'Yes'
Similarly to the above point, we definitely advocate saying ‘Yes’ as often as logical and practical. The film ‘Yes Man’ affected a great number of people for the better by the simple act of saying ‘Yes’ to opportunities that present themselves. The film was of course a gross over exaggeration of the effect because Jim Carrey’s character agrees to every situation, regardless of logic or practicality and finds himself in wild situations that just wouldn’t occur, but the basic premise can be extremely powerful. Not only does it open you up to a myriad of new opportunities whether they be in work, personal life or hobbies, but they have a similar effect on you personally and your willingness to try, to look foolish, to do something you’ve never done or deliver more than the average Joe. Just try. Just say ‘yes’.
3. Not Qualified? No Worries
When searching for a job, it's natural to eschew roles that call for qualifications or experience that you may not have, however as long as you have a plan of attack for how to gain those skills or qualifications, you’ll find a lot of businesses are actually really receptive to both your attitude and willingness to learn.
If you were to simply apply for roles you can achieve without effort, you’re not going to be stimulating your mind enough in the day to day and you’ll associate work with oppression and negativity.
Apply for roles you want, that you would be ecstatic to be offered and begin expanding your skill set to align with the kind of role you desire. Ensure you update your CV each time you gain a new skill too!
Now for the great part: JAGGAR wants to help you figure it out!
We are in an age of possibility, one wherein we can change paths mid-career, go back to school to study something entirely different, follow passions instead of available jobs, if it doesn't exist, we are now in a position to create it for ourselves.
We want you to test the waters, we want you to push boundaries, irk out a place for yourself, one that fulfills you and motivates you. We want you to try one industry out for size and if it doesn't fit, try another and so we're partnering with a variety of businesses to find you the internship or job opportunities to do just that.
Head over to our Jobs and Internships page to find any opportunities posted and if your dream opportunity doesn't appear, comment on our post "Test the Waters" or send us an email to let us know your aspirations and the opportunities you wish to see.