What did you always want to be?
Really think about this because I think a lot of people get so caught up in what they “should” be doing according to someone else’s standards and what they “have to” do because of the demands of life, they end up losing sight of what they’ve always wanted to do or be.
I think many people really do become what they had intended; doctors, lawyers, journalists, chefs, teachers, engineers just to name a few. But I think the amount of people who “ended up” in their respective fields was due to a lot of happenstance.
As a teenager, you take a retail job to make a little cash so you can go out with friends, or save for college, or both. If you don’t go to college, or start but don’t finish, you likely take the first “good” job that will give you an “in” into an industry you think you like. In college, some people stay local and hold part time jobs and others who go away take seasonal jobs as semester breaks allow. Then once you’re out of school, what do you do? You just start applying to jobs and odds are you end up accepting your first offer, whether it’s in your area of “expertise” or not because, well, bills need to be paid and we all need to eat.
We also have the added stressors of hearing people tell us You can’t make any money doing that or You should really be X, because it makes more money or I will only help you with college if you pursue X degree. So, we end up in general clerical positions, administrative roles, warehouse roles, driver roles, outside sales, amongst others. In some cases these roles ARE actually what we’re best suited for. Maybe, despite what you went to school for, the secondary skills you acquired in school gave you the perfect qualifications for whatever position you take, and you’re completely satisfied with the position and the industry. But then sometimes there is that feeling, a little voice maybe, that tells you that you should be doing something else, but you’re not sure what.
And this is where you have to think back.
What were all of the things you ever wanted to be in your life? And I’m not just asking what you wanted to be as a child, what did you see yourself doing in your teenage years, what did you see your future-self doing when you were in college? If you could be or do anything you wanted right this second, what would it be?
Write it down! Don’t filter it. If you wanted to be an artist, write it down, if you wanted to be a veterinarian, write it down. Write it ALL down!
And here is where you start to figure out your purpose. Maybe you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Maybe you’re in the right industry for you, but your position needs to change. Maybe instead of doing data entry all day, you’re more suited to deal directly with customers over the phone. Or maybe the reverse is true.
The list I suggested you write in my last article, the DISLIKE/HATE vs LIKE/LOVE list, look at that list. Now look at the list of things you always wanted to be/do. Does anything overlap? Take some time and go over these things, compare the lists – compare your “LIKE/LOVE” list to your “I WANT TO BE” list.
I will bet that when you start seeing things overlap, you will have some level of excitement about them. These are the things that bring joy to your heart. These are the things that you need to somehow incorporate into your life so you don’t end up, or continue feeling, complacent.
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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