As I am writing these words, it has been a year since I finished my Masters degree in Business and International Trades. Looking back at it, I can say I have grown so much by both asking myself (the right) questions, but also allowing me to be worried and listen to my fears in order to make my choices.
This is my story.
I had never been decisive about my professional path or goals. Not once during my teenage years had I told myself “THIS is what I want to do for the rest of my life”. You can imagine how hard it was when the time to decide what studies to choose came. I ended up attending a school which allowed me to study but also have 5 different work experiences along the way (one per year). For sure, by the end of it all, I will know what I’ll want to do. I must do… Right? Not even close…
Then came the time to apply for jobs. I had finished my school duties, what do I do now? Do I want to stay in my city or move? Am I even ready to move? Which companies do I want to work for? So many questions were going through my mind, showing the many worries I was facing. My CV had been ready for the past 4-5 months, but I never got the courage to go further. I was pertrified with worries. I was going around in circles in my head with the same questions the same worries, over and over. The only way out was this: I needed to trust myself and see what happens.
I took the time to customise my applications, and the ball started to roll: most companies called or emailed me back, I got a few interviews, but nothing really struck me as being “what I should be doing right now”. I could feel that I was not heading to the right direction. That itself was a great sign: I could “feel” but also listen to my own guts to direct me. I looked into different contracts I could do, I took on some vonlunteer work towards helping homeless people. This is what helped me find some purpose again, because lets face it, being jobless for a period of time is never easy to handle and you can easily stress yourself out and find that you have lost your purpose or not having found it yet.
My tips for that period of time in your life, or any time you doubt yourself are the following:
- Accept that you are having doubts. They are normal, and everyone has them: you are not alone
- It is okay to take the time to reflect on what you want to do and what you are not willing to do. You need to know both
- When you feel ready, switch from the reflecting/thinking stage to the acting/doing stage.
It can be pretty difficult, so start small. Go outside, seek new activities to meet new people, do some volunteer work, anything. What’s important is to DO something. You will notice that little by little, you will talk to people, experience things, and it will open your mind to where you should be going
And remember, not everything is set in stones. You can ALWAYS change your direction if you do not think you belong there. Life is all about trial and error. Keep that in mind.