7 Things to Remember As You Figure Out the Next Step in Your Career
Understanding what gives us joy helps maneuver us in a way that can lead to a life which involves those things. Often we get into a profession because of peer pressure or desire for quick money, and soon enough that profession becomes our routine. If you don't find bliss in what you do, life can become morose and unsatisfying.
1. Defining Phase
Indecision, frustration, worry, anxiety, adventure, -every emotion you are feeling, has been felt by others. The road to arriving at a career can be a potpourri but people have travelled the road before. They may have bruises but each one symbolizes a shift that makes life meaningful.
Unless we are couch potatoes – any reasonable person striving for a dream or an aspiration feels the pangs of rejection and fear. We are better off for it.
2. Define Success for Yourself
What does success mean to you? Not the societal definitions but your own. The quick responses at this age are usually – money, a fancy car, a fun relationship, great parties, etc. Challenge yourself if it indeed is your idea of success. Some people find success in stable relationships, some in great ambition – everyone needs to define it for themselves, beyond the apparent. The earlier you do that, the easier it will be to make choices. So, when your boss asks you to come out for a drink on your mom’s birthday, you will know the best decision intuitively.
3. Determine Your Bliss
Even as you go through the decision making process to determine a career, be completely certain of what you really like to do. And it does not have to be grandiose. It can be as simple as – “I like to talk to people”,“I like to help people in need”, or “I like to listen to people when they want to talk”.
4. Money is not the end Goal
There is no denying that money is important. It provides us with the necessary validations in material and non-material forms. But here is the twist to this story. The moment survival is in the bag – you get the apartment, the TV, the car- we question the overall purpose of life. Even if this does not happen directly, the inner restlessness will implore you go deeper than the apparent needs and wants.
As you take the next steps, realize that money is important to meet the basic human needs but there is a phase where money ceases to provide you with the answers you will seek internally. Be prepared to not feel completely satisfied with a bank balance. And be open to exploring the restlessness when it arrives.
5. Never Ignore Well-Being
Working hard is good. We are trained in our ethos to work the hardest we can. But here is the thing – nothing is more important than our health and well-being. There are a lot of people who work really hard and are successful but are burdened by depression, diabetes, heart disease and cannot walk more than 300ft.That’s neither success nor how life deserves to be treated. As you walk into your career, remember to take good care of your health. At the end of the road, our health determines our quality of life irrespective of the assets we possess.
6. Make Everyday Count
A stable career means an average of 10 hour long days starting every morning – take a shower, get ready, grab breakfast (if at all), work the next 8 hours on marketing campaign/strategy document/make presentations/ make deals/negotiations (or whatever the heck we do), come (mostly to an empty) home, fix dinner, sleep – now do it all over again the next day. When we finally settle down into a career, which we strive for so hard, it’s about making everyday count – even though it’s the same thing everyday.
To that extent, it doesn’t matter what we do at all. How we live every day is exponentially more important to focus on– were you kind today? Were you patient with your client? Did you show integrity in your work? Did you strive to get better at something? It's in the 'being', not necessarily always in the 'doing'.
It’s a cliché but it really is the only thing that matters. If you are devoid of love in your life – love of a partner, love of family, and love of friends – your career can only fill the void temporarily. People do crazy things to fill that void up – buy things, get angry, buy more things. It doesn’t help.
A lot of addictions can find their foundations in a deep desire to love and be loved. Prioritize relationships and family over temporary pleasures early so that you keep reaping its benefit through most of your life. At the very end, very few people think of the hours spent in their cubicles. It’s always the moments and memories made with people who truly matter.
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