“The best way to predict your future is to create it” — A. Lincoln
Here we go again…It’s that time of year when you are told you have to make a decision, coming at you with another quote, by a famous U.S. president no less, telling you that you are in charge of creating your future.
Your Life Your Responsibility
"Your life is your responsibility", says career expert Dr Ken Keis.
Do Not Worry
Choosing one university/college program is a big decision and it is normal to think that you do not have a clue. Most young people don’t.
While some of your friends may seem to have their whole life planned out, there are many who do not have a plan and will go where opportunities push them.
Do NOT spend too much time worried about it. Take a deep breath and look around you.
Engage In New Activities.
More importantly, do NOT shy away from new experiences.
Career experts agree that it’s important to engage in intentional exploratory actions to better understand future possibilities.
For example, a neighbor asks you to help with painting the fence, a friend suggests you join them in volunteering for an event and so on…if the task is half appealing to you then give it a try.
Not For You
Granted, the task itself might not turn out to be an interest or a skill you detest. Engaging in new activities gives your clarity. Here's an example:
“I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, but then I went on that job shadow and was like ‘uh-oh.’ See, I don’t want to sit in a cubicle all day” (Petrillo).
However, it is not necessarily just what you are doing that will help you get to know what you like to do or to study. It is also the conversations you have or the people you meet. The neighbor might be the mentor with whom you could share your interests and the event organizer might be the role model for your future career.
Time Is Of The Essence
Do NOT expect to find your number one choice within a week. Give yourself a bit more time.
Decisions like choosing a university program are complex and happen over time.
Reflect, Reflect And Reflect
What is important is that you find the time to reflect on the various activities you have explored.
You have the time to reflect. You can, for example, reflect while doing everyday activities such as, when brushing your teeth. Ask yourself:
Here is the common thread; important choices in life such as choosing a university, whom to marry and your next career move take some reflection time for them to be successful.
Unclog Your Worries
Do NOT overwhelm yourself with too many program/university choices.
Deep down inside, you know you hated your time during — add course name here — class. Be honest with yourself and stay away from programs that require too many courses of — add course name here — in that particular subject.
Guess what may happen after you complete your research, you may find yourself going back to — add course name here — and questioning why you eliminated it. This is just fine because at that point you will have less choices to worry about.
In short, the famous adage, “don’t worry, be happy” applies here.
Take a deep breath, explore, experiment and most importantly reflect!
You will soon find yourself creating your future.
I am Hoda Kilani, your Certified Professional Career Coach. I provide you with the latest strategies to innovatively craft your career journey your way.
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