If you can stand in space just for a little while, a new door will open, or you’ll be able to see in the dark after a while, you’ll adjust
I host one hour chats every Friday. The topic changes every Friday and one particular is entitled, “Hoda’s Career Chat”. I started these free calls during the COVID-19 lockdown. I found myself always super excited to hear the proposed questions and shared ideas that I decided to keep the it going. Attendees can email any education or career related questions or concerns in advance or in the chat box during the chat.
Some of the questions during the height of the pandemic were related to stress such as, “How can I manage my stress level when I know I cannot find a job?” It can indeed be very stressful when all the economic, statistical and medical reports are negative.
Today, the questions have changed a bit and relate to adjusting life post pandemic or almost out of pandemic. Yet, questions on how to handle stress during these new normal times have not stopped.
Tips To Handle Stress
It may seem that posted jobs are scarce and the competition is fierce. How is one to remain positive in such an environment?
Do NOT panic!
I have compiled a step by step guide for you. Think of it as your go-to guide whenever stressful thoughts start creeping in:
Try It! What Do You Have To Lose
Try this step-by-step guide and let me know what you think. Some of you may find it easy to complete it in one sitting. Others may want to take their time reflecting on each step and may take a month or more to reach step six. This is your journey.
Take as much time as you need and remember that your focus should be to destress by envisioning a plan of your job search or career.
Let me know how it goes!
If you can stand in space, just for a little while, a new door will open, or you’ll be able to see in the dark after a while. You’ll adjust - J. Campion
Many parents are appalled by the idea of their child wanting to take a gap year. I have two sons and when my boys were in high school, I was one of those parents who consistently worried about the unfathomable gap year.
What's Up With The Parents?
Here are some of the concerns going through your parents’ minds when they do not want you to take a gap year.
Having clearly planned answers to these questions may help you convince your parents that you won’t be staying home playing video games or watching Netflix.
Have A Plan
If you decide to take a gap year, you should have a solid plan about what you would like to do. You will show that you are taking the next step of your life journey as seriously as those young people out there who already know what they want to do and are ready to move forward.
The difference between you and the 'other kids' is that you still have not figured your next educational or career step. You do not know what you want to do in your life. You do not want to jump into the first opportunity because your parents think it has the best career path. You do not want to choose a college/university program simply because your school counsellor said it is the best fit. Now that you have finished high school, you just want to take your time and explore different opportunities before taking that life altering decision.
You Are Not The Only One
Well, this is a normal feeling and I see your point. Guess what? Not all the 'other kids' have it figured out either.
Taking gap year is a great idea and has plenty of benefits particularly if
I understand that it can be scary to choose one experience when there are so many options out there.
Here is a tip for you, you will still have time to explore all the options. What matters is that you do not give up on your plan to explore these opportunities. You can gain a better perspective on different careers and explore them through volunteering, summer internships or part-time jobs.
What Is Your Parents' Concern?
Here is the question that parents ask me: What do young people do during a gap year?
Young people typically take a gap year to travel, explore and earn some money. There are many opportunities out there to choose from and they involve volunteering, internships, hands-on education or certification and work. While travel seems to be the perfect choice, many young people do stay close to home and explore these experiences without travel which is what many young people do during a gap year.
While there may be more to a gap year, and you should take that year off if you think you need it, you CAN still find your life’s purpose if you choose a different path. All you have to do is take your time reflecting on what is important to you and you will figure it out. One step at a time!
"You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." – Dr. Seuss
Summer is here and it is time to relax and have fun! Yes, it is the time to rejuvenate and focus on the moment.
Take Time To Reflect
As much fun as this sounds, summer can be the time to start reflecting on your career. Let us face it, you do not enjoy every activity your parents, siblings, cousins or even friends partake in. You have your interests, skills and talents and it is to time figure out your unique and personal values.
Short Moments of Reflection
Summer provides the ideal months to start reflecting on what motivates you to get off the lounge chair.
More Questions To Ponder
Summer enriches your life with extra daylight hours to suntan, build sandcastles or bike.
Explore And Experience
Summer can also be the best time to get a part time job or to volunteer. Working at a fast food restaurant or in retail will not only bring you extra spending money but will also give you the opportunity to explore your likes and dislikes. Volunteering for non-profit organizations will not only make you feel good about yourself, but will also allow you hands-on experiences to figure out your talents. Yes, (sorry) I am hoping you will get off the lounge chair for a bit.
Get Acquainted With You
Summer needs to be the season you start steering yourself in the direction you choose. Before you know it, fall will be here. The courses you select, the activities you enjoy and the clubs you join will help you build on the likes, talents and skills you have determined for yourself. You may find you have a lot in common with your sister, your mother, or your friend’s father. Now is the time to reach out and learn about their work. Think about it: Who do you need to talk to today? And why?
Summer is here! What are you doing to become acquainted with you?
Dr. Hoda Kilani is a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC). As a career management professional, she works with clients in private practice, event facilitation (including carousels and vision boards), conference presentation, and writing.
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