Welcome back to our collaboration with our friends at BUNCH Magazine! Over the next year, they will be sharing some of their infinite wisdom by answering pressing questions about career aspirations, transitions and callings.
Have you ever felt lost?
I am currently stuck in a dead-end job, but am without a clue as to where I want to go or what I want to do. I feel like the situation is hopeless and that in 10 years I am going to find myself sitting here, still deeply uninspired and unable to make a change.
Where do I start? How will I know I have found the right profession if/when I find it? What if "it" does not exist? Help!
Once In A Lifetime
Dear Once in a Lifetime,
Ughhhh, I feel you. I have been there and please know that so has most everyone, even people who seem like they were born to do whatever they’re doing. Rest assured you are not alone in your predicament. As someone on the outside looking at your insides, I think you’re actually in an exciting phase of your life because your options are only limited by your imagination.
Here are a few places you can start, which I think might help you find your way:
· I think you can begin by simply paying attention to the things you naturally gravitate too. What do you do while procrastinating, in your free time, and what do you find yourself daydreaming or fantasizing about? I would also look at things you're good at. You may be good at organization but that doesn't mean you need to start a home organization company. Try pairing that strength with something you’re fascinated by. For example let's say you're good at organizing and you've secretly have always wanted to work in fashion. There’s a job for that.
- Cold call people you admire. If you’ve got a favorite blog or Instagram account, send that person a message and see if they’d be up for sharing their story or chatting either over coffee or email. Chances are, they’ll be happy to help, and their path may inspire your own. Be sure to think of specific questions you’d like to ask them.
- Attend a creative workshop or conference. You may have to travel, but I think it’ll be worth your while. Here in Los Angeles, for instance, there’s the Unique Space, which hosts a variety of workshops, including “office hours” with successful pros. They also have a four-day CAMP, in which the sole purpose is to grow both personally and professionally.
- Finally, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Chances are there are a handful of things that you enjoy but each one of them doesn’t have to become a career pursuit. Like we said, let a passion evolve and don’t be afraid to pivot if things don’t work out. For example, a friend who was obsessed with nail polish thought it would be a good idea to start her own line. A few months into it, she came to the realization that she really enjoyed event planning which was one of the duties of her 9-5 job. She decided to keep her love of nail polish as a passion only and instead launched a career in event planning which turned out to be the best job match for her.
Becoming aware of things that you're drawn to and researching, and talking about it (specifically just saying it out loud) allows that thing to be drawn to you. No matter what, I think you should take action now. Don’t wait any longer and waste your time in this blah job that’s causing you to feel so lost. Finding your “right” profession takes time, and it may even end up being a “right now” instead of a forever. And that’s okay, who says we need to be doing the same thing for our whole life??
Also, please be open to whatever makes you happy, as unconventional as it may be. Be you because that in and of itself is enough. Excited for you!
Asia David + Barbara Sueko McGuire
Creative Director + Features Editor for Bunch Magazine