We all dread when our parents ask: “What do you want to do? What is the plan?” It is the most aggravating question we get from our peers, family relatives, but most importantly our own subconscious.  

The pressure is all on you. The urge to answer is overwhelming but you probably can’t answer. 

Not only does this put pressure on yourself but it sways you to think you are running out of time as the days go by. But the truth is… it’s never too late.

Disclaimer: keep in mind, this truth does not allow you to put off another day to laze away accumulating wishful thinking or “what ifs.”

What I mean to say is that it’s okay if you do not know what you want now as long as you are actively taking steps to find what it is that you want for the future.

Before starting any career path, it is imperative to have a motivated, determined mindset. Are you content with your life right now? Are you emotionally stable enough to start/continue your career? You want to enter the work field ready to tackle any obstacles with an optimistic and enthusiastic attitude.

It’s never too late to start school even over the age of thirty or become a full-time writer when you’re midway through your career as a financial manager. People’s existential journeys evolve at their own pace. It’s extremely difficult to mold people in a constraint amount of time. A prime example is like shaping students in a specific career path with this day-and-age educational system. But we have to understand everyone is different: different experiences, different growth paces, different epiphanies.

Everyone has their own story why their life decisions are delayed: whether they were too busy focusing on family agendas or money is essential for current survival living. There are endless, unpredictable reasons why someone is in the state that they are in.

So why do we judge?
“Look at this guy, he graduated Valedictorian and now works at Chipotle.”
“She’s so lazy, she’s 28 and still working at Forever 21.”

We have to accept that the act of making our decisions to design our own paths is truly a privilege. But when the time comes that you are ready to focus on yourself the key is to stand idly. Go seek opportunities, anything really. List all of your strengths; if it’s hard to think of any don’t be afraid to ask your family and peers.

Accept whatever job is offered, do your best in that position, ask yourself these key questions:
-Do you like doing what you do?
-Do you like the organization?
-Do you see yourself growing within the organization?
-Will I be happy?

Then decide.

The key is to be reflective every time you enter a workplace or rather, every time you make a decision. Not to just complete tasks mechanically but notice what you are learning and benefitting from any job you do. Always pay attention to your growth and efforts within the organization.

Whichever job you go for will allow you to experience what are your strengths and weaknesses as well as gradually learning more about yourself you didn’t before. Don’t feel discouraged if you have trouble pinpointing valuable qualities about yourself. You will get there in your own time.

If you are a recipe step-by-step person here are some steps you can take to start your career path:

  1. Think about why you want to move forward? Accept that you’re taking steps to do this for yourself and no one else.
  2. List all of your strengths (ask peers and family)
  3. Make a goal for yourself. What is the objective: Money? Fame? Happiness?
  4. Apply for ANY opportunities/job openings that have any level of relevance to your strengths no matter how small they may be.
  5. Apply for 3-5 jobs per day.
  6. Accept what is given. 
  7. Do your best and ask yourself the key questions I provided above.

“Don’t Think, Just Do”

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Karessa Abe

Karessa Abe was born and raised in the Sunnyside, Queens. She graduated with a BA in Communications Research at the University at Albany (SUNY). She hopes to contribute her own perspectives on life with creative essays that inspire readers to discover their inner passions. You can follow her on Instagram (@golden.karat).

What are your thoughts?