This is a guest post written by Jacy Mercer. Jacy works for Cerner Corporation in Kansas City, MO and has a passion for providing career insight to millennials. Enjoy!
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Oh, the question we have all been asked since we learned to talk. Do we really know what we want to do for the rest of our lives at age 5? 15? 20? Maybe we think we do, but as time goes on, we have new experiences, meet new people and discover the wonderful facets of life.
Most of us millennials are constantly looking for our next fix, stimulation or opportunity to prove our self-worth. Growing up around the ever-changing world of technology and life’s constant demands has us feeling like we will never reach the pinnacle of the career and life we dream about. We often find ourselves desperate for the perfect plan for our next move in life. What’s the quickest way to earn more money? Should I quit my job? How can I start that business I’ve been dreaming about? How do I find my true passion? Where should I invest the majority of my time? These are questions I hear often.
Don’t forget. There is never a perfect time for anything. You won’t receive a magical note on your doorstep telling you when to quit your job, where to invest your time or what passion you should turn into a full-time job (sorry Harry Potter fans, no magical letters for you). But when you begin to feel empty after a 40-hour workweek, here are six steps that will help you determine your next move:
1. Check your surroundings
Who are the people you’re surrounding yourself with? Do you have the right management and feedback? Are your co-workers supportive? Do you have a support group you can trust? These are all crucial to a successful, and more importantly, a happy career. There will always be those people in the work place that make your job more difficult, but it’s best to use those situations to build your character and turn them into a positive learning lesson. It’s so important to have a support group outside of your job. Those people are invaluable to your health, happiness and future decisions!
2. Get involved
Do you know what your skills are? Are you good with kids? Are you good at baking? Are you good at math? Start using those skills to get involved in your community. Reach out to people you admire within your community and ask to help them with a side project. Everyone has a unique set of skills – use it to network, build your resume and help others. If you have a few extra hours a week, try www.volunteermatch.org. Maybe a little purposeful living outside your full time job will help you choose the right path for your career.
3. Ask questions
This is my favorite tip because my middle name might as well be “question master.” I love asking questions and sometimes I may take it too far, but guess what? I have learned SO much by just asking the people around me what their thoughts are on a particular subject. Not sure where to invest your time or what career path to follow? Reach out to someone in your industry on LinkedIn. Reach out to your favorite blogger and ask for their insight. Thanks to technology, we are incredibly connected and we need to take advantage of that. You have all the resources you need right at your fingertips, literally.
4. Ask yourself if you are really being true to yourself
Are you staying busy just to be stimulated or are you staying busy because it provides you more depth and meaning? Are you staying at an unsatisfying job because you’re worried what others will think if you quit and move on? Are you allowing people at work to walk all over you because you don’t feel worthy or experienced enough to stand up for what you think? You have to remember that everyone, I mean EVERYONE, is going to have an opinion. You cannot suppress your intuition or hold yourself back from pursuing your dream because of fear. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t sacrifice who you are for anyone else.
5. Try new things
Get out there and take a salsa dancing class (you know you want to)! Go to a movie by yourself (buy yourself some Dots). Take a road trip with a friend. Push yourself past your own boundaries and get creative. We find more inspiration when we expand our horizons. As a result, we feel more fulfilled. If you want something you’ve never had, then do something you’ve never done. Don’t know where to start? Try www.meetup.com
6. Stop comparing yourself!
Are you unsatisfied because you think your friends have the perfect deck of cards? Stop right there. Comparing yourself to others is the most unproductive thought you can have. Plus, no one has it all figured out – they just know how to filter their picture. Don’t let your perception of other people drown out your value. Think your friend has it together because of everything they’re doing? Who cares! Be happy for them and move on. Do what makes you happy and learn to be on your own team!
Feel free to connect with Jacy as she loves hearing from millennials!