Sometimes we find ourselves in a moment when we feel stuck, or frustrated, or simply confused about our career choices, which can cause us to second guess what the heck it is we’re actually doing with our lives. Cue the panic about career paths, bank accounts, and…destiny. But before you spiral off into thoughts of the great unknown, let’s walk you through how you can take advantage of the great uncertainty you’re facing.
What are your personal and professional goals?
We’ve been talking about goals a lot lately, because they’re just that important. Goal setting helps you take a step back and think about why you’re doing what you’re doing and how its playing a role in where you want to be. So, one important thing to do is to take some time to think about what your goals are and write them down. Think about the big questions: What are you most passionate about? What will make you happy? Once you’ve done that, use them to reflect on your professional path so far.
Does your career line up with any of your goals? If the answer is yes, congrats! Now you can rest a little easier. If it doesn’t, then think about ways you can bridge the career you have now to the one you ultimately want. Are there certain skills that you need to acquire, or a certain network you have to build? Break it down step by step (more on that in a sec).
Get prepared for what comes next
Now that you’ve established your goals, get your mind ready for what comes next. Figure out what steps need to happen to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you see yourself.
Visualization can be a powerful tool for helping you shift your focus from second-guessing to proactive career shaping. It sounds new agey, but if you can’t imagine yourself doing what you want to do or being where you want to be, it makes it so much harder to motivate yourself to attain it. And who doesn’t like a little daydreaming every now and then? Picture what it is that you want. What’s different about it compared to where you’re at right now? Use visualization to continuously review your goals so you can be ready for the perfect opportunity when you find it.
Find the career that’s right for you
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to switch careers and start down a new path. Get started by doing some research on the careers that fit into your goals and priorities. Make sure that you don’t rule out careers that could be completely different from what you’re doing now—it’s important to be flexible and open-minded during this process!
Afraid to make major moves or think it's just simply impossible? Research and talk to people that have done it before (trust us, they exist), or pick up a book by a famous career transitioner for a little inspiration. What happens after this is entirely up to you. Are you ready to turn your doubts into action? (Btw, if you’re in NYC, we’re putting on a FREE panel about transitioning to a startup career with General Assembly in January. You don't wanna miss it. Get your ticket here!)
No matter what, keep calm
So maybe you aren’t where you need to be, but let us remind you: you’re gonna be okay! You’re not the same person you were a few years ago. Second-guessing your path is a natural part of human life, and it’s okay to have moments of doubt. The key is to find ways to turn them into motivation to find the best path for you. Keep calm and carry on!
When you feel yourself slipping into career doubt, look back at that list of goals and remember that you are on a mission to achieve those goals. That’s going to take a bit of work, so allow yourself some time to do this. When in doubt, check in with yourself to make sure that you’re at least happy with your career as it is right now. With a positive attitude and happy work environment, you’ll get to where you need to be in no time!
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Allisa Lindo is a Netflix addict and freelance writer who splits her time between NYC and southern Sweden. She previously worked for a Swedish SaaS startup and spends her free time reading TechCrunch and scrolling through social media. Follow Allisa’s random ramblings on Twitter @allielindo.