Have you ever felt like you were working really hard and nothing was happening? I definitely have.
My years in between getting out of college and maneuvering my way into a decent job were ROUGH. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with my life. I got fired from my first job after a month, didn’t get into med school like I planned, lost a few grand frantically trying to start a business because I believed I wasn’t capable of finding work. In my head “I couldn’t even keep my first job!” (I was totally lost in self-doubt-land and needed a hug.)
I walked across the stage with a 3.8 GPA (totally thinking I had this life thing figured out) only to end up watching my optimism and confidence die, one slammed door at a time.
I tried grasp on to something – ANYTHING – that would give me hope. The problem was I never committed to anything. I didn’t know what to do and could not move forward because I had so many potential options.
You know that you always have them, no matter what your circumstances are. But the reality is that when you have unlimited options, you become paralyzed because you have no idea which one to follow.
How do you know if the path that you’re walking down is something that will fulfill you long term?
How can you be sure you’re making a decision that’s best for you?
Here’s what I did to (and what you can, too) finally pinpoint what I should do with my life.
Take Random Classes On The Internet
Between Coursera, EdX, Lynda and many other online learning platforms, you can learn pretty much anything on the internet. If you’re unsure of your next move, before committing too much time and money, try a lot of different things to see if there’s anything that you enjoy doing. There could be a field that makes you incredibly happy, but you’ll never know if you don’t try a few things out first.
Join Meetup groups
Meetup groups are small local communities that each have their own theme and centered around a certain interest. It’s a great place to meet people in careers, industries and even hobbies you may be considering.
Networking is a great opportunity for you to meet people in different fields and start making friends. You’ll start to notice that in some spaces you feel more “at home” than others, you’ll make friends more easily. These new friends can make your learning process much easier and more fun than going through the process by yourself.
Get A Mentor
Mentors can help you navigate what you’re going through by offering an outside perspective. Invest your time into finding peer mentors to share their journey, experienced mentors that can share their wisdom and some younger mentors to give you a new, fresh perspective on things.
Ask For Help
Your friends and family are with you all the time so you may not automatically think of them when you’re on the lookout for help in your journey. (Let’s be honest, here. It can also be pretty embarrassing to tell the people you’re closest to that you’re struggling.) In reality, those are the people that want the best for you, already know you and are at the ready to help out where they can.
Become A Great Listener
No matter how many events you attend and mentors you line up, you’ll get the most value out of your relationships if you just listen. (I know… Sounds simple, right?) Listen to what your best friend is doing to elevate her career. Listen to what your mentor is doing in her business. Listen to the speaker on the stage teaching how they’ve reached their current level of success.
Become A Better Observer
Everyone has a lesson to teach – sometimes it’s what you should do and other times it’s what NOT to do. By simply watching what people do, you can get the benefit of noticing their mistakes or what they do really well and repeating their strategies in your own life.
Ask More Questions
You’d be surprised what you can learn if you just asked more questions. Become a sponge for knowledge and you’ll accelerate your discovery.
Armed with experience from taking classes in different fields, meeting different people, and learning from the experience of others, you’ll find your path in no time.
Chantl Martin is the founder of Thrive Lounge, a social success accelerator supporting smart, savvy and fashionable millennial women as they dream bigger and live miraculously. Thrive Lounge hosts several in-person and virtual knowledge-sharing events, problem-solving masterminds and vision board workshops.
She is also the fearless founder of VisionCon, the only vision board conference for unstoppable millennial women. Her passion is to revolutionize the way women think about their future by creating a supportive community where they can dream unapologetically. If you’re in the process of creating your big vision (or have no idea where you’re headed next), check out her FREE Big Vision Reflection Checklist.
She has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, a Master’s in Marketing Analytics and is proudly holding down her 9-to-5 doing analytics consulting for a billion dollar fin-tech startup. Though she’s incredibly focused + driven, she always makes time for unlimited mimosa brunch, loves wine and cheese and dreams of one day becoming a sommelier.