It’s OK if you don’t know what to do with your career.
Got no idea what to do with your career?
Sitting down to write this post I am reminded of one of those signs you see on Mugs and occasionally on a t-shirt, Keep Calm and Think Positively or Keep Calm and Be Cool. In this case, Keep Calm and It’s going to be OK.
Can I let you in on a secret? There are probably more people who have no idea what to do with their career than not. I used to believe that as your career developed it became easier to navigate and direct your employment and education choices. In fact, I have found the opposite is true. As a younger person I had some very clear (some would say overly ambitious) career goals. In that lovely period (early to mid-20’s), where naivety, ambition and a belief I could change the world all intersected, I knew exactly what I wanted to be/do.
When our career objectives bumped into reality
Of course, my ambition to take over the world was somewhat tempered when I was thrust into the competitive arms of the workplace. I found I was successful at many things and a spectacular failure at others. I noticed that people didn’t just do what I wanted because I thought it was a good idea. It turns out that I was not the only ambitious person in the room. I reached a point where I realised that I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my career.
It is OK if you don’t know what to do with your career
It’s perfectly OK to not know what to do with your career. Particularly if what you are doing at the moment is providing some level of career satisfaction and is paying the bills. If you don’t know what your next move is, but are OK with where you are at, then maybe “Keep Calm and Let it Be”. Life is sometimes a sprint, sometimes a crawl. Heck, sometimes we are comatose on the couch. Either way, it is OK to not be sure where you are heading – career wise.
When not knowing what to do with your career is trouble
Even if your uncertainty is entirely generated from being unsure yourself, you need to consider not doing something irrational. It might be tempting to strike out on your own or leave for another workplace after a short period of time. However, if you are doing this to alleviate your own uncertainty then this might not be the best move for you. My suggestion is to make friends with being a bit uncomfortable, with not knowing what you want to do with your career and avoid jumping around like a rabbit. The worst that can happen if you just be still is that you become a bit stagnant, the best is that it gives you the time to work out what your next steps are.
What to do with your career?
It is probable, that at certain stages we will have no idea what we want to do with our careers. That is OK. If an alternative to blindly winging career decision-making is that we do nothing for a while, that might be the best step.
Want to know more about career planning, how about this, click here.