In the typical life cycle of a modern person, we easily spend up to ten years or more immersed in education; from a broad spectrum of subjects, and eventually settling to a specialisation. All too often, we end up studying and eventually working in a field we might not even like.
The question then appears.
“What am I doing here?”
Little thought was usually given to career specialisations in our youth. For example, I might have thought programming was fascinating in my younger days, but how would I have known that life as a programmer was often hectic and involved long undesirable hours?
(Note: I majored in Java, but eventually gave up on it as a career choice.)
Reality, unfortunately is often far and away detached from the theory and basic foundations that we encounter in school. Hence, the disillusionment we face upon entering society, and it is usually a rude and abrupt reality check.
After we finish our studies and finally settle down to a job, another question often appears.
“I have the rest of my life before me, but what now?”
Most people end up being lost at that point, simply because the well-marked road to endless assignments and exams vanished. Absolute freedom is ours, but we fail to appreciate it for what it is. The loss of those academic milestones are keenly felt, but there is no inspiration to suitable replacements.
Truly, what does one do in this situation?
There is probably no fast and easy way out of this, and you need to think. Take time out, have pen and paper ready. Get yourself comfortable in a quiet spot and ask yourself the following questions:
- #1 What do I like to do? Is there a job that allows me to indulge in my passions?
- #2 Is having a high-powered career important to me? If not, what is it that matters most to me?
- #3 What is my ideal lifestyle? How do I go about achieving it?
This should be a pretty logical action at this point, but remember to write your thoughts down. The main objective is to identify what you deem to be important, and how you should go about achieving it.
To use myself as an example once again:
I decided long ago that money wasn’t really all that fascinating, and working my arse off to get more money did not sound all that attractive. What use would money be, when you did not have the time to use it? Similarly, what good would time be, if you did not have good health?
Therefore, I ended up placing my priorities as:
- Time (for activities)
Health: My health is reasonably good; I exercise regularly, do not smoke, and seldom indulge in junk food.
Time: Therefore, I focused my attentions to having time to do the things I liked. Things like photography, reading, writing, meeting up friends for dinner, or even idling at home.
Money: The above factors made me decide that any job that involved excessive overtime was out, regardless of the amount of remuneration. Excessive travel was a turn-off too, since it wasted time. These decisions naturally defined the type of job I would prefer.
That’s enough for now, so I will stop my article at this point (it’s not meant to be a writeup on my life decisions!) and leave a bit of breathing space for comments. Feel free to do so!