What if You Don’t Have One Specific Calling?
When I was in elementary school, I always remember that one assignment where we had to write down what we wanted to be when we grew up. Of course, as kids we had very limited knowledge on the full spectrum of careers that are now in existence, so instead we would just say the ones that everyone knew like Teacher, or Scientist, or Doctor. Little did we know, these were all very specific career paths where you had to stick to an exact curriculum that was required to enter the field. Some kids didn’t mind that though.
Some kids knew exactly what they wanted to be and were completely willing to do exactly what it takes to be that. They were on a one-track lane that only led to one place. And that’s because they saw no other options either because they were legitimately passionate about that field or they were being forced onto that path by their parents. Either way, both reasons were relatively effective. Similar to some people I know, those people likely did end up doing exactly what they set out to do.
But, what if you have no driving force?
What if you have no burning passion for one specific career or there is no one championing you towards any specific direction. What if you have to choose for yourself, but you truly don’t know what to choose? Well, that’s the case for many people, myself included.
My parents were the most caring, loving, and supportive parents that any kid could ask for. They never pressured me or pushed me in any which way. They gave me free rein over my hobbies and interests and they supported me in whatever I chose. And so, I dabbled in many different things growing up — music, sports, writing.
I had many hobbies as a kid, many of which I’m still active in to this day. But, none of those hobbies or interests ever really manifested into anything more than leisurely activities that I spent doing during my free time. This led to me being somewhat of a jack of all trades rather than a master of one. However, career-wise, that wasn’t very helpful.
Because of that fact that I never honed in on one specific skillset, it made choosing one career path extremely difficult when I was in college. Was I more inclined to math or science? Should I go in a creative direction and take up music or art? It wasn’t until I was forced to finally choose a major did I actually have to fine-tune one craft and think of what my career would like like. And even then, I still ended up in a completely different direction. So the question is,
What happens if you don’t have one specific calling?
In college, we’re expected to pick a major and (hopefully) make a career out of it. Yet, it’s becoming more and more common for post-grads to just fall into any career that they didn’t necessarily want just because they needed a job right away. Then, it becomes increasingly difficult to change the trajectory of your career choice after a certain amount of time, which leads to many of us end up just staying in jobs that may be extremely unfulfilling. So, how do we remedy this?
Well, unfortunately, it takes time.
It takes time to figure things out and even then, once you actually have figured things out, it takes even more time taking the necessary actions to get to where you want to be. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time. We all go at our own pace and some people move faster than others. But, don’t look around and think that just because someone else has figured it out, that it means you have to figure it out as well. It takes a lot of internal reflection.
First, narrow down the things you like to do versus things you don’t like to do.
In truth, pros and cons lists really do work when it comes down to making big decisions. They’re just as effective as to-do lists. When things are written out in plain sight for you to see, it’s a lot easier to hold yourself accountable and also be reminded of your goals. We’re a lot more likely to take action on doing something when it’s written down on paper.
Take a personality test.
In truth, some personalities are more suited for certain careers than others. If you’re not an extremely social person and you don’t prefer interacting with other people on a day to day basis, then it’s safe to say that you shouldn’t go into a career related to customer service. Many personality tests even list out the possible career options based on your personality type. This will help narrow down your list even more.
Find out if any special requirements or certifications are needed.
As mentioned before, careers like being a Teacher, Scientist, or Doctor have a required education and certain requirements needed to enter that field, so that’s just what you need to do. But, if you don’t want to necessarily go back to school, research to see if there are alternative job options where you can either work your way up or even get your employer to financially support the education needed to excel.
As the saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way”, so when it comes to next steps and actually taking action, that part is one hundred percent up to you. The hardest part is always figuring it out and the second hardest part is finally doing something about it once you have. So, if you’ve figured things out and you know what you have to do, just take the first step. If you keep pushing, you’ll eventually get there.