A state of anxiety and/or disillusionment when you realise that the steady career path you had planned on since high school, and which has driven many of the major decisions in your life, may not actually be where your true passion lies.
“She’s having a career crisis. She’s not happy and she can’t imagine doing it for the rest of her life, but she doesn’t know what else she’d do.”
Girls, the career crisis is a thing. But the more Friday night vinos I share with girlfriends, the more I realise how common it is. No matter how dire your career-crisis situation feels right now – you are not alone. Plenty of girls have suffered through the career crisis and have lived to tell the tale. In fact, I don’t know a single fierce chick who hasn’t hit a point in their life where they’ve questioned if they’ve made the right choice. Whether it be in life, love or work.
So before you go into major meltdown mode, here are a few career crisis survival tips to bear in mind.
- University is the foundation, but it doesn’t determine your path.
When you picked your degree, you were probably a fresh-faced 18 year old, nursing a hangover from too much Passion Pop and researching formal dress options online. So it’s hardly fair that you are expected to make such big decisions when you have such limited life experience to guide you. I drifted into a Bachelor of Commerce and the natural progression was then to move into consulting. I figured it seemed like the right career for me. But as I spent more time in the industry and learning what it takes to move ahead, I realized that consulting didn’t reflect the things I truly valued in life. As you develop your studies and career – you are also developing so much as a person, too. So it’s okay to change your mind. Which brings me to my next point…
- Learn what matters to you.
If you’re unsure about what you want to do, or are a few months into your new job and realise it’s not where you want to be – take time out. Explore your options and learn what excited you. I have no shame (okay, a little shame…) in admitting I’ve attempted three Post Graduate study options in the pursuit of finding my ‘calling’. This trial-and-error process was critical for me to learn what I am truly passionate about. Studying something new, taking up an internship or just having a conversation with someone who has been through the same thing are all great ways to explore different options
- The status quo is boring.
There is no ‘right’ path to take. Girlbosses like thelazyceo (Jane Lu, owner of Showpo) was living the life that, on paper, ticks all the boxes. She was working in the Big 4 and was moving up the career chain. But #Girlbosses aren’t built for ordinary things and ‘good-on-paper’ lives. So she took life by the horns, explored her options, took risks and (most importantly) worked hard for an idea that she was passionate about. So don’t be afraid to work hard or try something new. And remember, success is subjective.
- Just wing it
I’ll let you in on something else I’ve come to realize about being a ‘professional’. Most of the time, no one has any idea what they’re doing. We all just stumble through life, stitching together pieces of advice and soaking up information from career fairs or University talks. We just glue it all together with our educational foundation and some dry shampoo and hope that it will guide us to our ‘dream job’ or our ‘calling’. Real life just doesn’t work that way. It is a little bit messier than that… but how utterly unexciting would life be if there were no surprises?
(image by @ellesechloe)