This is the most common question young people ask me. They want to know how to figure out what to do in life. What are the best steps to take?
The options are many, and the road ahead seems scary. They are afraid they’ll make the wrong choices and head the wrong way. They want to know how to figure all this out. Unfortunately, many struggle with uncertainty and are not able to make any decisions.
Here are some important things to keep in mind about this matter:
Find Your Passion
There are many career options, and many directions you can take. But you’ve got to settle on what drives you. What is the overall direction that you are passionate about? Do you find yourself excited about the medical field, Law, Teaching, Ministry, or some other profession?
Setting this overall direction according to your passions needs to be well thought out. Simply any passion will not be sufficient. It must be something others are willing to pay for. Otherwise, it will be a hobby and not a career.
Take First Steps
Even if you are not completely certain about your career, you’ve got to take a step. Determine a general career goal without all the details, and take the first step.
Commonly, the first step would be education. Traditionally, the advice has been to attend the best institution with the best accreditation for your field of study. This is still good advice.
But for various reasons, you may not be able to attend the best college or university. That does not have to deter you from your passion. Take your education seriously at any institution. See your life as a journey, a journey driven by your passion to make a difference.
Take the first step and keep moving in the direction of your passion. Don’t wait around for the best option or the most prestigious doors to open up. Use your time to gain experience and knowledge in your field. Gradually, you are building momentum for your life.
Fine-tune Your Passion
I’ve heard it said that the only thing that is certain is change. Although you took your step in the direction of your passion, keep your eyes open for opportunities.
As you learn and gain experience in your field, you will begin the process of fine-tuning your direction. Don’t be nervous about changing directions. The time you spent working on a project or a job was not a waste. See all of it as an investment into your future.
Read Like Crazy
Within your field, career, or passion, read as much as you can. Consume a regular diet of books, journals, magazines, and blogs in your field. Even after your formal education is over, your learning never ends. Make the commitment to be a lifelong learner.
Identify key persons in your field and follow them on social media and follow their blogs. These cutting edge practitioners in your field are the ones who write the books that become standard.
Keep Moving Forward
In this awesome journey you are on, there will be plenty of discouragements and failures. The key is to keep moving forward.
Understand that every failure and every discouragement is an opportunity to learn and move forward. Failure gives you a clearer vision regarding the direction you want to take. You know what works, and you know what needs to be avoided.
As you move forward, you will continue to refine your passion, continue learning, and continue to follow your passion. Every job, or project will be an additional investment to get you moving forward in your passion.
For more on this, read my eBook Living Your Potential. It’s a free download. Use the link at the bottom of this article.
Join the discussion and add your advice for young people. What have you learned about choosing a career and moving forward?
Please share briefly in the comments.
**Book recommendations on various topics I write on are available at my Resources Page
Download my books for free:
- Confused about your goals? Wondering where your life is headed? Read Living Your Potential
- Facilitating discussions, leading small groups, and more. Read Tips For Effective Ministry