You’re Not Floating Through Life — You’re 25.
I got an email from a woman I don’t know this week about a universal struggle — how to find your purpose.
Here’s what she said (name changed):
Hello Josh, my name is Amanda.
I’m a 25-year-old college graduate who is seemingly floating through life, trying to find a purpose. I graduated college last year with a BA in Business and immediately took a job as a project coordinator for an IT company — that was a bad decision.
For the last year, I have watched my passion for just about everything drop to sub-atomic levels.
I found that waking up at 5 am every day for a job that I hated was quite literally killing me very slowly.
First I started gaining weight, my relationship started to get less stable, I was unable to find joy in the things I used to love, and I became this version of myself that I (and many others) did not like.
This morning, after finding out that XXXXX is headquartered in New York and realizing the move I would have to make for a *probably* unpaid internship, I got really discouraged.
And then I stumbled upon your website, and a few others like yours, and it made me feel invigorated.
Probably a lot of back story for a not so hot finale — but I wanted to say thank you.
Thank you for putting good out into the world. Thank you for wanting to help people. Thank you for freely sharing information.
Aside from being flattered by her compliments and honored she found inspiration in my writing and newsletter, her frustrations resonated with me on a deeper level.
It’s been a couple decades since I was 25, but it doesn’t feel like that long ago.
And the feeling that life isn’t going quite as planned is an experience that isn’t limited to 20-somethings.
So I thought a bit about her situation and replied with some suggestions based on what I’ve learned over the years.
I know she’s not the only one trying to find their way and am sharing my response below so that others can benefit from it as well.
Sorry to hear the job isn’t working out well, but here are a few things to check out and keep in mind…
1. The job might be awful, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad decision.
It’s as important to learn what you don’t want as it is to learn what you do want — this experience probably taught you a lot that will help you get closer to something you do want moving forward.
18 Ideas About How To Make Smarter Decisions From The Book “Thinking In Bets”
A must-read for an uncertain world.
2. Here are a bunch of ideas about career growth I’ve curated and shared over the years:
Career Advice For The Interested
The best career advice I’ve found after consuming thousands of articles on the subject.
Definitely read this one (it’s long, but great):
How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You) - Wait But Why
Hey readers! Quick note before we jump in: This is a post about something I've been wanting to write about forever…
3. You’re not floating through life, you’re 25.
You’re not supposed to know your purpose yet, just to be looking for it (and it sounds like you are).
I Owe 20 Years Of Career Success To This One-Sentence Belief
*An idea from the For The Interested newsletter.
4. You’re going to figure it out and be fine.
Better than fine, you’ll do great.
I know that because you’re the kind of person who stumbled across my website (which means you’re an explorer) and took the time to reach out just to say thank you (a generous, unselfish act).
If there’s anything else I can do to help you…feel free to ask.