What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do With Your Life

If the front door of opportunity won’t open, try the window

Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

The biggest misconception I had as a teenager was that I’d have everything figured out by my mid to late twenties.

I was so, SO wrong!

I imagined I would have a well-paying, fulfilling career. I would be engaged to the love of my life, building my dream home while donning pantsuits all week.

Instead, I constantly second guess my career choices, am currently intentionally single, and live at home with my parents. I wear pajamas to work (because work has been in my living room for the past 9 months) and feel just as confused about life now as I did when I was 16.

The truth is, many persons of all ages find themselves in places and spaces they’d never dreamed they’d be in — and not in a good way.

Before I share 9 tips, tools, and methods for getting UNSTUCK I want you to take a deep breath and know it’s not uncommon to question yourself daily.

One question that’s followed me from childhood is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Although I can verbalize what I would like to do, guess what — the job title eludes me. That’s right, I’m an adult and still can’t fully answer that question. The position probably hasn’t been invented yet, which isn’t new.

Think about it. Twenty years ago, the opportunity to make a living solely on an app would seem crazy, yet some teenagers get bigger paydays than professionals with three degrees have seen in a lifetime.

For those of us who feel we still don’t know what we’re doing, here’s some news — and advice — on where to go for assistance.

We’re either subconsciously suppressing our desires or haven’t dove deep enough to find a path yet. It’s all tied to fear. Be honest with yourself. What do you want?

This is an era where fear is too high a cost to stop living. Now more than ever we’ve been given access to an immeasurable tool: the internet.

So next time you feel stuck, here’s how to use the tools you have to your advantage:

1.) Shed your ego and ask questions of as many people who are willing to advise. Be vulnerable and put yourself out there.

2.) Reddit is an untapped reservoir for many professionals and entrepreneurs. Finding the right group is easy. Post your questions and concerns and watch the advice flow freely.

3.) If you’re applying for jobs online make sure your job search utilizes GlassDoor.com, LinkedIn, and Indeed. Then YouTube the position for tips on making your resume ATS-compatible.

4.) Change your perspective. Sometimes you may not need to change careers completely. You may just have to research career-adjacent roles. Also, if job hunting in your city is proving futile it may be time to apply to unexpected companies within other cities or states.

5.) Do the damn thing, even if you start slow and small.

6.) Persistence (doing the damn thing every day).

7.) Try it a different way. If the front door is locked and the back door won’t open, try the window. Sometimes, you may very well have to carve a door for yourself. Think outside the box!

8.) Block out the doubters (including yourself). Sometimes you need to silence your own voice.

9.) Don’t stop, rest.

Finally, there is nothing you want to do that you can’t research how to get done. And if it’s not there, that’s a clue that you’re the one who needs to invent it.

If you’re trying to go back to school and lack funding, find resources on Reddit and contact the school to find out scholarship and grant opportunities. There are more than you realize.

If your mission is starting a business that hasn’t been invented yet, Reddit and Google the inventor’s process like your life depends on it. If you want to switch careers, LinkedIn, Reddit, and YouTube are your best friends.

Need to move cities? Reach out to a leasing agent (they’re friendly and very helpful). Can’t find a job? Search “hiring” on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and Indeed and search for career adjacent openings in various states and cities.

Sometimes, all we need is a slight shift in perspective and a little more information to live our purpose and find our slice of happiness.

Don’t give up on yourself.

Live Your Life On Purpose

Get Purpose. Get Perspective. Get Passion.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store