Since you can remember you knew exactly what you had to do next. No need to think about it too much. Every school year came and went. But then, the end arrived. The next steps are no longer so well defined. Now is up to you. Just you and the uncertain future. It´s your turn to decide about your life, and the anxiety to make the right choices and not mess things up starts to build up.
A bit overwhelming, right? Don´t worry, we have all been there and you are not alone. This new stage in life will bring new challenges, but also will bring many great opportunites you never had before.
We have gathered 5 tips that might help you with this new stage in life:
1. Determine what you like and what you dont like, and focus on what you like.
You probably hated studying math in school, but loved studying german or other languages. Or maybe the other way around. We all dealt with things we liked and didn't like while in school. The good news is that now you can focus only in what you like. First of all, figure out what are the topics you enjoyed learning or doing. Even if it was just the time with your friends during recess. That could mean you are stimulated by social interactions, which can bring a whole new fields in which you can grow.
2. Take your time
Even if is not clear for you what you want to do next, there is no need to rush. Keep in mind that life is not a competition. You are not racing agaist anyone, and especially not against you. Every path in life is different, with different goals and timings. Take your time to explore your options, discover new passions and skills, experience new cultures and challenges. For that we recommend:
- Doing an internship in a field you are interested: Interships might help you gain a very accurate glimpse of what a job in certain fields might be like for you in the future, plus you will get valuable experience that will look good in your CV.
Travel: either to do voluntary work abroad or just to enjoy, both experiences will take you out of your confort zone and help you grow.
Take some free courses: you don´t need to start a whole study without being sure if that is what you like. You can take free courses and see how that goes.
3. Talk with people in the field you might be interested in studying or working
Sometimes it helps to hear from those that already walked a certain path before us. Hearing form their experiences might help us realise if that is the same path I want to take, or even I prefer to avoid.
Once a friend was convinced he wanted to cardiologist. His aunt was exactly that, and she was able to take him to the hospital to see about her job. She was even able to let him be present in a heart cirgury, in which he almost fainted. He is a very happy musician now.
4. Work and gather experience
Yes, you are a grown-up now… or getting there. And as any other adult, you will have to get a job eventually. A simple job can get you more benefits that you might think. You will learn about responsibilities, getting your own money and how to handle it.
You could also learn to deal with all kinds of people, a very understimated skill in life.
You can also save up money while you decide what to do next, if is study or travel, or anything else.
5. Get some coaching and start heading down your own path
To have a professional helping you to plan your next steps wouldn´t be too bad, right? Coaching is not a therapy. It is a process of self-discovery and personal development. A qualified coach will have tools and methodologies that will make this stage less overwhelming. It will also help you to develop skills that will help you in the future, if you are ever again in a situation of change and doubt about the future.
With competent advice on choosing a course of study and making a career decision, you will face your future strengthened.
We hope these recommendations gave you some useful ideas. But besides that, we would like to leave you with a very small advice: Remember to enjoy every season of your life, even with ist difficult parts.