Just because your coveted degree says you're an expert business lady or designer extraordinaire, you're more than the title your university bestowed upon you. It happens to many young people in the years following graduation: You find yourself wondering if the normal 9 to 5 isn't meant for you. If you find yourself in the midst of a so-called quarter-life crisis, you may be heading for a career change. But don't freak out too much -- you have the rest of your life to work, and sometimes you just need to work on yourself before you can head back into the thick of it!
So what's a girl to do when existential trouble strikes? Here are a few options that can help you figure out what your true calling is. Now get to it, you've got a lot to accomplish if you want to find your life's purpose!
1. Create A Bucket List
This may seem totally cliché and overdone, but it seriously puts everything into perspective. List out the things you want to most in life, whether it's taking a long trip to Thailand or finally learning to drive a stick. Once it's all written out in front of you, you'll have a better understanding of what you really want out of life.
2. Keep Your Friends Close
It's natural to start to withdraw a bit from your social life as you begin to sort out your feelings and hopes for the future. However, it's also important to make a conscious effort to keep your buddies in close contact as you navigate this tricky process. Invite your best pals over for dinner, movie nights and venting sessions as you see fit; the extra companionship can help provide perspective and keep you from obsessing.
Even if ohms and ahs aren't really your thing, the power of meditation is truly remarkable if you're willing to be at peace with your body and your mind. There are plenty of videos and tutorials to help you get started, and there's a different method out there for every genre of a burgeoning yogi. Namaste!
4. Stay Active
Working out truly does wonders for your body beyond the extra calorie burn! If you find yourself particularly stressed out as of late, hit the gym, pull out a yoga mat or just go for an invigorating walk around your neighborhood. According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America, regular participation in aerobic exercise can decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.
5. Find A Creative Outlet
Treat yourself with some self-love whenever you can! Enroll in an art class, try your hand at pottery or even start journaling. Stimulating the right side of your brain will help you de-stress and may even lead you to towards a career epiphany (hey, you never know).
6. Talk To Your Mentor
No one knows you or your professional capabilities quite like your mentor. Outside of a professional therapist, no one else but your trusted mentor is going to give you the perspective you need to move forward in your decision-making process. Get prepared for some serious heart-to-hearts.
7. Research Your Possibilities
Thinking of going back to school or finding a new job opportunity? There's no harm in scoping out online job boards or speaking with others who currently work in your desired industry. If you're considering furthering your education, talk with admissions representatives to determine the value of an added degree or certification. Gather as much information as possible so you can make educated decisions regarding your future, whether it means switching roles completely or challenging your academic skills again.
8. Seek Out Counseling
If you're feeling especially hopeless or without direction, it might be time to search for professional help. There's absolutely no shame in leaning on a therapist or counselor if you need guidance or advice during a confusing time like a career change. And getting an unbiased, professional opinion about your life may be just what you need.
9. Take It One Day At A Time
You won't get everything decided and determined in 24 hours, as convenient as that might sound. If you start to get overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths and evaluate your situation. Repeat the steps above as many times as necessary. Life goes on, and it has its twists and turns, but learning to roll with the punches and take everything in stride will help you immensely as you progress towards your goals. You got this, girl!