I am a 28-year-old sales person in a phone store and am unhappy in my job. I want to make a change. First, I don’t like what I do, but I only have 2 years of college and am not qualified for much. I could go back to college, but I’m still not sure that this will be the answer because I don’t even know what I would major in.
I feel lost and wish I could figure out which direction to go in. I don’t even know how to start. How do I start?
Take a deep breath darling. I want to be the one voice rushing around in your mind that says, “Everything is all right” and whatever it is that you are supposed to do, you will. Trust the process. It will make all the difference; I promise. Now, Let’s take a few steps back and consider what do you like to do? Not even in the context of a career, simply, what do you enjoy doing with your time? What captivates you and keeps you stimulated? Answering these questions will help you to find some direction in this process. You live in a day and age where you have the luxury of working towards the job of your dreams and you, quite honestly, have perfect timing. 28 is perfect! You have knowledge and experience backed with insight and interest; this is the best age to begin the next phase of your process. You just have to have the courage to jump in, take chances, and commit to yourself. Are you ready?
College will very likely be a good option for you as it will act as an incubator for not only your mind, but your passions, propelling you in many directs, and creating gorgeous opportunities for connection. And truly, there are plenty of studies that suggest that in merely gaining a college education you have higher chances of getting the career that you want and higher pay when achieving your goals. I often tell young people to take some time to find out who they are and to explore the world before binding themselves to their education or another person, and yet, considering that you have taken your time to explore a little bit, you seem to be just ready enough to make some changes. Remember that you get to create much of your own reality, so begin with what does makes you happy and try not to obligate yourself too much else; the rest will fall into place.
Apply to a few schools in places you would want to live, you’ve already got two years under your belt, so school shouldn’t be too daunting a commitment, but what potential for opportunities! Apply for some of those jobs that you think you’re under qualified for. Truth is, most people are under qualified, but what tends to get them the gig is in how they present themselves, how much they want it, and how much of an asset the can convince others that they are. Just do it! What’s holding you back? Possible rejection? Don’t give that any piece of mind. Rejection is a part of life and most often has nothing to do with you. Perhaps you need to ask yourself how you feel about risk and what kind of life you really want? Can you handle chance? It might be a lot more fun if you just say “yes”!
I’m not telling you to quit your horrible job tomorrow. A lot of people love to say, “don’t put the cart before the horse”; I guess it applies. Start brainstorming and troubleshooting, though. Make some mock plans a, b, and c. See where that takes you. Will moving fit into your life? Have you saved enough to take some time off of work while you go back to school? Is the job of your dreams an application away? Just start. That’s it. There’s no specific way to do it. So, when that uncomfortable hot- and-cold feeling starts nagging in your gut, listen to it. It’s speaking pretty clearly and I have it on good authority that our inner wisdom is the stuff of the gods. Listen to yourself. Don’t put you on the back burner. Imagine what things could really look life if you started making all of you decisions with this attitude and urgency. Life is too short to worry about all the “what-if’s”. Just get your butt moving. You’ve got this. Disregard all other voices motivated by fear and doubt and you will on the right path. I promise. Good luck finding your way to happy. What a blessing this winding path can be!
You can ask Samara and Caroline questions for the Love & Life Advice Column here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The ideas and advice presented here are not a substitute for professional advice. Talk to your psychologist, counselor, physician or health care professional for situations that warrant further analysis.