Diana’s Declassified Career Crisis Survival Guide

23 Sep

In a university full of thousands of students, intimidating professors, and never-ending lines at Starbucks, I have set out to do the impossible: create a guide that will help you survive your career crisis. Welcome to Diana’s Declassified Career Crisis Survival Guide (results may vary).

Most students can agree that one of the most frustrating questions to be asked throughout their academic career is: “What do you want to do with your life?” Well, I have some questions of my own. Why does everyone always want to know? Do they expect us to just know straight out of high school what we want the next fifty years of our lives to look like? Better yet, why is the decision so difficult and what do we do if we realize we’re unhappy with the choices we’ve made?

I hate to break it to you guys, but I definitely don’t have the answers to all of these questions. Fortunately, I too have felt unsatisfied with my previous career choices and have learned that the only way to make it through a career crisis is to buck up and deal with it. Like most things in life, if you want your problems solved the right way, you have to do it yourself.

Tip 1: Ask yourself what about your career choice makes you unhappy.

When you come to terms with the possibility that the career choice you had in mind is no longer the right choice for you, you must introspect. Back track and ask yourself why the career you had initially chosen no longer makes you excited for the future. Maybe it’s the amount of school you have to go through or the job isn’t as people-oriented as you would like it to be. Perhaps it’s the fifteen high-level chemistry classes you have to take before you can graduate. Whatever the reason is, it’s best to figure it out early on in the game so that you can get back on track to what you really want. If you ultimately have to change your major, it’s not the end of the world! There are people out there to help out, which brings us to our next tip.

Tip 2: Your advisor is your best friend.

Advisors were put on this earth as beautiful beacons of light to guide us lost sheep on our path to greatness. Be their friend. These are the people who will direct you to where you need to be. Whether that be Career Services, a new career-oriented club, or to some other awesome resource campus offers, you can count on them to do their best to make sure you get what you need. Advisors aren’t just a good source of information for careers or majors, they’re also great people to talk to about anything that may be on your mind.

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Coming to the conclusion that all of the decisions you made in respect to your future may not work out can be stressful and, most of all, confusing. Trust me when I say that as nerve-racking as the situation can feel, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It takes courage to admit that you need to reevaluate your choices so that you can find joy in the work you do. Sometimes it even takes asking for a little bit of help from someone else to narrow your never-ending list of choices. This leads us to our last tip.

Tip 3: No matter what it is you decide to do, make sure that it’s what feels right to you.

At the end of the day, it’s going to be you doing the job and making a living from it. Set aside opinions of what everyone else wants you to do and follow your instincts. You are your best advocate for your own happiness.

-Diana

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