When will it drop on my head?

I don’t know what to do with my life! I keep hoping for a revelation but time is running out.

Our elder has some suggestions for a letter writer who’s in search of direction but hampered by a sedated giraffe…

Dear EWC

Thank you for selecting my request for advice and for your time reading and replying. I’m getting pretty close to turning 24, and I know it’s a fairly well-tooted trumpet but at the risk of sounding like a scratched disc — I am feeling stuck in the ‘what to do with my life’ department. There are, so in theory I have, thousands of options — and although I know my strengths, weaknesses, preferences, salary goals, personal growth goals and expectations of work/life balance, it really doesn’t narrow anything down! I keep hoping I will have some experience that will lead to a revelation or have something drop on my head that will present me with the idea of a career I’d never considered. This sounds more and more unlikely as I age. I don’t know what to try at this point — I just feel like I’m dragging a sedated giraffe behind me.

Lawry replies

I would love to answer your letter. As an aside, I loved your way with words — “dragging a sedated giraffe” and all! I know what it feels like to be unsure of a career. I can share a few ideas with you about how to go about finding a career to your liking.
An old book that I found very helpful and recently has been updated yearly is What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles. You might find it at your local library. It is a wonderful tool when looking for a career. One thing I did to help me figure out what I wanted to do with my life from a career standpoint was to take a career aptitude test and I found that to be a very helpful tool. Now, so much of that information is online and it could be very helpful to you. You can look up “career aptitude test,” “career test,” “career assessment,” for a few examples and you’ll find many tests/assessments that you can take for free online. This can help you to find the skills you have and to find something you would enjoy.

Another thought is to talk to friends and see if they have any ideas. Sometimes friends can see skills in us that we never realized we had. We are sometimes humble about what we are capable of doing. They know from past conversations and observations that you are really good in certain areas. There are other adults you may know with whom you can talk – whether that’s a family member, a friend of the family, someone from the religious organization to which you may belong, a teacher/counselor at your school. There’s a wealth of resources out there that we often forget about. Most people are happy to try and help.
One thing you can do if more than one thing appeals to you is to make a list of pros and cons and see if that helps to sort things out for you. I have used that too many times and it has always been very helpful. It’s important to be honest with yourself when you do this.

I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I wish you a great deal of luck as you move forward with your life. Think positive. I am a great believer in that.
I would love to hear how things work out for you. I’ll be thinking of you.

Letter #: 447833
Category: Career

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