Feeling Lost at the Start of Your Career? You’re Not.

“Where am I going? I’m totally lost.”

For those of us that haven’t always known what we want to do in life, this can be a very tempting thought. 

It’s one that has snuck into my mind numerous times as I’ve chased one opportunity after the other in search of my perfect career.

If only my dream job would swoop me off my feet onto its unicorn so we could go galloping into the sunset.

Sounds ridiculous. 

But I’d say the analogy is characteristic of how many of us young people dream of their one and only job. 

Insert Gary Vee quote:

You’re not lost. You’re just early in the process.

Finding your special place in the working world is just that.

A process. 

When you accept that you’re not going to arrive any time soon, it frees you to try anything you can get your hands on, to be adventurous in the choosing, and even to risk failure. 

It’s not always an easy path, because it usually doesn’t follow the status quo.

But to me, it feels more like surfing than floating on my back.

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Somewhere along the wave of searching for my perfect job, I learned that it’s about each opportunity itself and all the things you learn. It’s not about a finish line.

Though the ride looks wildly different for everyone, here’s what embracing the unknown has looked like for me in the last 4 years since graduating highschool:

Along with completing two years of core classes, I…

  • Finished my 3rd year as a receptionist at an incredible nonprofit.
  • Started teaching private guitar to students in their homes.
  • Rented a room in a music shop and grew my studio to 25+ private guitar & ukulele students. I kept at it for 2 years and helped repair and sell instruments on the side.
  • While teaching, I became a CNA and volunteered on an oncology floor every Friday for one year. (Had to see if the medical field was for me.)
  • Took voice lessons for one year. Learned how to sing harmony (finally). Lead worship as a singer & guitarist. I still do and don’t plan to stop!
  • Moved to Puerto Rico. Assisted a new friend & property manager with her 4 Airbnb properties. Got her social media off the ground.
  • Joined the Crash community and learned how to SHOW future employers the value I could create from them. (Forget telling & paper is lame.) Three weeks later, I learned about some of the coolest people on the planet — the Sales Hacker Inc. team — and came up with a value prop + pitch for them as fast as I was humanly able. 
  • Started my first full time job, doing something I totally dig — social media management — and I’ve learned leaps & bounds since I started 5 months ago. I continue to grow every day alongside the most passionate, creative, & supportive team (this experience is a separate, overdue post waiting to happen). 

Do I feel behind because all of my peers are graduating from college this year?

*Cue Simon Cowell’s voice: It’s a no from me.

I’m not saying this route is for everyone, but I’m proud of how much I’ve been able to learn & grow in my “college years.”

We all know what Gary Vee would say if I told him something like:

“I’m worried that I haven’t found the one thing I’m going to do for the rest of my life.”

YOU’VE GOT TIME!

(Though I feel confident now that marketing will stick, so stay tuned. 🙂)

This is just a little encouragement for other youngins like me… or anyone still praying to the career matchmakers above for the “perfect fit.”

Chase the opportunities and the things you’ll learn from them and enjoy the process.

Don’t wait for your dream career to find you. This isn’t a Disney movie.

There’s fun (and a plethora of opportunities) to be had right now.

So go get ’em.

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

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