What do you want to do with your life? What jobs can you get with your degree? What is your dream job? What do you want to do when you grow up?
These are the questions that haunt many of us. They are asked by our family, our friends, and most importantly by ourselves. Upon exiting high school you may feel as though you have things sorted out. You’ve enrolled in a degree you find interesting and that will lead you to a great career. You arrive at university and begin studying in your selected field, to then realise that it isn’t quite what you expected and frankly, you hate it. Queue the freak-out.
This is usually the moment that you start questioning your life choices; wondering how you got here and why you ever picked this area of study in the first place. It is also the time when all of these questions start circulating in your head and you realise that you don’t really know exactly what it is that you want to do with your life. This is where things get tricky.
Many people say that the key to having a successful career and one that you actually enjoy is to find your passion. Unfortunately, this is something that is much, much easier said than done. Where do you even start when you are searching for you passion? One of the best ways is to take a big piece of paper and ask yourself these questions.
Why did I choose my current degree in the first place?
- This question helps you to understand where you wanted to be when you first came to university. You chose your current degree for a reason. What was that reason and is it still relevant?
What do I love most about life?
- This question gives you an insight into your priorities in life and helps you to understand what you want out of a career.
If I could live without fear of myself or fear of being judged, what would I do?
- List absolutely anything you would do if you weren’t afraid. Would you stand up for your beliefs? Go skydiving? Stand up to your critics? Once you know, ask yourself what is holding you back and why.
What am I really good at?
- What are your greatest accomplishments in life? Your sport trophies? Your good grades? Being a great friend? Try to figure out what qualities you possess that make you succeed at these things.
Who is my idol and why do I look up to them?
- This question helps you to see what type of qualities you admire and helps you to focus on how to incorporate them into your life (while still being yourself).
What would I do and who would I be if I could do and be absolutely anything in the world?
- This question helps you to think without limits; without the things that you currently feel could be holding you back.
Once you have answered these questions take a moment to look for similarities between your answers and find common ground. If you have found that you are really passionate about something, but are not sure how to make a career out of it; ask for help. Talk to the career’s advisors on campus, your family and friends, industry professionals and make sure you do lots of research on you selected career.
If after surveying yourself you have found that you don’t think you are heading in the right direction with your studies, it is never too late to change your mind or your degree. Changing your degree is not something to rush into and should be a carefully planned decision once you are set on an ambition.
Even though changing your degree and your career path is not a decision to be taken lightly; don’t be scared to make a change if you realise that you are not heading in the direction you want to be in life. Always remember that you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with your life, a passion and a rough idea will get you studying something you love at university.
Most importantly, “Never allow the fear of striking out to keep you from playing the game!” (Babe Ruth). The game of life can be scary, but don’t allow your insecurities to stop you from realising your passion and your potential.