Time; How Much Have You Got?


“I’ll get around to that one day.”

“I can do it tomorrow”.

“That’s important sure, but I’ve got lots of time.”

So how much time do you have and how can you be so sure? Honestly, you don’t know how much time you’ve got; none of us do. Generally speaking, when we’re young we don’t even think about how much time we’ve got, we just enjoy the here and now. As we move into our teens we start looking a few years ahead – milestones like getting a driver’s licence, graduating from high school, our first jobs, plans for the upcoming weekends have us looking ahead, but not too far down the road. Soon we look into the future and see the day we’ll move out, maybe plan a wedding date, think about having children, a better job, etc.

Fast-forward a bit and we’re suddenly much more appreciative of the concept of time; but we still believe we have lots left. For the first time we start seriously regretting some of our previous choices. Sure we might have regretted things in our childhood, but it’s hard thinking of any major decisions we made that had long-lasting implications. Ah, but as a teenager or young adult, we’d go back if we could and take back some of the things we said, actions we took, hurt we caused.

Some of those regrets might even be preventing us from doing things we’d like today. Dropping out of high school or taking college-level courses instead of university prep courses . Who would have thought we’d change our minds and actually want to go to University? Didn’t see that coming!

In the latter stages of our lives, we’ll hopefully look back and not have too many regrets; if we don’t, we’ll have lived a life worth living we assume. Maybe we’ll have made a difference in the world, had a big extended family, seen the world, lived in the dream condo or home we pictured as a young adult. Who knows? Depends what we consider important enough. One thing seems pretty clear now: the older we became, the more we appreciated the saying, “Time flies.” Where did it go?

Of course you’ll have noticed I skipped over the 30 – 75 or so time period. Rather a large part of one’s life to skip! You might figure that 45 year period or so is enough time to make some readjustments, mend some mistakes, figure a few things out that we thought we had right. Maybe we have that time and maybe – just maybe we don’t. What if life expires at 33? 53? 96? 25? Time is one thing we haven’t solved – how much of it is ours to spend.

How we perceive time decides whether we see ourselves as having a lot or a little. I could show you two people – each 32 years old, and one would tell you she’s too old to head on back to school; that time has robbed her of that choice. The other would say she’s going back to school because it’s the rest of her life in front of her and that’s a lot of life to live. How can they both see things so differently? Perception.

How we perceive Time (the big one with a capital, ‘T’) becomes our reality. We might figure – YOU might figure to be more accurate – that time is one thing you’ve got a lot of. Because you can’t know with any certainty how much you’ve got, why worry about it? Just enjoy things in the here and now. What’s so wrong with figuring it will all end in our 80’s or 90’s so there’s no rush to choose a career, save for the future, start a retirement savings plan or fix that relationship. As Mick and the boys sang, “Time is on my side.”

Hmm… imagine you’re in a gift store and you spot some hourglasses. The sand is yellow, green, blue, etc. and catches your eye. Each holds a finite amount of sand, and there’s a multitude to choose from; 1 minute, 3 minute, 10 minute timers. You choose one you like and whatever one you chose, you get no more or less than the contained amount. Life is like that – except we are given the timer without knowing how much sand we’ve got in our hourglass. When it runs out, it runs out. The only thing wrong with the analogy? You can flip the hourglass over again and again and it goes on and on. When your life timer runs down, there is no flip.

Imaging we have a lot of time left to live can be wonderful as we plan for the future. It can motivate us to get going and start working to achieve our long-term goals. However, think back to school where the teacher gave you some essay to write and you figured you had weeks to get it done. You put it off for precisely that reason didn’t you? Then as it dawned on you that the deadline was looming, you got down to work – you had to – and you pulled it off. Sometimes therefore, believing we have a lot of time left can hinder and not help us get going.

Whether you feel any urgency to get going on your goals is entirely your business. Put off getting started at your own choosing but realize time might rob you of that chance – or rather, you might rob yourself.

 

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What Are YOU Waiting For?


Whether it’s deliberating on returning to school, putting off seeing a Mental Health Counsellor, having a mammogram or colonoscopy, getting in shape, taking that trip, saying I love you or any number of things you could be stalling over, I simply ask you, “what are you waiting for?”

Is it the right moment? When do you see that happening? What are you waiting to fall into place so the time is right?

Do. It. Now.

We know that time doesn’t wait; every powered clock ticks by and the second that just elapsed will never come again. Yes there is an urgency and you’ve been lucky so far in delaying taking action. So far, things haven’t significantly changed robbing you of the opportunity to do what it is your mulling or fretting over. However, with every passing second there is an increasing possibility that something can and will change, stealing your opportunity and that possibility will be replaced with regret. Is that what you want?

Consider: you might know someone who waited too long to tell another how much they were in love. Then what happened? In waiting for just the right moment, a third person entered in and with just a little more urgency said what they did not. Opportunity gone.

Maybe you know someone who said, “I should have gone back to school but I was waiting until I earned more money first…now I’m too old. There’s people who planned on traveling abroad and seeing the world but never actually went anywhere because instead they bended to family pressures and stayed home. Perhaps you know someone who always wanted to be a (fill in the blank) but put off really going for it because it just seemed too hard – and that disappointment still haunts them.

Too much can happen while you deliberate. People move or die, jobs get filled, prices rise, doors once open close, responsibilities surface, needs change… you get the point. Do it now.

I have to tell you that one of the biggest mental blocks I hear over and over in my job is, “but I’m too old now”. Who says so? is my reply. Most of the time the one person holding them back isn’t some Hiring Manager at a company they want to work for, nor is it someone in Human Resources refusing to advance their application. No, more often than not the person who thinks they are too old is the person themselves. Here it is in a nutshell: if you think you’re too old…you are. And until you change this crippling mindset you will continue to be.

How sad it is to be locked in some prison cell of our own making with the key in our hands and lamenting to anyone passing by that you just want to be released. The key (literally in this scenario) is in your hands! Open the door!

You always have choices: 1) Do it now. 2) Do it later (maybe) 3) Don’t do it.

If it’s important enough that you lie awake consumed with wanting badly; if it’s your every waking moment’s thought; if in your most personal and intimate moments of reflection it just keeps surfacing, don’t you owe it to yourself to make it your reality? At least to try?

How long is your lifespan? You have no idea of course. You imagine yourself living a set number of years, and you hope those will be in decent if not good health. Your time is finite. From the moment you were conceived and later breathed that first gasp of air your clock starting ticking and will at an unknown point suddenly stop without warning. Yours might stop at 34 years, 16 days and 23 minutes. Maybe it’s 51 years, 11 months and 6 minutes, 18 seconds. Of this you have no absolute knowledge or control.

What you can control is what you choose to do with the time you have now. What is important to you? Who are the people important to you? What are the causes you care about, where are the places you want to see in-person, what are the changes in the world you want to bring about that are important to you to make it a better place? What is the education or job you always wanted?

For if you knew you only had 2 years left, would you spend your remaining days going about life the way you are now? Would your answer change if you had 6 months? What if you knew you had 60 years left? Would having all that time left cause you to put off what you really want today?

Now you may be someone who wants to get going but can’t figure out what it is you really want. Maybe that’s at the core of your stress; the indecisiveness and associated inaction. DO SOMETHING. Nothing happens until you take action. So take a chance and learn from the outcome. Register for school, tell somebody how much you mean to them, go to the gym, buy the house, get on the plane, mend the feud that’s kept you apart, take the course, say yes instead of maybe.

With every passing second, you’re rolling the dice and gambling that they’ll always be time in the future to do what you want to do but lack the courage to do now.

Will your life be punctuated with a period or an exclamation mark? Hopefully not a dreaded question mark.

 

 

“What Should I Do? What Should I Be?”


Find yourself pondering the BIG question; “What do I want out of Life?” You know, trying to decide your purpose, your career goal; that ‘thing’ you were destined to do and be great at. I wonder if the answer doesn’t lie so much in wondering what you want to get out of Life as it does in pondering what you’re ready to put INTO your life.

A clever play on words? A change in philosophy? Maybe just some pseudo-psychological babble? Or perhaps – just perhaps mind – we’re on to something here. Worth exploring before dismissing or embracing? Absolutely.

Some seem to have it all figured out don’t they? I mean they fixed on their career goal as a child or young teenager and stuck to the plan. They went to school, graduated, started in an entry-level position and years later they are still energized in their work. They never really had to struggle with indecision, doubt or distraction. They stayed true to their goal and never wavered and it all turned out great.

Not everybody has that experience. For many, what to do with their life is a recurring theme. Time and time again they stand at a crossroads wondering what to do, which direction to go in, what might hold the answer to the their happiness. They move from job to job, stimulated with the new challenges each brings, but always finding themselves looking for another job; one that brings them something their current job lacks. Some live this way intentionally because it works for them. Nothing wrong with that if it works.

The most dangerous situation when pondering the big, “What is the meaning of my Life?” question, is putting living on hold to the point of paralysis. In other words, it’s a good and healthy exercise to pause occasionally and check where you’re going and if your current destination is still the right goal for you or not. However, stand fixed to a spot afraid to move for fear of making the wrong choice for too long and you can become immobilized while Time itself ticks on.

This then is the source of the pressure and stress for many isn’t it? Sure it is. You hear it in statements like, “I’m not getting any younger you know”, or “Time and tide wait for no man”. The older we get the more we feel the pressure to have figured it out too. By the way, as it relates to figuring out what to do with Life: you’ve never been as old as you are at this precise moment in time. As each second and minute, day and week go by, you age and again you’ve never been that old before. So whether you’re 29, 38, 49 or 62 you might just be wondering, “What should I be doing with my life?”,  or “What’ my great plan?” and that’s okay to ponder. It won’t be the last time you think about it likely either.

Maybe as I said earlier, the key is thinking more about what you want to invest in Life; with the time you’ve got and the resources you have. If you’re a people person and you find yourself infused with energy when you’re helping or cooperating with others, it’s likely you’ll gain great satisfaction out of doing more of that kind of work. If you’re positively stimulated and happiest when solving what others see as problems, perhaps investing yourself in honing your problem-solving skills is the key for you. So do you want to fix home plumbing issues, computer problems, work to discover a cure for a disease or solve mysteries of our universe? All problems to work on, but requiring very unique skills.

Very little in Life that has real meaning and really importance comes without a personal investment. Just as you can’t take money out of a bank without investing your money in it first, you can’t expect Life to dish out all the great things it has to offer unless you immerse yourself in it.

For some, this immersion means travel; see the world, broaden your horizon’s. For others, it means go to school, improve and expand your mind. For you? Who knows? Maybe it’s auditioning job after job in a variety of fields, determining what you like and like better until you arrive at whatever it is you’d like to do for a long time. You can always re-evaluate in the future what is right for you at that point too. No need to lay a fixed course for your next 75 years when you’re 10 years old.

Ever notice how this same ‘investing first’ mentality gets passed over in other areas of life? You might hear one person ask another, “So what are you looking for in a spouse?” You rarely hear that person say, “So what are you ready to invest in a relationship?” The question you get asked or ask of yourself tends to direct the answer you give. “I want or expect” versus, “I’ll give or invest…”

You get what you put in. Is that it? We’re all different, looking for different outcomes, searching for what sparks our happiness. The good news I believe is that there is no single thing we were destined to alone; you’ve probably got what it takes to find meaning and fulfillment in many things in Life; your job(s) being just one of them. Thoughts?

 

What Do You Want For Yourself?


From the time we are old enough to communicate we get asked questions. In fact, as an experiment, see how many times you find yourself asked a question today or tomorrow. Most of those questions are pretty simplistic, such as what you want for breakfast, when you want to take your break at work, what you want to watch on television this evening etc.

Most of the questions you will be asked come innocently enough, and you’ve probably got the necessary information accumulated in order to answer intelligently. So you know what you want for breakfast, you know when you’re ready for a break at work, and you know what you’re in the mood for in the evening as you sit down to watch the television. How exciting!

What of the bigger questions you ask of yourself? I don’t mean what to wear on a certain day, whether or not to take the umbrella or who to sit with at lunch at work. I mean the BIG questions.

When was the last time you really thought about your life and what you want to do with yours? Let’s face it, most of us go about our day without really thinking about the BIG questions. We’re so focused on what we have on our daily agendas, what we’re having for dinner, what work has to get done, who will be off today at the office, remembering what bills to pay, we don’t often stop and consider what we want for ourselves.

I suspect that many people just get on the treadmill of life and live their lives in a predictable, socially acceptable manner. We go to school, graduate, get a job, have relationships, then settle on a strong relationship with someone, end up with several jobs or careers over a lifetime, retire and hope to enjoy it, then die. It’s predictable, we’re remembered by those we leave behind who knew us, and then depending on your belief system, you go to Heaven, get reincarnated, are reborn etc.

The after-life debate aside, how often do you really give yourself the benefit of time to reflect on what you want to do based on what’s important to you? How does the way you live your life reflect what you once wanted?

Some people do what’s expected on them by others; they go to school, join and then later run the family business, and pass it on. Some are told in school they’ve “only” got the potential to work in the trades (and the trades in the way it is voiced is somehow undervalued vs. a University degree), and therefore they take on an apprenticeship and work in the trades without challenging that view.

How often does someone in their late teens have the foresight to imagine themselves as retired looking back at their work life saying, “That was a life worth living! I’m glad I (fill in the blanks).

Every time we find ourselves out of work or wanting a change in work we get closer to thinking of the big picture. Questions like, “What now?” do come into our minds, but too often don’t we just scramble for a job that approximated our previous one; or choose one that while different in responsibility is really just maintaining our lifestyle. So a labourer finds another labour job, a Healthcare Worker finds another job in the Health sector?

What of you? Have you got dreams – or did you once have dreams you’ve let go of? Maybe you had some vision of what you would love to have done, but before you could launch that dream, you were too far down the predictable path of everyday life? You got into a relationship that made following your dream difficult if not impossible in your view. Now with rent or mortgage payments, kids, r-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-i-e-s… well, you know; you’ve kissed those dreams goodbye.

Now if you’re happy it doesn’t matter when it comes to dreams and hopes you once had. Truly happy people should carry on. I’d say it’s not only about being happy as you look back nearing your end, but it’s about being happy all through the stages of your life. Are you doing what you want with the time you’ve got?

What if the answer is you’re not happy? Well, what would make you happy? What do you want for yourself? It might well be some wild experience; a life filled with travel, adventure, chaos and physical challenges. It may also be a job in the city sharing your life with someone who loves you as much as you love them.

Whatever you wish for yourself, if it’s not your reality, or you’re not seeing it getting any closer, what would it take to make that dream happen? Does it require more effort, a change in locale, some self-confidence or hard work? Does it take some courage to chuck it all and start again?

If you’ve been waiting for something to get you doing more than just thinking, think of this; time is passing. Take a leap. Do one thing this week other than just thinking; in other words take some action. Have a conversation, download the brochure, book the trip, contact the company; whatever small step you can think of, do it.

Life is too precious and time too short to delay. What do YOU want for yourself?

Make it happen.

Contemplating The BIG Questions


“I’ve got to find out what my purpose is in life before it’s too late.”

“What am I supposed to do with my life?”

“Sure I want to have a meaningful life. How do I do that?”

These questions, and others that are similar to them, are questions of the very best kind. But they’re tough questions to answer aren’t they?  I mean these are the really big ones; the “what is the purpose of life anyways?” kind of questions.

Some people hold the belief that each of us come to this world to accomplish some pre-determined objective. They call this fate or destiny. No matter what path we take to get to it, wherever we end up and whatever we do along the way to our end is out of our control. While we may think we are acting of our own free will, we are destined for whatever happens to us and things are largely beyond our control. If we make a huge change in our lives and appear to be changing direction, we are simply following a pre-set plan.

On the other hand, many people hold the belief that we are responsible for choosing whatever we do with the time we spend on Earth; that we have free choice and choose what we do with our lives. It’s this freedom to choose for ourselves what we do, how we spend our time that both excites and confuses us. If we look ahead to the end our lives, we can imagine ourselves either happy with how we’ve spent our time and thankful for the choices we made, or we imagine lamenting the passage of time, having wasted ours with the poor choices we made.

If you believe you have control over how you live your life, then the really big question of what to do with it becomes both fascinating and one of great responsibility. This question and others like it are the kind of questions that are asked best when you’re lying on the crest of a hill, under a canopy of stars on a summer’s night.

Hang on a second. That’s one scenario sure, but this is the kind of question that also forms in the minds of people walking down crowded city streets, sitting in the rear of taxi cabs, and by people trapped in cubicles working in offices every single day! I mean, haven’t YOU said to yourself more than once, “Is this it? Is this me for the rest of my life, sitting here at this desk, pushing this pen around, tapping on this keyboard? Was I really brought into this world to put nuts on these bolts day after day, year after year?” And haven’t you wondered, “What else is there for me to do? Is this really living?”

Well, not all of us can pack in our jobs and charter a three-masted galleon and explore the world for lost islands and new civilizations. Nor have we all the inclination or the resources to search for and discover Atlantis, colonize Jupiter, discover the cure for Cancer, create the winning design for the flag of Utopia, or make first contact with the inhabitants of some inter-planetary life forms. Well, finding Atlantis would be pretty cool, but some of us probably don’t even like water on our faces let alone submerge ourselves thousands of feet beneath the surface.

So really, what would make us happy is largely an individual thing. And here I raise another essential question. In terms of what to do with our lives is there only one thing that would make us happy, or are there numerous things that would bring us satisfaction? I mean if there is only a single job or career that would ignite this passion everybody talks about, well, that’s a lot of pressure considering the clock of life never pauses. On the other hand, if there is more than one single thing in this world that would excite us, fuel us, motivate us to feel happy and content, we’ve got a better chance of figuring out what that is. And if I expand on that, what if there are not just a few but many different ways to spend our lives, and in each of those many ways we would feel we’ve achieved a manner of success? That relieves some pressure to get it right!

Now, none of us know exactly how long our time on Earth is, nor do we know the state of our mental and physical health down the road. Time, health, available resources, opportunities, luck – all of us have in varying amounts. Perhaps instead of asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” – Predicated on the premise that there is only a single thing we will be – what if we asked, “What experiences would you like to have?”

Experiences we would like to have can morph, evolve, come into our consciousness, become less or greater priorities, shift with our age, health, finances. The people we meet introduce us to new possibilities; those we choose to share our lives with have their own dreams and plans too.

What you choose to experience during your life, with whatever time you have is largely up to you. If you knew you had another fifty years, what would you do? Would you answer differently if you only had another 7 months? Why?

If I’d Only Found This Career Sooner


Not too very long ago a gentleman I was working alongside and I were talking of all the various jobs and careers we’ve had.

When I got around to the position I hold now as an Employment Counsellor, he very kindly told me how well-suited I was to the position, and then said, “If only you’d found this career sooner.” I wasn’t really certain what he was referring to since that kind of statement implies some kind of regret on my part – at least from my perspective.

He then said that the jobs and careers I’d previously had were fine but since I’m good at what I do (for which I thanked him), I could have done so much more for a lot of people earlier in my life when I was doing other things. There I had to disagree, or if not entirely disagree, at least open up the possibility that he may be wrong in assuming that a younger me would have been equally as effective.

I believe people are a sum total of all their experiences to date. We are shaped by good and bad jobs we’ve had, people we’ve come into contact with as customers, clients and co-workers, our bosses etc. Every position we have held down and then quit, been terminated, been laid off etc. shapes us. Even now I am shaped and defined by all the people in my working life with whom I come into contact with.

I know I’m influenced by what I read, what I observe, what others say, how I’m treated, and most certainly by those who I help. My clients; all the people I listen to and all the stories they share with me shape me most certainly.

So then, the question to really consider is: “Would I be just as impactful and effective as he believes me to be today if I’d come to the profession earlier in life?” I think the answer is no. In my own case, I’ve worked in retail profit, provincial and municipal governments, recreation, youth organizations, been self-employed, social services; a wide variety of sectors. I’ve held positions at the top of organizations and been on the front-line. I’ve been terminated, quit, promoted, rewarded and had some poor leaders to answer to and some outstanding people to guide me. I am who I am as a sum total.

Take a favourite book of yours as, “The Lord of The Rings” is mine. Would Frodo be the same person at the end if he’d just had a pleasant walk through middle-earth to Mt. Doom where he’d casually drop the One Ring into the volcano? How boring a book would that to have read. He needed – and we with him – to experience all the rich and vivid characters he encountered and the trials he suffered that in the end made him stronger and the person he became.

And so he and I were back discussing his initial assertion. If perhaps like some of my peers, I’d have graduated from University and immediately become an Employment Counsellor, what would that ‘me’ really look like? It’s entire speculation of course because no one can say. I am confident in saying however that I’d be very different.  And in being different, I’d have a different impact on the people I serve.

Maybe – and just maybe – I’d be more black and white, right and wrong, “get a job if you want one like I did.” Maybe job searching would appear easier, maybe I’d be quicker to judge others, more naïve, convinced I could, “save them all”. I really can’t say. So why speculate? Well there is some value in the thinking process not because I could change anything in the past but because it serves to remind, clarify and give value to where I am in the present.

It is no less the same for you. Maybe right now you’re dealing with problems and long-standing issues of pain, guilt, sadness, fears, isolation etc. You’re wondering perhaps if there will ever come a time when you’ll emerge free of all the stuff that’s stressing you now be they poverty, abuse, addictions, unemployment, lack of education, housing, family dysfunction, relationship woes or any number of other issues. Whatever the issue or combination of issues, they are all shaping you at present.

Think of some iron a blacksmith wants to shape into a sword or a shoe for a horse. In order for it to be softened up and shaped into that useful tool, it has to first go through the hottest part of the fire – not just for a minute, but repeatedly until the contents can be forged into something stronger and only then does it get shaped and have value. Maybe you and I are the raw iron.

The big difference I suppose is that the Blacksmith has a plan when he puts that iron in the forge. He knows what he’s making. We on the other hand quite often don’t know what it is we would best ‘come out’ as after being tested. We start off thinking we’ll be a Recreation Supervisor as I did, and we later become an Employment Counsellor – a job I innocently didn’t even know existed in my early life.

Every so often, evaluate where your skills and experience plus your personal preferences might change your direction. May you have a wonderful – and not too safe – journey.

 

 

Maybe You’re A Young Person With An Old Problem?


Last Friday, I had a chance encounter with a young woman who had an appointment with one of my Employment Counsellor peers. She had just finished a 3 week Life Skills class, and so it is our practice to schedule a 1:1 meeting afterwards and talk about the next steps.

Our meeting happened just because as she arrive and signed in at the reception counter I myself was walking through going from one room to another. I could have said hello and kept walking and that would have been perfectly acceptable, but I wasn’t busy at the moment, and I thought I’d chat for a moment if she was open to it.

Turns out she was quite receptive to a talk as well, and having been in a class of my own in the past, and having talked briefly in passing over those same last three weeks, we quickly got on. When I asked her where she was going at this point as a next step, she told me she didn’t really know.

At 22 years old, her career path wasn’t clear, and she was feeling pressure. What kind of pressure and from whom? Two sources actually; herself first and foremost and from her family. Yes at 22, she felt that by now she should know exactly what she wanted to do for the next 40 years of her life and people where wondering what was wrong with her.

Doesn’t this sound like a common problem for many people? You know, if we really break 22 years down, it’s not like she’s had 22 years to choose a career and been wasting her time. At infancy, no baby I’ve ever read about looked out through their eyes and mused, “I’m on my way to becoming an Arborist.” Infants take milk in and empty themselves, sleep, cuddle and cry. Well done. At this point, all the babies of the world have figure out just about the same things in life.

Then there are pre-school years where the biggest life objectives are to play and have fun. Oh sure there are little lessons to be learned like how to tie your shoes, what you can play with and what you can’t, where you can toddle off to and where you shouldn’t go. Then comes kindergarten and public school and children are exposes to some adults with careers and jobs. The simple first books children read have adults with jobs but again no 7-year-old is seriously asked to choose their career path yet.

It’s only with the arrival of high school then that most of the teens who are morphing out of childhood are asked to think seriously about jobs and careers to pursue. Teens though are more concerned with things like acne, puberty, their first kiss, will they ever be kissed?, making friends, fitting in, school marks, wearing the right clothes, not saying anything that will ruin their desired image, saying the right things that will please everyone and maybe score them a boyfriend or girlfriend. That job and career stuff can wait.

So, although the school Guidance Counsellor is impressing upon young people to take the right classes so they are ready for college or university – the choice of which could well determine if they get a certain career or not – many young people haven’t really got a clue. So there she could be at 18, being hurled out into the big bad world and only really thinking about a career or job seriously for the first time. That was 4 years ago.

Now while she didn’t go to college or university, many who do head off to those schools of higher education often choose to change their majors, opt for different careers they get exposed to. In short, changing your mind about what you want to do is normal. When I was young I remember being told that the average person changes their career about 3 or 4 times, and has about 9 different jobs over their lifetime. So where’s the pressure coming from to get it right on the first try?

I blame Aunt Ethel and Aunt Lois really. Oh you might have Aunts and Uncles with different names, but they are to blame just the same. Why? Well it’s them that started asking every time you saw them that standard question you never had an answer to, “So, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Here’s one thing to think about; some advice really. Stop over-thinking. If you have a clear idea what it is you want to do, that’s wonderful. All the best and if you later change your mind, that’s okay, you’re not a failure. If on the other hand, you don’t know what you’d like to do, just do something. Sell shoes or clothes, bag groceries in a store, flip burgers for a while, work on a factory assembly line, when your Employment Counsellor is talking with you, imagine yourself in their job.

To prevent stalling and growing anxiety, just work or volunteer. Do many things and find out what you like and don’t. Those jobs will give you experience, references and build your fragile self-esteem. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have it all figured out at 22. At an unemployed 22, you may not be the envy of every other working adult, but many of those adults do envy one thing you do have at 22;  the gift of time to figure it out.

There isn’t only 1 perfect job for you. There are dozen’s of jobs you’ll enjoy so try them out!