I am very confused. I am 30 years old and I feel like I have wasted these 30 years. I don’t have anything I commit to with dedication, spending my days and nights… I am a data analyst and I would be exhilarated if I knew I could have this title when I was at the university. But this title, all these successes, the starry grades don’t mean anything. I have the feeling, there is something else, something more. I feel it but I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what I like or what I am good at!
Is it strange that I feel this way? Has any of you gone through this?
No and yes. I have been there. It is not easy to go through it but it is totally normal! Ok, normal is an understatement, Actually, it is a gift. The worst is being so numb that you can’t feel anymore and slowly die, like the boiling frog but feeling this way gives us the possibility to jump out of the hot pot before it is too late!
It is normal to feel dissatisfied with our work because…
First: We make our choices with a very limited ability to make choices and from a very limited set of possible choices.
The jobs we know are only through our closest relatives, family friends and through people and companies we met at the university. I didn’t know coaching was a profession before i was 26!
We are also not great at making decisions, like choosing a profession that would affect all our lives! We didn’t work this deciding muscle so much. We followed a path that was set in front of us, we went to primary school, high school and we chose kind of a university in our best knowledge and then suddenly we had to give the decision of our lives!
We are like the babies trying to put shapes into the matching holes but some shapes are missing…And we are also not that talented figuring out what shapes go where and we don’t have that much muscle talent! We put the shapes to our mouth and we bang them on the holes…
It is normal we make mistakes! Come on!
Second: we don’t know ourselves that well.
Third: We don’t know what the job we choose is actually about.
How it feels to start a new job and learning what it is about after you start – via GIPHY
How you find the work you love and make the change
1. Know yourself better by making an analysis on your past.
Those 30 years ( insert your age) are not wasted! You had moments of feeling proud, successful, happy. What were those moments? Those moments will give you an idea about who you are and what you like. But if your goal is finding work that you’ll love you should look at the problems you solve because to get paid you should solve problems of individuals or companies.
A good question to ask is ” When was a time you solved a problem or a challenge and you enjoyed yourself?”. This can be anything, not limited to your work life. An example from my life is the time when I organised my wedding in Turkey from Munich. I had to solve a lot of logistic and entertainment issues. I wanted a funny, unique experience that would be fun for us and for the guests. I was creative with the wedding invitation and the program of the wedding, I sang and danced, I prepared performances, games, I had to communicate with the guests and organising team and coordinate everything. In this story I used the following skills:
- design, use artistic abilities, be original
- create, innovate, invent
- divert, amuse, entertain, perform.
- communicate well in person
- communicate well in writing
Actually these skills repeated themselves in various stories and they belong to my to 10 skills.
Find stories from your life where you enjoyed yourself, as many stories as possible and you will recognise a pattern. You see that you enjoy yourself the most when you use certain skills. These are the skills you want to be able to use at your work for feeling fulfilment.
2. Find your favorite area of work
3. Expand your network
If you are not fulfilled with your job right now, if you lack the meaning, it means you got a call. Answer the call, collect the bits of information, find the key and open the door to your new journey. This life is full of different doors that lead to different paths and it is more exciting to open new doors to go to new paths than staying put in a room with closed doors, dying of boredom. Life is a journey and you live when you put yourself on the road. And the paths ahead appears as you go.
Ring ring ring ring! Won’t you answer the call?