‘What should I be doing with my life?’
I think this is a confusing question for most people, young and old, and with all the options in front of us, it can be difficult to ever be sure you got it perfect.
Now, while I am no expert on life decisions and am not a professional coach, here are my two (or three) cents on the subject:
1. Find something you feel good about – for the right reasons
Regardless of the job you choose, it is going to be stressful, mundane, and tiring sometimes – there is no avoiding that. There will be days where you see all the negative aspects of it. So when choosing a job, find a company, a mission, an idea that you believe in first, then you can ask yourself if the specific position is perfect as a secondary thought. If you are working towards something you believe in, the hurdles are so much easier to jump over. The late nights, the difficult interactions, the 5th cup of coffee will all be worth it. The novelty of a fancy job with an impressive title will only last so long, once it wears off, what will make it worth your time?
2. Find a sustainable work-life balance
No matter what you are doing, whether it be working manual labour or lazing on a beach somewhere, you’ll need a break or you will start to resent it. Finding a career that allows you the flexibility to still maintain a life outside of work is key to a healthy career. Try to avoid becoming your job. There are so many other interesting things in life to be and to try, so be careful not to sell all of your time. It’s easy to think that the perfect job will lead you to the life you’ve always pictured for yourself, but if work takes up all of your time there will be no room for that ‘life’ that you’ve worked so hard for.
3. Find something that lets you grow
I think it is in our nature to get bored of things, and life’s too short for that. There is no reason to close yourself into a small, windowless room. Educate yourself in something that has multiple career paths.
In the countless interviews and interactions I have had with nurses and Personal Support Workers, I always think “man, they have it figured out”. They pour their heart and souls into their job, and no it isn’t easy, but at the end of each day they can walk away knowing that it was all for something good, something needed. The demand for their knowledge is already so high, and is still increasing, which means they have more options and more flexibility than ever. Whether they want the routine of steady shift work, the flexibility of agency nursing, or the adventure of travel nursing, it’s all possible and within their reach.
So my advice to a person unsure of what they should do with their career? Try healthcare. It will never be a waste of your time and it will always leave you rewarded. Dip your toes in as a Personal Support Worker, it is quick and affordable to become certified and you will never be without a job. When you want to move on, you can bridge your schooling to become an RPN or RN, and from there the opportunities really start to open up.