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Feel lost with no idea what i want to do with my life.

I'm a 21 year old and honestly feel like a failure everyday. I've bounced from job to job, looking for my purpose. Every job thus far i've had ive absolutely despised. I'm not looking for something that has a huge annual salary, i just want to work somewhere and be truly happy working there.
I love photography and editing pictures. But have no idea how i would go about becoming a professional. And it seems like a goal i could never achieve.
Does anyone have any idea what i should do to help/better myself? How i could go about finding my true purpose? #jobs #work
#lost #careeradvice #needhelp #guidance

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Subject: Career question for you

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Doc’s Answer

Another approach Levi, is to look for a job in the photography industry. While you might not immediately be able to get a position that you really want (such as an assistant for a prestigious photographer) you may be able to work in a related position. For example, you might get a job working for a picture agency, a job as a receptionist in a portrait studio, a position working for a photography magazine, a job as a photo archivist somewhere – you get the idea. There are lots of possibilities, and working as closely as you can to the area you want to end up will give you the opportunity to learn from established professionals and make the contacts you need to develop your photography skills.

If you are new to the industry, you might not know where to find networking events. The good news is they’re fairly easy to find if you live and work in a metropolitan area. If you live farther away from a big city, you may need to commute a bit.
• MeetUp — MeetUp.com for photography industry get-togethers
• Chamber of Commerce
• Local photography business owner groups
• Local photography groups

Hope this is helpful Levi
Thank you comment icon Thank You Carrie. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Yogendra. “Help one another. There’s no time like the present, and no present like the time.” – James Durst Doc Frick
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Terence’s Answer

First, I would say not to be so hard on yourself. I worked for awhile before I figured out what I was interested in (~age 30, during my 3rd job out of college) and what I thought separated me from my peers. It's a pretty common thing actually.

When I work with people on developing a career path, I focus on 3 areas:

1) What do you like to do?
2) What don't you like to do?
3) What're you good at?

The first 2 ("like/don't like") are a focus more on your personality - do you love large problems or specific issues? Do you like to be highly organized and structured, or are you comfortable with less/no structure that you need to build? Do you like to build new things or generate new ideas, or do you like to make existing things work better? In your case, you may have a pretty solid list of the things you DON'T like to do. What're the things you DO like to do? Is it working with people or working alone?

The 3rd is more around what you're good at in the workplace, your professional skillset if you want to think of it this way. Perhaps it's photography related, or some other things. Take some time to think through this. The skills you have can be applied to many areas.

Keep your career path in mind, but I would say to be flexible with what it. Start taking stock of the things that you're interested in or that you're passionate about. As you grow, develop more experience, and are exposed to more areas, your views and interests will change. Do what you can to expand your view on the things you like to do. Maybe it's related to photography or editing photos. The creative space is enormous, with companies like Adobe completely devoted to it. Explore their user communities like https://community.adobe.com/ to find like minded people and see if you gain better perspectives on what you'd like to do.

An example for me was that I knew that I liked to look at large problems and make things work better. I knew I didn't like minute details and intricate problems. With my interest in tech, I knew that I would not want to work as a developer. Instead, I focused on the business side of the tech industry. I was great at building teams and organizations, leading me to operations roles.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the Comment Terrence. I really appreciated the feedback you've given me. i think i need to start expanding my horizons more, and start looking at industries that genuinely interest me. best regards, Levi Levi
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Katie’s Answer

Hey Levi,

First of all, it's totally normal to feel this way, and I've definitely been there. I'm sorry you've hated your jobs thus far. We spend so much of our lives at work, so it's definitely worth asking these questions and putting in the work to make a change. Good for you for doing this! It's not easy.

My friendly advice is to take some time to learn about your own personal interests and strengths. Get to know yourself, really.

There are lots of tests and things out there, but the one that was super influential for me was "StrengthsFinder 2.0". The book is usually ~$20 and comes with a code to take the StrengthsFinder test. It'll give you your Top 5 Strengths, and provide insights on what makes you tick, what types of jobs and roles best play to your strengths, etc. I learned a lot about myself from this and liked that it focused on the positive.

Careers are super fluid and I'm still trying to figure out exactly "what I want to be when I grow up," but I've found that I enjoy my work and feel more confident when my work is aligned to my strengths and my interests.

Hope that helps a little. All the best to you!

Katie
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Morgan’s Answer

I’ve been there and I hear how you conflicted you are. The first thing to say is that this is completely normal—most people feel like this at one (or more) time or another. The second thing is, they not to be too hard on yourself. You’re seeking knowledge and experience and that’s an important step. It’s good to be curious—keep asking questions and learning and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. What are your goals? What do you want your life to look like? Get to the root of what you want out of life and try to make baby steps in that direction, one at a time.
Don’t be afraid of failing—you are not your failures. You’re more than enough to accomplish anything you want to. Don’t stop!
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