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how do I know what I want to do?

How do I know what to do in life? Im not quite sure what I like. Ive tried many different things, but none of them have stuck to me. Do I just force myself to be unhappy?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Daniel’s Answer

Hi M.

First things first - that's ok. I know its hard but don't force yourself to be unhappy. That is going to only compound the problem. When I was going through this I found that the more I helped people/volunteered it put things into perspective. It also helped me to stop going down path of feeling miserable. I am not saying this fixes everything, but it does help show you that you are not alone.

Another piece of encouragement is that most people do not know what they want to do the rest of their lives and it can be stressful to think about. I felt the same way a couple of years ago right before I graduated high school. My suggestion is to go to a community college to obtain your basics. This will help you have time to try some different jobs in completely different fields. Also, by going to a community college you will be saving money and giving yourself more time to decide on a career/job while making progress on your degree. Don't let people put pressure on you that you have to decide now on the rest of your work life. I had a teacher in high school tell me that I would be a failure if I did not know what degree/career I wanted by the time I graduated high school. Well, I did not by graduation but decided a year later on what I wanted to do and absolutely love it (operations)

I really think business is a great field to go into since it keeps your options wide open. That way you are not committing to one specific field and find out later that you hate it. Some fields in business include:

1. Operations
2. Finance
3. Sales
4. Marketing
5. Human Resources

I decided to go into Business Operations since operations touches almost every facet of the organization. I enjoy the different challenges and operations also gives me the flexibility to try new things. Another great aspect about operations is they usually support the other divisions of an organization. Since, there are many divisions of an company if you do not enjoy one area its not a big deal since you can support other areas of the business.

Many larger companies will start you in a rotational analyst program. By doing this you will get to see usually 2-4 different sections of the business. Companies offer this to not only help you hone in on your career path but many companies have realized that if there employees actually enjoy their job they will get better overall performance.

Please know that you are not alone and this season of life will not last forever.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Daniel! Milo
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello, M!

No. You don't need to force yourself to feel unhappy.

I genuinely believe that in the world we live in, we force people to build their sense of Identity and Fulfillment from their jobs. To certain extent, I understand why. We spend most of our lives working.

Yet...

We often forget that our worth and joy is not defined by our career. You are not unworthy because you're working in X, or Y. Nor can you be better than others because of your career focus in X, Y, or Z.

You are already worthy, because you are human. A complex, multi-faceted human with various emotions, aspirations, and motivations in life.

You don't need to erase the complexity of who you are, or your happiness, because of "work."

While finding the answer to what it means to have a happy life takes time....
And the answer may change as you develop....
And there's truly no "right" or "wrong" answer for how you live your life...

The biggest suggestion I have is to find a intrinsic motivation for what you do, and create your own sense of meaning.

Meaning is something that cannot be granted. I think it's something you actively create.
When you take a chance to create it, to take action towards finding work that connects to your Interests, Natural Abilities, and Lifestyle needs (stability and free time) then...

Well - - - You might end up finding happiness.

Hopefully my words help. These are things that I should remember myself :)

Sending you encouragement as you figure out what you want to do in life :)
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