What if you’re not sure what your future looks like?

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s a question that many of us have heard repeated throughout our childhoods over and over again. When you were younger, it was a lot easier. I want to be an astronaut! A detective! A Pokémon trainer! A billionaire! But with exam season behind you, the world is your oyster, and you may find yourself at a loss for an answer now. 

Without a concrete plan, life can feel a little wishy-washy. Education can be an institution where many teens and young adults can feel like they were going with the flow at this point, there was no grand plan yet! But now’s the time to start exploring some exciting plans for the future.

What’s the Goal?

‘What do you want to be?’ is one of the most common questions we get asked when growing up. Many adults still don’t know the answer, believe it or not! Instead ask yourself ‘What is the goal?’ Job = Money, yes? But is that it? It’s time to consider what you actually want from a job. Perhaps something fun, energetic, and outdoorsy. Or something more simple, routine, and comfortable. Do you want a cosy job to spend years in or to climb a ladder to the top? Here’s a really big question, ’What do you actually love doing?’

If the answer is ‘I don’t know!’, then that’s fine! What matters is knowing the kind of place you want to be in. Your future, after all, is going to be a big portion of your life. How you spend it is up to you. Fulfilment can be so many things to different people. Maybe a career is simply to fund other things you enjoy in life, there is no wrong way. 

Time to Reset

There is no need to rush towards your future! Gap years are becoming a more common choice after exams and for good reason. It gives you the time to slow down, take a break, and think about what to do next. You just spent most of your life in education, you earned this one year off. But use the time to explore everything! Watch videos online of different fields, even ones you never considered. Go and talk to people in your local community and ask them what the best and worst things are about their jobs are. Find out what makes people tick and that may help you to find your passion. One day, you can be learning about carpentry and the next graphic design. 

In this period, you will naturally form a rough idea of the type of future you want. Nothing is set in stone just yet! Concrete plans aren’t for everyone but having some semblance of a path to go down is more progress than standing in one spot. The fun part about your youth? You can explore without committing! Remember, goals can be changed, and many adults will change their career around seven times in the working life.

‘When we left school, neither of us ever imagined that we’d end up where we are now. We certainly didn’t have the confidence to be public speakers nor the writing skills to be authors. And setting up our own business and winning national awards…well, that wasn’t even thought of on the day we left school. In fact, our career paths changed many times along the way.

Now, we love what we do and live life on our own terms. This didn’t happen overnight, but it was a combination of setting small goals over time and making positive steps towards them. The key is to keep believing in yourself!’

When a Plan Doesn’t Come Together

Whereas some students left exams with no idea what to do next, others may have had a clear idea. Sometimes certain circumstances can get in the way. Some students simply lose interest and others get caught up in the stress of study, homework, revision and exams. Then there’s the pressure to achieve, achieve, achieve. It can all get a bit much for the best of us. It could now be time to rest, explore, and create a new plan. ‘Failing’ at the original plan can be tough but it is important not to be hard on yourself. No matter what the future brings, remember to…

Take Care of Yourself

The weight of expectations can be a strain on your mind. That is why it is important to take your time in finding what you want to do. Prioritise taking care of yourself, stay hydrated, go on walks, and sleep regularly. When we lose a sense of purpose, our basic tasks can slip away but keeping a routine is crucial for a positive mindset.

If you want to learn more about how to create goals and take control of your future, have a look at our free resources in Maximise Your Motivation. Where you can learn how to find balance in your life and create a direction in your life you feel confident with. Your future is waiting, take your time and become the person you want to be when you grow up!

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