I spent the better part of my last semester of college staring at LinkedIn. Not applying to jobs, not sending out my resume. Just staring, overwhelmed by possibilities but unable to take a single step toward any of them.
Some jobs made my heart race with excitement; others made my stomach hurt with dread. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want. But every time I saw a job I liked, I froze.
A couple of months and hard conversations later, I finally accepted that this wasn’t about the decision. It was about digging my heels in, tightening my grip on a season of life that was going to end no matter what. I wasn’t afraid of the choices themselves; I was afraid of the sweeping changes that were coming. By the time I realized all this, the changes had already started blowing through: I moved out of my college apartment. I’d started some work that seemed to fall into my lap. Friends were scattered around the country.
By not making any decisions, I had made my decision. Life was happening all around me, it was happening to me, but I had no role in it. Weeks passed, and I decided I didn’t want to be a bystander in my own story. I wanted to do. I wanted to choose.
These are the steps I took, steps I am taking each day.
Seek out what’s important to you spiritually. Even if you aren’t a pray-er, spend time meditating on the things that fill you up as a person. Look for guidance, and pay attention to the things that bring you peace.
Think about what you love to do. Think about what you know how to do. Make lists of your favorite places or your dream work environments. Don’t hold yourself back from what feels crazy; this is your time to think big.
Look up those dream jobs. Don’t just stare at LinkedIn postings, apply to them. Follow cool non-profits, small businesses, or corporations on social media. Use your lists to narrow down a few cities or a few industries you want to work in and go from there.
There’s only so much waiting around you can do. Eventually life is going to happen, and the deeper you get into the thick of it, the harder it will be to get out. Jump anyway. Take a leap of faith.
I’m still living this process every day. I’m still learning how to make decisions and say yes to things that fill me up, even if they seem scary. But every time I hit the blue Apply button, every time I type a new city into the search bar, every time I schedule an interview, it gets easier. And I get closer to the life I’m choosing.
Do you like free things? Us too. How about this free print of a dope J.K. Rowling quote in 3 font options?