What Should I Do With My Life?
Do you ever wonder what you’re going to do with your life? Maybe you still feel directionless even though you were told to “figure it out” during college. Do your parents lecture you about your future career plans every time you go back home?
Tell me about it. I’ve been there. The uncertainty of career and post grad life gave me so much anxiety. It affected me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As someone who’s been through it, I want to suggest some ways to help you get through this trying season as a collegian.
Here are four ways to navigate the uncertainty of your future career:
1. FIND PEACE IN NOT KNOWING WHAT’S NEXT
It’s okay if you have no idea what direction to go. It’s okay if your current major doesn’t completely benefit your future career. Find peace in not knowing everything, because it’s not up to you to figure it all out. God will lead you to where you need to be. Trust that God will reveal what you’re supposed to do in the future even if it isn’t clear to you at the moment.
Meditate on Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” You were never meant to understand everything that might happen in the future. Rather than being preoccupied with the uncertainty, focus on the responsibilities you have right in front of you and do them well.
2. KNOW THAT THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS ONE ROUTE
It took me three years after college to find my “calling.” During that time, I explored many different career paths, took an excessive number of prerequisite classes, and also started a side business. Explore your options. Talk to people in the field of work you’re interested in. Make the most of the opportunities that God presents to you, even if they don’t work out.
Remember James 1:7: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of shifting.” Opportunities are a gift, and they’re given for a reason. Take those opportunities and be thankful. In God’s perfect timing and plan, the right one will unfold.
3. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS, FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTHS
Exodus 31:3 says: “And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, the knowledge and with all kinds of skills.” God gave us specific skills that other people do not have. It’s our job to cultivate those skills and use them for God’s kingdom, rather than comparing ourselves to others and wishing for different talents.
When I was in college, I wished I was more creative or artsy. Instead, I was good at science and organization. So there were a lot of days in college where I longed to be different or like someone else. Looking back now, that got me nowhere. It just made me more depressed.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did, and stop comparing yourself to others. Find what you’re good at! Do you love helping people and being hospitable? Do you love numbers? Do you like working with your hands? Ask yourself these kinds of questions and run with it.
4. PRAY FOR PURPOSE, NOT FOR A PLAN
Prayer is so important during this time of seeking out your future calling. Pray and ask God for a purpose in your future career plan. I remember praying over Jeremiah 29:11-12 when I felt clueless: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope”. No matter what I was going to do in the future, I knew God’s plans were for good. Even though I didn’t know those plans just yet, God knew them and that gave me comfort and peace.
I changed my career paths so many times, but the one thing I knew was that I wanted to use my career or skills to help bring broken people to the healing hands of God. I wouldn’t have felt so sure about that unless I prayed specifically for purpose. Three career changes later, that purpose is still the same.
In the end, no matter how you go about finding your career, your future plans should always have one ultimate purpose—bringing God glory. Find comfort in knowing that God is sovereign and that everything you are going through is all part of his perfect plan.
Grace Kim is a graduate of UCI and is currently a nursing student at USF.