Feel somewhat lost in this new stage of my life

tkim (@socoamarettotk) 9 years, 2 months ago

So I recently graduated university with an Engineering degree. Up until graduation I felt that I had done most of what I planned on doing pretty well; I sweat blood and tears to excel in school land a job upon graduation. I was proud of myself. You see, for the longest time I was so obsessed about getting a job and planning the best career route, that I foolishly did not even realize what would truly make me happy. I guess this was partly due to the fact that there was always this expectation of me by others, this ‘invisible pressure’ I put on myself of HAVING to have a job by surrounding myself with overachieving (or career-obsessed) friends. In retrospect, although getting a job was a goal I had after college, I didn’t think deep enough as to WHEN I wanted that. I acknowledge that this was stupid on my part but getting a job seemed like the right choice for me at the time.

After graduating, I had two months of vacation before my first day of work – which was plenty of time for me to reflect upon my life goals for the next few years. During this time I met so many interesting people from different backgrounds, people living as expats in a foreign country or spending several years just traveling. These people made such an impression on me that it seemed as if my perspective on living was turned around; I would hear stories of people quitting their jobs to go to another continent to teach English, spending their days practicing yoga and meeting people from around the world. They were by far the happiest people I had met in a looong time. As I heard them, I was astounded – the first question that came to my mind was, “Can you even DO that?!” (referring to ‘reseting’ your life). I realized that during my education I was stuck in such a bubble that I did not even think of the possibility of achieving my goals while doing what I loved most: learning new languages and cultures. Additionally, I believe that traveling it as an excellent way for me to find myself, to discover how I react to new situations as I leave my comfort zone. As a 23 year old, I think it is very important to know who I am.

ANYWAY, fast forward through those two months into starting work life. By the time I started working, my perspective of the world had changed so much that I had barely any motivation to work anymore, or to start my career for that matter (I am 23 and I will be working for the rest of my life anyway – why start so early?).

Although I am only in week 2 of my new job, I find it difficult to concentrate. For most of my life I felt sure of what I was doing, but for the first time I feel lost. I am not sure if this new ‘revelation’ was a good thing for me or not, but I have this ‘itch’ to quit this job and go experience the rest of the world. It’s weird – now that I know what I really want, I don’t know where to go from here.

Has anyone gone through something similar or have any advice on the matter?

March 3, 2013 at 4:53 pm
Alex (345) (@staylucky) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@socoamarettotk, Dude, this “revelation” was the best thing that could ever happen to you by the sounds of it.

Don’t be bummed or feel lost. You are in the perfect position, and allow me a minute to tell you why I think that’s the case.

You’re fresh out of college, this is your first proper job. If you decided in a couple of years that a strong resume/CV is important to you then no problem, but your first job out of college is by far the easiest one to bail on and not have future employers ask you a million and one questions about it.

You are in the prime position now to plan the next few years of your life. You have income! This means you can save! And make goals! And when you have goals and a vision about the future, trust me, saving is easy as fuck. I remember when I was planning my first big trip, reallocating my money was a piece of piss. I stopped buying stupid shit, stopped going out every single night an opportunity presented itself and started balancing my life more. I saved for 3 months, not minding my job anymore, because each time it bummed me out I would think of the plane ticket sitting at home and my letter of resignation that was already in its envelope, ready to go.

It’s all about perspective, amigo. This is obviously just my opinion, but if I were you I would squeeze every dime out of this source of income that you can and start investing it into the journey that you are starting to envision. Money well spent is money well spent after all.

Don’t look at this as a curse that you have found this out about yourself. Consider it a motherfucking blessing that you found out two weeks into your first “proper” job :)

tkim (24) (@socoamarettotk) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@staylucky, Thank you for the encouraging words. Yes once I realized what I wanted I know I will save as much as possible, which is definitely an advantage. I guess the issue I am having is letting go of this job – I know I said I wanted to leave, but at the same time this seems like a good opportunity for me and I don’t want to dismiss so quickly. However I guess such an opportunity won’t really do me much good if I am miserable in the job…

For now I plan on working 1 year and seeing how things are then. If I still am not satisfied, I will gladly quit and venture into the unknown. Even thinking about this is both scary and exciting!

TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@socoamarettotk, keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t let the corporate environment kill your soul, it almost killed mine. It can get you if you let your guard down. I came up with the idea to do something you love every day as best as you can, if the corporate setting steals 8 hours of your day, go home and don’t drink or watch tv, but do the things you want to do with 200% intensity. Don’t let it break you. Also be careful of the laziness trap…. @staylucky, said it best, saving is easy if you have a clearly defined goal… but if you don’t, it becomes easy to blow money. Eyes on the prize, my friend.

JuanCarlos (15) (@crabman2) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@socoamarettotk, Which means more to you, a life where you live out all your dreams when you’re young and eventually get a job you love making good money… or a fat salary after selling your life away and slaving over someone else’s dream(company). Follow your own bliss, you have a degree, the world is your oyster now. Go to some foreign country, develop some cool new engineering shit, backpack to another crazy part of the world, work on some other crazy shit there, meet people, live out all your dreams, meet the girl of your dreams, or hundreds haha but most importantly Follow your bliss man, you never know where it’ll take you. (Shit, what if Einstein or Tesla were too pussy to leave Europe?) Then one day when you’re 30 or find that special lady, head back to your favorite place in the world. Get a good job with your career, and teach your children not to sell their happiness for a paycheck. Change the fucking world, one person at a time.

P.S 2 more years till I get my economics degree then I’ll just see where I end up! You already made the sacrifices necessary to be where you are now. Go ahead and have some fun, you deserve it ;)

Emma (193) (@emmaclaire) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

All I have to say is that as far as traveling and stuff goes, it is best to do it before you start any full-time serious job. Because then you get promoted, or you’re just making too much money to want to quit, etc. Plus, if you want to go abroad and teach English (which consequentially I am planning on doing in a year and a half) having the guts to do that and the travel experience will make you way more irresistible to an employer. I know you probably have friends and family with expectations of you, but I would honestly say quit the job. Or maybe even be honest with them and tell them you need some time for yourself. They may even support it and let you have your job when you come back, if you want it. I have a friend who was 1 class away from getting a degree in accounting, got an internship, hated it, and dropped the accounting degree. Luckily she was a double major and she found another career path. I have another friend who is also about to graduate with an accounting degree. Did the same thing you did, was worried about money and a job and a future but now he knows he hates it. So he is going to get a job to earn enough money to go back to school. I know that may seem like a catastrophic thing to happen but really what is a couple more years of school compared to happiness for the rest of your life? It’s okay to be unsure. You don’t know yourself, and you never fully will. But that is what makes life fun, and you can get to know yourself more and more if you do what you feel like you’re drawn to – like traveling or practicing yoga. Maybe you need to make money to pay off student loans, I don’t know, perhaps you should spend a year or two working so you don’t end up with a massive amount of debt. But I would make traveling and “you” time a priority so you can figure things out. Oh and on the other side of the spectrum, I have another friend who has been obsessed with travel and is now teaching English in China. She loves it but it has made her realize how much she misses her family and how much she loves teaching. So she will probably come back here and settle down – something I NEVER expected. But if you have itchy feet, see where they take you. They might lead you back home in the end but you will ALWAYS wonder if you don’t try.

On a different note you should check out Dave’s ESL cafe (It doesn’t look legit but I PROMISE it is) and Oxford Seminars for a TEFL class if you’re at all interested in teaching abroad. Just some advice :)

tkim (24) (@socoamarettotk) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@theskafish, I appreciate the advice, especially about doing things I like at home. I feel it will keep me motivated and help me be aware of what I am really looking to achieve.

@crabman2, Thanks man, I realize what I want most out of my life right now is to do all those “crazy” things you pointed out. At times I can feel a bit ‘trapped’ by being here – it seems as if I have to go out and simply explore, no matter how I go about doing that. I am not ready to commit to a full-time career just yet!

@emmaclaire, I’m actually not sure if teaching English is what I want to do while abroad – I always wanted to use my engineering degree to help developing countries, work for sustainable energy companies or maybe even do some community service. Basically anything I can do to contribute to society and give back, while using these experiences to learn more about myself. Those were very encouraging stories and I hope I can do the same in the future.

Cameron (10) (@goodkidmaadcity) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@socoamaretto Recently went through a life change or “paradigm shift” VERY similar to the one you are going through right now. Choosing to stand apart and do something different from the overwhelming majority of people is an awesome decision. – one that should give you a huge feeling of accomplishment even at this beginning stage. Many people do not choose to think “consciously and independant of others” until they deem themselves “too far along” to do anything different with their lives. The time is now, and you must seize it my friend. Best of luck to you.

The Alchemist (20) (@thestranger) 9 years, 2 months ago ago

@socoamarettotk, Hey I feel like I experienced something similar to yourself with my education and career in Nursing. I realized that Nursing isn’t my passion at all. Actually I felt like I’ve always known this but I was in denial for quite a few years. Anyway I decided to continue working and then save up what I thought was enough to do some traveling. I just resigned a week ago and now the plan is to do some volunteer work overseas. If you haven’t saved up enough money, I suggest you stay where you are now and save enough so that you can live the life that you want and explore.

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