I wish I'd had someone give me this kind of advice when I was younger as I feel there are many of you fresh out of school or college who have no clue about what you want to spend your life working at. A lot of help articles are from us guys who have missed out on past opportunities but have used that information positively to vastly improve our futures or pass on what we have learnt to save other people from possibly years of frustration. I don't want to limit this to younger people as there are those of us who consider ourselves late bloomers who for whatever reason need career changes or new hobbies to improve our quality of life. Sometimes situations out of our control can cause new opportunities to naturally arise. For example, I've always enjoyed writing since an early age but never thought I had a need to do it consistently. Due to working on various mental aspects to advance at my job, recently I discovered writing is imperative to actively improving and naturally increasing my creativity. Somehow I found infobarrel and now here I am writing this and intend on writing much more. A hobby that started off as writing a diary made me realise I'm already helping myself, why not help others while making a little extra money.
Here are some tips that I hope will help you find your calling sooner rather than later.
Use your passions and strengths to find a good starting point
Start as you mean to go on. Too often we rush into careers we have no real interest in so we lack ambition to direct ourselves to move in the right direction. Sure life is about learning from your mistakes but by having the best start possible you may not have to start over again later in life. It's true some of the biggest successes fell at many hurdles early on but there's nothing wrong with steering someone in the right direction. You can save some time by going the right way early on in your career.
Use what excites you. For example, the sports I prefer watching are solo sports such as tennis, boxing and snooker. While it's probably a bit late for me to still win a Wimbledon title, this means it's in my nature to work best as my own boss in competitive markets. I have for myself for some time now after trying different jobs and that's what has worked best for me. Emotion is at the core of everything and if we use it right we can achieve big things.
Maybe maths is your best subject and if you know you enjoyed it then using it with the above example you can match it with your personality. If like me you really enjoy solo competition you may find trading is what spurs you on with the plan of eventually trading for yourself.
Perhaps you're unsure where your strengths lie from your qualifications, but you are the 'leader' within your circle of close friends and have an uncanny gift of persuasion. Then perhaps sales is a good place to start with aspirations of becoming a team leader.
No one knows yourself better than you so actually spend some time doing analysis on what drives you in all aspects of life. Be honest with yourself and don't just convince yourself that you suit a certain job because a) it seems 'easier', or b) it looks glamorous. By affectively narrowing down your options, you can have a higher chance of sustainability and thirst for improvement by choosing what's best earlier on.
People have a love/hate relationship when it comes to change. We are both creatures of habit but we are always seeking to change for the better. As we get older our tastes in music and movies change. Sometimes we are completely different people to who we were 10 years ago. The opportunities from changes are endless. If your unhappy in a job that excited you 10 years ago then make a change. I understand it's not as easy as that for everyone. You can develop yourself to make yourself more valuable in your workplace. Perhaps you can use new passions to drive some passive incomes on the side. Perhaps you can get more intense with forgotten hobbies to make up for that feeling of being unfulfilled.
This important life practice is well-known and I don't think you need me to write a lengthy paragraph on the subject as there's so much material out there on the benefits of positivity.
By being grateful for what you do have and not what you don't will help you grab more opportunities. This may seem counter intuitive but if your constantly focusing on what you're missing then you will end up believing that's all you deserve. Focusing on how fortunate we are with past and present successes will help us see any things possible if we want it. I keep a gratitude journal for this and I recommend you list at least 3 things everyday you are grateful for. It's a great and positive way to start the day.
Make the best use of what is available to you
Were so lucky to live in a time rich with relatively free information. Learn from people who have been there and done it. You may go off after reading this and do a tonne more research on what could be one of the most important decisions of your life. Experience, information and affective studying is key to being able to do anything. Learn as much as possible so you can to cut out unnecessary mistakes. If time is an issue then perhaps look into speed reading and photo reading.
There is even a site called the Kahn academy which is like free schooling in your own time with a large collection of subjects to learn. There are so many more ways to learn these days than conventional education.
Realise work is not everything
Too much of anything is bad. Wealth, health and relationships make us who we are. When I was younger I socialized too much compared to school and work and these suffered as a result. We can also get to the point where all that matters is success in our careers. Sure, work makes up a large percentage of most of our lives but you can't cut out the others completely. There's no point being rich if you've lost all of your friends and family in the process, but at the same time you won't get promoted if you go clubbing every night and are too tired to work productively. Simple things like a quick call to a good friend if you know you've neglected them can go a long way. It could be the difference between seeing them every few months or never seeing them again. If you're the type of person who can't say no and know you'll be out clubbing instead of finishing a presentation then your weakness lies at work not relationships so give them a call ASAP after the task at hand.
Exercise and eating right will help with endurance and even improves your brain power. We all want to live longer to enjoy more of what life has to offer.
Balance is everything and although our goals differ try to mix in at least a little of each main part into your daily lives. This can help you avoid unnecessary frustrations throughout your careers.