What do you want to be? As children most of us could answer this question instantly. “I want to be a pilot!” or “I want to be a policeman/policewoman!” you might once have said. Yet for a lot of us as we age, our conviction for flying aircraft or arresting thieves wanes. Faced with an overwhelming amount of choice and fast looming decisions, we don’t make choices that enable us to become doctors or lawyers but instead we pick something broad. Something that allows us to delay the moment where we eventually need to decide what we want to become. That’s not a path you want to be on.
Pick a career you love
Then how do you know what career you should pick? Think back to your childhood, what did you want to do then and what’s changed? If there are obstacles to you fulfilling your dream then the choices you make must be focused towards removing them. If what you want to do won’t pay the bills then you’ll need to work for a few years in a career that allows you to acquire enough funds to do what you really love.
But what if you don’t know what it is you love doing? In that case you do everything you possibly can. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re still at a point in life that affords you some flexibility. In other words you haven’t locked yourself into one specific career path. Take up new hobbies, part time jobs, learn new skills, the point being to expose yourself to as many different things as you possibly can to try and find something you really enjoy. You may suddenly find you enjoy working with animals and would like to pick a career based around that, or perhaps you enjoy learning about another culture, in which case your job should allow you to expand your knowledge of its traditions.
What do you want to become?
What if then you still don’t really feel the pull towards one thing in particular? Working with animals might be enjoyable but maybe not to such an extent that you would want to base your entire working life around them. What you then do is reflect upon what you want to be, but don’t think about careers. Think about how you’d like to describe yourself in 5 years, 10 years, maybe even 15 years down the road. Do you want to be rich or would you derive more enjoyment from a fulfilling family life? Your employment should then become something that helps you achieve those goals.
Every single thing we ever work to achieve eventually boils down to happiness. What we all truly want is to be happy. You need to find what it is that will give you lasting happiness in life.
Take some time out and give this consideration.
Going through hundreds of pages of biomedical science won’t help you as much as setting aside 30 minutes to consider what really makes you happy. So long as you don’t know what you yearn for you’ll be running towards a goal you may not know, or want.
You may consider your lack of decisiveness as a drawback, but it’s in fact a major advantage. The fact you don’t want something particular is in fact an asset because you’re flexible. If you cannot find employment in one sector you can easily work in any other one so long you achieve your goals. You may envy a friend who knows what s/he wants to be, but that friend cannot do that.