I want you to think about the following question, I ask this to everyone I ever meet and majority of the time it stumps a lot of people and the answer really shouldn’t be difficult but it is…
What would you do if you could do anything, if study wasn’t an issue, if finance wasn’t an issue, what would you be doing?”
Without fail, I will get blank looks as if I’m an alien, or the answers I do get are COMPLETELY different to what they’re currently doing. So why do they not pursue it? What’s stopping them, how can they change their direction and what steps do they need to take to achieve that goal, or how can you integrate even a portion of that in your life.
What would you want to get out of someone talking about potential career options when you were at school? I would have wanted someone to give me a reality check, I would have wanted someone to be real with me, no b.s, raw honest advice about what it’s like after school, how I should apply myself not just in the traditional way but how I can be the best version of myself now. I would have thought it was a waste of my time listening to what a company does and their life story. Give me tangible advice that I can take away and apply or keep in the back of my mind for a rainy day.
For those looking at secondary schooling, when you look at going into University think of yourself as a business, what is your return on investment for this University course, is this the right course for you? Should you be studying a different field? Look at your big picture goals, what are you aiming towards and then work backwards. Make sure that the course you are undertaking is the right one for you and resonates with your passions and the career you want to pursue. This is so essential, rather than just going to Uni because that’s what everyone else does and it’s what’s expected. The degree that you choose, it’s a cost and you have to pay that money back eventually, it is a huge investment both in time and in money. If you know in your gut that it’s the right course for you then that’s incredible!
But how do you stand out from the other graduates in your course, apart from grades, how can you show your unique point of difference just like in business when you sell a product, but this time the product is you. While you’re studying what connections can you make with other people in the industry you want to enter, what industry leaders can you reach out to and ask what steps you should take during or after your studies, what work experience can you gain before graduating, what other graduates can you speak to to see where their biggest hurdles were and see how you can be a step ahead. All of these things will set you apart and hold you in much greater stead when you finish your degree. But also remember that if you get to year 2 or 3 and think wow I don’t think this is for me, you know you can change your direction right? A lot of people I speak to think they’ve failed or feel guilty for changing, don’t! You can pivot as many times as you like, it’s your life don’t forget.
For those who are wanting to start a business, launch before you are ready. Start creating content, put your product or service out there and do it on the side while you’re still at school, gage whether your business is viable and whether people actually want it. Test the market.
For those who are on the fence…
I am huge on following your passions and if what you’re doing currently doesn’t light you up or feel good then you seriously need to reconsider your direction. In saying that we don’t always need to follow our first passion, you can still have a passion and not study it or make a career out of it, it could remain a hobby. However, make sure that whatever you choose to study or career you want to pursue, make sure that it’s something you’re passionate about, make sure that you’re not just doing it because someone else said it was a good idea. As I said earlier, this is your first big investment, so make sure it’s right for you.
So, riddle me this. Answer the question.