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5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life

5 Tips for Making Your Own Path in Life

We all want to live a life that we love. A life that is uniquely our own and feels right to us. But making your own path in life isn’t easy, especially if that path involves doing something different than the norm.

Many people falsely believe that they have to do things a certain way. They have to go to a good school, get a good job, settle down and have a family and live their life the same way that everyone else does.

But that simply is not the case. You can make your life whatever you want it to be. It can be different than what everyone else wants.

When you start your journey of creating your own path in life, you may feel lost. You may not really even know what you want to create, just that you want something else.

These 5 tips can help you on your journey to creating a better, more unique life that you love.

1. Follow Your Intuition

Intuition is our innate inclination towards a certain behavior. Basically, it is your instincts. Have you ever felt so strongly that you knew something was right, even if the answer was unclear? That’s your intuition telling you what it wants.

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Generally, your intuition will guide you in the direction that you need to go. Follow your instincts on what you feel is right or wrong for you in your own life.

It can be hard to hear our intuition at times, especially if you are not in the habit of listening to it. But developing a deeper relationship with yourself will help you to hear more clearly your intuition and make more informed decisions, even if they don’t seem to be based on logic.

Following this intuition can lead you down a path beyond your craziest dreams. This is a practice that takes time to develop but if you keep looking for what your instincts are telling you, then you will be well on your way to creating your own life and living it your way.

2. Don’t Follow Everyone Else

You don’t have to be like all of the other fish in the sea. Just because everyone is swimming one direction doesn’t mean that you have to follow.

Give yourself permission to do something different. To take a chance and do what everyone else doesn’t want to do.

You never know where life will take you. And that can be a wonderful thing. But if you keep going with the flow like everyone else, chances are you are all going to end up in the same place. And it probably isn’t where you really want to be.

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Don’t feel like you have to do things just because everyone else is doing them. It’s that old cliche you’ve probably heard a thousand times before, but just because your friends jump off a cliff doesn’t mean that you have to.

Do your own thing. And don’t care what other people think. Follow your own desires and create your own path. That’s the only way you will find out what you truly want out of life.

3. It’s OK to Be Scared

Fear is a natural human emotion. We all feel it once in a while. Some people may seem more fearless than others, but deep down they feel the fear too.

And it’s OK to be afraid of creating your own path. No one said you had to be the bravest person in the world in order to live your dream life. But you do have to be willing to face your fears and go for it anyways.

The reality is, the fear will always be there. Even as you grow and adapt to new situations, there will always be something new or different that scares you.

You can’t let those fears hold you back from going after what you want. If you do, you are going to have a really hard time finding the life that you want.

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So don’t let those fears stop you. Be scared for a moment and recognize the fear, and then take a risk and take some action. That’s the only way you will move forward.

4. Have a Safety Net

If you are just starting out on finding your own path in life, it is a good idea to have a safety net to fall back on in times of struggle. It’s going to be hard to create a life that is all your own. So you need a safety net in case things get really bad.

Before you start working on finding your own path, whatever that may look like, make sure that you have the support you need on your journey. This could be financial support, a place to live, friends and family to rely on, or just a plan of action so that you don’t get lost.

Preparing for these things in advance may take some time, and it can be hard if you want to just jump into your journey right away. But taking the time up front to develop your safety net will only be beneficial in the end. Having a plan to fall back on can make creating your own path in life a little less stressful.

5. Don’t Give Up

If you truly want to make your own way in this world, the one thing you need to remember is to never give up. Even when things get hard and seem too difficult to bear, don’t give up.

Pursuing anything that you want in life is a noble quest, but keep in mind that there will be struggles. There will be times where you fall and don’t want to keep going. But the rewards on the journey are far greater than any stumbling blocks you may come across.

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So whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep working towards your dreams and keep creating a life that is uniquely yours. You will be so glad you did.

Conclusion: Life is Yours for the Making

Don’t let fears, insecurity or what others want hold you back from making life on your own terms.

Follow these simple tips and start implementing them into your daily life. Then decide what you want your life to look like and start slowly working towards creating that.

You can make your life into whatever you want it to be. You have the power to create your own path and be different. It won’t be easy, but hopefully, these tips will help you along the way.

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Melanie Kernodle

Copywriter + Content Strategist

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Published on June 5, 2018

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance . Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to make it happen for a more fulfilling life.

Signs that you need a career change

The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

Physical signs

Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

Mental signs

One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

  • The tension in your neck
  • Difficulties with sleeping
  • Unable to concentrate
  • High anxiety
  • Depression

If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

Why a career change is good for you

I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

  • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
  • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
  • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

Common mistakes of people making a career change

Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. What is your situation?

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  • Desire for an increase of salary: The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time. At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.
  • Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
  • Rejected for a promotion: I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.
  • Bored at work: Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

  • How long have you worked in your career?
  • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
  • Do you receive recognition?
  • Can you consider working in a new department?

The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization. Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

Now that you had a chance to review your work situation and none of these recommendations can help, it is time to take the next step.

How to make the change for a successful career (Step-by-step)

The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

1. Write a career plan

A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

You can learn how to set your career plan here.

2. Weigh your options

If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job, in the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

3. Be real about the pros and cons

It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are impacting the current situation.

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A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:

  • Economic factors
  • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
  • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
  • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
  • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

4. Find a mentor

A mentor that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

  • What is required to be successful in the role?
  • What certification or educational development is needed?
  • What are the challenges of the role?
  • Is there potential for career advancement?

A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

5. Research salary

Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

6. Be realistic

If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

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Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

7. Volunteer first

A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

8. Prepare your career tools

I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

  • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
  • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
  • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.

Final thoughts

It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will discover the role that is the best fit with your skillsets.

Master these action steps and changing careers will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

[1]Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
[2]MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan

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