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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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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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