Not Where You Want to Be? That's Okay

It can be a hard pill to swallow when you’re not where you want to be. For some, that can mean in your personal life or your professional life. Maybe you’re stuck at a job that you dislike, but for the time being is temporary because you’re working towards something better, something that you’re passionate about. It’s a hard feeling when you don’t feel like you’re there yet, because when everyone around you seems to be finding new jobs or getting settled into a new one, you feel stuck, unable to reach that next level. Because frankly, there is no next level. Maybe you’re starting to realize that it’s not just a shaky feeling that will go away after a few days, maybe you’ve decided that it’s time to quit your job. Now I’m not saying go in tomorrow morning and tell your boss you’re leaving without having a backup plan first, but maybe you feel like it’s time to make a change in your life and you’ve decided you’re ready to look for something that’s more in lined with your interests. As a young professional in their early 20’s, I’m constantly exploring my interests outside of work. I like blogging, social media, movies, singing, and countless other things, so how do I narrow that down to find a job that can give me what I’m looking for?

I think you first need to understand what exactly it is that you’re looking for in a new job. My friends and I talk a lot about the importance of work culture and what that does for somebody who is young, ambitious and starting out in the work world. Work culture can mean a number of different things like how old are the coworkers you’ll be working with? Is there any room for growth in this company? Can I see myself working here for more than a year? Will I be working with a close knit group on something I am passionate about? It’s very overwhelming, and it's not easy job hunting and the expectations are extremely high for young people who are applying to jobs. I constantly search the internet to find a job that is right for me and lose track of how many places I have applied too. Maybe the problem isn't finding “the perfect job”, maybe I need to find companies that have a work culture that I can fit into and grow with. A place that allows me to be myself and help me become a better person. Now, how do I find that? Well the reality is you might not be so lucky on your first try, and that’s okay. We have all had less than stellar jobs and worked for companies that aren’t perfect for us, but that’s how we grow and learn from our experiences. My advice is to talk to your friends and reach out to your network of people and do research on a company that sounds interesting to you. Toronto is filled with so many amazing companies that I didn’t even know existed if it wasn’t for researching online, going to networking events and talking to my friends about what it is that I’m looking for.

So what’s my advice to you? Keep reaching for what it is that you’re looking for! Even if you’re not 100% sure what that is yet. Volunteer for a not-for-profit, join a club, go to networking events, or take a class of some sort. I think the biggest thing you can do to help yourself get out of this funk you’re in when you’re stuck in a job you dislike is to develop your interests outside your 9-5 life. It’s not easy, you’re tired after work and want to go home, curl up and binge watch but it’s important to make time for the things that count. The things that will take you to where you want to be later down the road. We all get stuck in something that doesn’t bring us as much joy as it could, but don’t worry it isn’t permanent, hang in there! Explore your passions as a young 20 something, because this is the time to do so. Take the risks you’ve been meaning to take and keep an open mind about new opportunities. Don’t lose the spark of optimism.