So you don’t know what you want for your career. (Welcome to the club.) But you know what you DON’T want. You don’t want to settle but you don’t want to chase some impossible pipe dream either. You don’t want to go to some shit job every day that makes you feel bored or frustrated or burned out or like you’re selling a little piece of your soul with each passing Monday. You know those people. It’s your mom / dad / Uncle Jim / every other shmuck who hates their job.
Figuring out exactly what you want for your career is a lot of pressure right off the bat, so instead let’s go ahead and get crystal clear on exactly what you don’t want and why. Think of some of the people whose lives and careers you look at and say, No way, man. Not in a million years.
Maybe you’re thinking you don’t want a career like your dad. Because he works all the fucking time and you hardly remember what he looks like.
Or maybe it’s your friend Alex. He always said he wanted to do something creative and he ended up working in payroll. WTF?!
Or maybe it’s your older sister who makes you kinda sad. She never took the time to figure out what she wanted and just did what your mom told her to do. She’s ticking all of the boxes and doing everything “right”, but you get the sense that she’s not really happy.
Sometimes having a good clear picture of what you don’t want keeps you from accidentally straying down the wrong path. Some of the people you think of and go, “Yuck, I SO do not want that life” may be lovely people, and maybe one day they’ll get it together and make a change so they can be happier in their work, but for right now let them serve as career cautionary tales.
When you don’t know what you want, this is a good place to start — it’s good to get clear on what you DON’T want. Because what you don’t want will offer up all kinds of little clues about what you DO want — tasty little breadcrumbs to follow down the path towards feel-good work. This is just one of the MANY tools you can use to jumpstart your career and get it moving in a good direction. I’ve packed a bunch of others into Career Rookie: A Course For Grads and Career Newbies Who Have No Idea What The Fuck They’re Doing. The magic starts in September, so stay tuned.