The good news is, you’re not alone—in fact, I guarantee everyone has pondered their career path, found their passion, or what they’re doing at some point. And luckily, many of them are willing to share their advice. If you are confused about what to do next, read on for the best advice from a recent Quora thread on the same issue.
Talk to People
Meet or call at least 50 people. They can be your friends, relatives, friends/references of friends. Call them, schedule a meeting, visit them and chat with them about what they are up to. Don’t expect anything, don’t ask them to find you a job, don’t ask them to hire you. Just talk and meet and have a normal conversation – Gaurav Munjali
You’d be surprised how much you can learn by listening to other people. Well, yes, sometimes you may not know much about how badly the traffic was backed up during rush hour. But other times, if you listen (and listen between the lines), you’ll get insight into people’s motivations, hopes, dreams, and ambitions. And when you put them all together, you can learn how to get other people to where they are today—and if you want to follow that path too. (Try these informative interview questions if you don’t know where to start.)
I suggest you do something. Even if it’s not exactly the right thing, it’s the speed that can give you the opportunity to experience it. You may spend a lot of time taking tests and getting evaluated for something you may be a good fit for; Ideas always look good on paper. But words don’t match experience, so acting on something is your best option – Kathleen Grace
Regardless of what you usually want to do, it never hurts to start making something. literally anything. Start building a portfolio, launch a careers newsletter, or learn how Periscope works. You can do a lot of things for your career – even if you don’t know what you want to do. And, as in the previous advice, the actual act of doing will help to make it more clear which paths you want to take, and which paths you should refuse.
Take inspiration from others
Walk into your local bookstore and head straight to the autobiography section. Buy three books from different industries, societies and cultures. Focus on biographies that document the early lives of great and successful people, before they were great. Read them before sleeping. Wake up in the morning and write down 10 things you could have done differently that day. do some of them. Do this the next day. And then do it again. – David Ball
No matter what you do, you probably want to be successful at it. So what better way to start than with how others reach their goals? Keep in mind that you are reading that these people were not born knowing what they wanted to do. (Get more inspiration from this list of 30 things to read, see, listen to, and do to help you answer this age-old question.)
Prepare for the Long Journey
Expect that it is going to take some time and many iterations, or so called “life crises”, to figure it out. For most people it is a long and often incomplete journey.
A major misconception about knowing what you want to do with your life is that you will have a sudden, magical moment of extreme clarity and then plan your whole life.
In fact, life is constantly changing, and as you progress, you will need to realign and rethink your journey. So instead of being surprised when you have to make new decisions, anticipate them, and dare I say it, get excited for them.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Try new things and expand your horizons. Try something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to, something that scares you, something very different from what you normally do.
Maybe you don’t know what you want to do because you haven’t tried yet what you’re supposed to do. And you won’t know if that’s true or not until you get out there and start ruling things out.
Seriously, it’s easy to get into a rut and feel like you have no choice but to do what you’re doing right now. However, by taking a step outside of your comfort zone, you might be surprised how much you love something you never imagined in a million years.
Be OK With Failing
Learn the skills needed to accomplish what you want to achieve. Most of us fail on [our] first attempt. We keep on failing and keep on learning and growing. [D] The point to note is that this is a time to learn, experiment, grow and fail without significant damage – Anuj Kumar
Nothing will slow you down in your quest to figure out what to do with your life more than being afraid of failure. Yes, you’ve heard it before—but that’s because it’s true. If you cancel everything, you will never be able to reduce the thing that makes you happy because it seems hard.
Enjoy Not Knowing
Enjoy traveling, soul-searching, enjoying lost love, wasted time. All this will add up to a complex and very unique ‘you’. The more you appreciate now, the more the future will become a fantastic reality. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be in the future – James Altucher
You know how math problems always seem impossible when you first look at them, but then, after taking a break, the answer seems so obvious? Finding out what you want to do with your life is something like that.
By focusing on other less pressing matters, the obvious answer may come to you only when you’re least expecting it—and it will be much clearer than you imagined.
Feel better about not knowing what you want to do with your life? a little bit? Just remember that you don’t have to figure it all out. And when you do, you can still change course several times. So don’t worry about all the answers—just thinking about it is a good start.