roller coaster images with a passenger hanging on in fear

I can vividly remember the angst I felt when I was just starting out and wondering what I was going to do with my life. I literally had no idea of what to do and so many scary questions went round and round in my mind: “How will I support myself?” “What can I do for work when I don’t have much experience?” “Who would want to hire me?” “What if I am miserable at work?” Fast forward many years to the work I love as a Career Counsellor at UTM. Helping students going through the same process shows me that these questions are pretty much universal and that finding your career direction can feel like an emotional rollercoaster ride!  In this series of short articles, let’s look at the emotional lumps and bumps that those seeking their career paths often experience – plus some tips for making the ride a little smoother. This week’s big emotional bump: feeling alone and how to roll with it!

Part 1: Feeling Alone?

Does it sometimes seem like most others know what they want to do and that you are the only one who doesn’t? Rest assured although it may feel like you’re in this place of uncertainty alone, you’re not. This cartoon is closer to the truth!

image of people walking with thought bubbles all reading "all these people really seem to have it together, and i still have no idea what's going on"

Finding your path takes time, research and reflection – and the ability to tolerate some uncertainty. Those who grapple with the tough question of what careers would fit them often have less certainty in the shorter term but are often more satisfied with their choices in the long run. Those who glory in their rock solid career goals without having explored them fully often have to rethink and revise those goals.

So, give yourself time to explore what it is you need in your career to be fulfilled, and research if your career ideas are a fit. Grabbing for an answer prematurely can close down potentially great career possibilities. Check out our Career Planning by Year guide for more on this!

Feeling lonely on the road? Ask others about their career goals and what they are doing to find them for clues and support. Learn from and be inspired to action by others. Participate in an extracurricular activity or club to expand your circle. Come to group events and workshops held by the Career Centre and meet some of your fellow career seekers (see the Events Calendar for details and sign up on CLN).

Drop by the Career Centre and talk to our friendly and knowledgeable student staff for help navigating our career resources. Make an appointment with a Career Counsellor (we’re friendly too!) to get help generating ideas for potential career options. Remember, you are not alone in this! We’re here for you when you’re ready and for two years after you graduate. Still feeling alone? Send me a comment or question, I promise to answer!

Malou Twynam UTM Career Counsellor