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what do you want to do when you grow up?

I recently featured on the beautiful blog Free Spirit Girl by Katie Pitsis talking all about finding your purpose (especially when you just finish school) and directing your career in a style that is right for you.

If you are anything like me, I could not wait to jump out of school and start a career… I didn’t really care what career and changed my mind and Uni selections a million times.  I went through various phases of what I wanted to do and how I planned to get there. I had one common theme to my direction, I wanted to be successful. Now over 10 years out of school, that is what I remember so vividly. This was my motivator to study and to apply 100% to my final year of school, and to do this the best I possibly could.

Growing up in a country town I was not exposed to ALL the possibilities and opportunities post high school. It was basic and it consisted of Uni or a trade. I chose Uni which meant I had to move to the ‘big’ smoke of Adelaide to pursue my study.

What I didn’t know is that once I started my study, my direction would change. My degree would change and opportunities would arise. As it happens the areas that I was good at, understood and enjoyed where areas that I would not have expected. And I had no idea that those style of jobs / careers even existed – for example Marketing and Public Relations. This was a learning curve for me and the first scenario of ‘things don’t happen as you expect or plan out’.

Finding my purpose or where I fit in, in this big and wild world, was all part of the journey. Not just at Uni but for many years starting out in my career. But my problem (still) was, I was always in such a hurry to make it to the top and be what I thought was ‘successful’ I didn’t have time to stop and think about what it was I really wanted to do.

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With what I know now, I would have told my eager, energetic teenage self to SLOW DOWN. And it is ok to take your time and find out what it is you are passionate about. You have to find out what makes you happy, what motivates you and brings you back to earth, what can you talk about for hours and hours and never get bored. There’s plenty of time to be ‘successful’. So… make sure you stop to smell the roses on your way (otherwise, you might miss important lessons or directions).

I know exactly what my teenage self would have said – how?

Nobody knows what they want to do! This is maddness.

So… to give my teenage self some advice. And to help you find your purpose and to diving into your journey after school… here is what I recommend.

HOW TO FIND YOUR PURPOSE + EMBARK ON YOUR POST GRADUATION JOURNEY

1. Look at all you have achieved.

In school, outside activities, sporting, craft – it can be as simple or in-depth as you like. Write it all down and put a * next to the activities you like and ** next to the activities you love. Do you have a pattern of similarities, is there something that keeps on popping up on your list? This quick and easy task is a simple way to look at what you enjoy, don’t enjoy so much and what you LOVE doing. It is a good way to give you some motivation, direction and feeling of self-achievement.

2. You don’t have to be everything to everyone.

It is ok if you don’t have the skills in a certain area, you can expand and grow another. Be honest and open about this – to yourself and others, it will help you gain credibility and help you find your niche.

3. Be aware of your Personal Brand.

this may not seem important, or a little too corporate, but everyone has a Personal Brand. It is how others see and identify you. What you can do that most people don’t release, is steer it in the direction you want. A strong Personal Brand enables you to make the most of what you have to offer. In the professional world, people generally don’t get to know you in your true form, on a deep personal level. They know you on your achievements, work ethic, performance and personality – these encompass all parts of your personal brand.

4. Give yourself time.

Make sure you have time to hang out with friends, make new ones and experience life. Even take a year off (you have been studying for 12 or so years) travel, visit family or just take some downtime to reflect on your high school years.

5. Set yourself a goal.

Be realistic and honor yourself (don’t put yourself under too much pressure). This will allow you to sway in various directions without losing sight of your main objective. Write it down and stick it up somewhere you will see every day. Please note:  it is ok if this goal changes or evolves, just rewrite your new goal and replace the old. Dream big and reach for the stairs. It is YOUR goal.

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bookFinding your dream career is not something that comes overnight, it is a working progress and you will have to troll through many
wrong turns before you find something that fits. The key is to remember, that it’s ok. If you are in a role that you do not like, take it as a learning experience and move on. The right one will come along and you will know exactly when it does.

To really dive into finding out what YOU want to do and how YOU can make it happen, I detail 7 helpful tips in my free e-book Colour Blank Pages, which guides you through activities on what you can do to help you find your purpose.

The magic about careers is that it is not a stagnant process. You will continue to learn and develop throughout your career and YOU have the ability to choose how you want your career to pan out. Go for it!

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Katie Pitsis is an internationalspeaker, a writer, a life coach, a lover, a blogger, a teen behavioural expert, an inspiration addict, a business owner and an all-round life enthusiast…. check out her wonderful work, inspiring journey and how she helps millions of people, just like you, everyday

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