Not everyone is cut out to follow a proven career plan or job search method. The Internet is chock full of great advice on how to plan for your career and how to strategically network, and provides access to a plethora of resources. That is great for young job seekers who are ambitious, traditional, and focused on their career choices – and who actively seek advice from parents, guidance counselors. and professors. But what about job seekers of all ages who prefer to wing it and let fate take its course?
It’s a gamble to wing your career, but sometimes it pays off. Most people fall into two distinct categories: those who know what they want to do when they grow up from the time they came out of the womb to those who will never know what they want to do if they lived to be 100 years old. Okay, maybe these examples are a bit extreme, but there is a lot of truth to them. If you identify more with the latter, there’s hope.
Do you think of yourself as a change agent who doesn’t mind jumping around, taking chances, and could care less about the warnings everyone gives you about job hopping, not being focused, and your future? Do you find all of that sound advice downright annoying and stressful because deep down inside you have absolutely no plans to heed their advice? Do you wish you could just find a decent paying job so everyone would get off your back?
If so, then you need to assertively explore various types of jobs until you find something you like — but never stop looking and take offers so those around you know you are trying. This way you can put money in your bank account, get experience doing different things, and perhaps land a job that might be the start of a long career.
You might be so unsettled because you are really an entrepreneur at heart. It’s important to recognize this. Not all entrepreneurs have to own a big company. Small businesses (joint partnerships) and even one-person businesses (solo entrepreneurs ) have more opportunities to make a living than ever before.
Stay-at-home jobs have come a long way since envelop stuffing scams. Start by first identifying what you love to do and then research what you can do in that area. If you are a creative, out-of-the-box thinker who has the guts to give something a shot, you can carve out an interesting niche for yourself and maybe even start a new trend!
If it seems to be taking forever to figure out what you want to do with your career, don’t beat yourself up about it. Individuals who are perceived as dreamers or lazy are really smart people who are not motivated by jobs that most people gravitate towards for the sake of security. As much as it irks those around them, they rebel against getting a degree and rarely stick it out at jobs they hate. And, they are determined to be happy on their own terms.
This attitude can be chalked up to being young and foolish or just plain lost for a while. But, if it continues into their 30’s, the reality is they will find themselves struggling to support themselves and their dependents and are destined for a tough life simply because they didn’t figure it out sooner.
It is advisable for job seekers who fit this profile to double up on their networking efforts while attending a trade school for one year to learn a skill (a cost-effective, not-so-time-consuming compromise!). If they have an entrepreneurial dream that might take a while, they should remain gainfully employed while pursuing their venture.