The toolkit I used for getting unstuck in my quarter-life career crisis
Earlier this year I came to the very difficult decision to change the career path I was working towards. The problem was, I didn't know what I wanted to do instead. I found the experience so stressful and all-consuming that it was months before I took action.
A lot was riding on this decision because of how much work, education and money had gone into getting me career ready. My chosen path was the design industry and when I finally got there…
I hated every second.
I tried big corporates, small start-ups, something in the middle and still, I dreaded every day at work. I became anxious and my confidence plummeted.
With all this stress, why did it take me so long to step away and finally let go of something that was so unsuited to me?!
Losing my sense of identity was tough. I’d been calling myself a designer since I was about 5. I had no awareness of what other skills I had outside of design and self-doubt was all consuming.
I was completely lost.
As I do with most things, I turned to books, podcasts, YouTube videos and even personality tests for help. There was so much information out there and I watched, listened to and read everything I could get my hands on.
But there were a few people I kept going back to time and time again to reabsorb their message and turn it into action. Now that I'm out the other end of it and able to reflect, I have gathered together the resources that helped me most.
I know how tough this process is. You feel embarrassed and the questions you don't have answers to start to hurt. Take a look below and let the messages sink in. If you turn them into action you'll be back on track before you know it!
I recommend starting by watching Felicia's Ted Talk. She gives actionable steps to getting through a weird patch but with a positive outlook and a relatable story. Its not the end of the world and she does well to remind us of that.
If you do just one thing from this list, make it this one. I first took this test a couple of years ago and have come back to it so many times to read the different sections. Take the test and if you resonate with your personality type, read the career section. It is so insightful and seems to know more about you than you do. I can't recommend it enough!
Scott's energy is infectious and super inspiring. You will finish this video feeling pumped and ready to take control of your career. His website has many more resources, so be sure to check it out here.
The combination of these two podcasts really got me out of a rut. They help you to understand what's actually going on in your mind when you're trying to make decisions. I had a few different ideas but was terrified of making the wrong step forward. These two podcasts got me moving and feeling confident about the steps I chose.
Chris Guillebaeu walks you through how to add up your skills and interests to find your dream job. He suggests removing pressure from your job with a side hustle and embraces unconventional ways of making money. This book had me thinking outside of the box and approaching career hunting a whole new way.
Benjamin makes some fascinating points about how to approach finding fulfilling work. It will likely leave you wanting to join the UN or volunteer in Africa. Well worth watching if you're looking for work that's a little more meaningful.
I have followed Brendon Burchard for a long time. His get-up-and-go attitude has me finishing his videos thinking 'Duh! What was all the fuss about!?'. The steps in this video are small and simple but have a big impact.
And finally, to anyone who is realistically stuck in their current job for a while, listen to Alex. He offers some great suggestions for improving your mindset and embracing your situation as it is. Be patient, you'll be handing in your notice before you know it.