Having an existential crisis is something most of us think about during the course of our lives, and if you’ve never had one then you must be something right in life. At some point, you’ll begin to wonder what your place is in the world, what legacy you’re leaving behind, and if what you’re doing truly makes you happy. Typically, these questions start at work.
If you’re still in your 20s then there’s a good chance you haven’t stumbled into the mundane world of office work, churning out reports and attending meetings on a daily basis. For everyone else, you’ll more than likely know what it’s like to wonder if you should call in sick that day, or what the nosey person in the office kitchen will ask about your personal life today.
Being stuck in a job sucks. There’s no other way to put it. In order to relinquish the suckery of it all, you need to free your mind of the work clutter and politics in order to be happy in life. But fear not as there is hope. The first step is trying to figure out what you want to do in life that makes you happy. You may be a long way off from the arbitrary retirement age of 65, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle and be stuck in the same job for the rest of your life.
No one else can tell you what makes you ‘you’ and what will make you happy. In figuring out what you want to do in life and where you want to work, here are three tips.
Take up a hobby
This is the most basic thing on the list to start off with. You may need to find something to do when away from work that will put your mind at ease. It is best to make a list of the activities you enjoy as well as those you would like to try out. Then, start doing them and make a note of what makes you happy, what’s enjoyable, and what you can’t see yourself doing. These can be anything at all, such as starting a website, building models, gardening, or taking up ornithology.
Having a hobby will give you something to focus on and look forward to at the end of the day. It’s a way to relax and help you think about the next decision in life, even on a subconscious level. It may even result in a business idea you can handle on the side, which leads into the next point.
Start a side company
You may not have the ideal job, but would you be able to handle the perfect one on the side? Say you’re in accounting, but want to be a freelance writer. It’s probably time to get that side idea off the ground and concentrate on making the business a success, while not neglecting your day job, of course, because a stable income will still be necessary.
Having a side job, or a side “hustle”, could open a world of opportunities. Besides making enough extra money to pay off debt, it could turn into a business that you leave your current company for. It’s a goal to focus on and work towards, even helping you block out that one accountant in the office who won’t stop singing off-key. After all, who doesn’t want to be involved in their ideal career choice?
It’s time to travel and work
Travelling is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, and visit new locations. While most people want to travel, or relocate to a new country, it’s often not financially feasible to do so. A solution to this is to look at working in a different country for a few months. There are plenty of opportunities to teach English in South Korea, work at a carnival in the US, or work on a luxury yacht that travels from destination to destination.
An alternative is joining a nonprofit organisation, such as Doctors Without Borders. It would give you a chance to not only break out of the everyday mundanity of life, but explore new avenues and free your mind to a range of opportunities and peoples.
If you’re still stuck in that awful comfort zone, the one that’s slowly squeezing the life out of you, it’s time to get out, or at least look at your options. Even just talking to a few people on the internet about it can be cathartic.