Do you have what it takes to make something of yourself?

Certainty and confidence to make it in this competitive world does not come by easy, especially when you are on the verge of graduating and facing the music of the supposed ‘real world.’ To gauge the level of apprehension or their confidence, we asked 102 graduates the statement I’m not certain at this point I have what it takes to make something of my life’ and gave them the options to select from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The responses were collected from 51 male and 51 female students in a random sampling method.

A whopping 66% chose strongly agree, agree and slightly agree as you can see in the image. It is common to feel unprepared and anxious thinking about how anyone would get through the challenges of making something of himself/herself but for almost 3 out of 4 students to feel that way is alarming.

Confidence is a feeling deep down that whatever happens, whatever the odds maybe, how many ever times you fall; you will get back up, you will make it, you will make something of yourself. If these young adults do not have that ray of confidence, that vague and intangible but definite sense to lay the foundation for their future, then the choices they make for their career will limit their professional growth in ways that they are too young to comprehend. It is no wonder many run behind having a secure government job that will give them the job security and financial stability for life. Of course, not all pursuing a government position might have the same intention but majority do and we all know that.

Sense of security is the quiet assurance that things will work out for you – it may come from knowing yourself, having a sense of self and awareness, the amount of work you are ready to put in, being open to figure out what you can do even if you don’t know, the distance you are willing to walk or from your faith in God – this lets the person take some calculated risks and explore. This is different from the security others drive from their financial status, affluential connections, piece of papers validating their level of education, etc.

When these young minds are directed to obtain their degrees and use their entire energy in getting and maintaining a job with little or no focus to gain a sense of self; they do not learn to see beyond this and consider options outside of further studies and jobs. They are not given the room to experiment with different professions and figure out what they like.

When I say experiment, I don’t mean they keep changing profession; they can be encouraged to take up internships unrelated to their field of study and not be frowned upon for not focusing singularly in one track. They should be given the space to see what would they like to make of themselves before their focus is fixed on making something of themselves.

I’m not taking about passion either, being passionate is a little overrated too. Here the matter is to remove that pressure that sets their path right from the beginning. If you are reading this and think this has happened to me, reassess your situation.

Those who make something of their life and themselves, they always know what is it they are pursuing and why. If you do not have a clear why, then it will make it that much harder to get through an interview because you would not be convincing – everyone wants a job, and sometimes none of the candidate convince beyond their education and skills for the position (don’t get me wrong, that is required) but they don’t talk about what made them choose and why they chose that profession and once in a blue moon, there are candidates who have enough awareness to talk about conviction and not merely to bullshit their way around – even if you get through the interview, it will be a hurdle to get the promotion and move up in the ladder.

I have explored different fields in my career, after completing masters in psychology, I was lost for a long time because I did not want to teach, did not want to counsel (never had the patience for both). My sister says I hop from one job/field to another like a monkey. I do not know whether to see my past ten years of career as a success because success is subjective, I can tell you that I have definitely had one hell of a ride and it has been my choice.

Whatever stage of career you are in or you are a student preparing to embark on this journey, it will help you to understand your own self. What has made you, you. What has been your story. What has been your obstacles. What has been your accomplishments.  What do you want to achieve. What do you want to be your story. Get answers to these questions first, everything will become easier and the universe will conspire to make something of your life 😉

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