Serendipity: The Untold Secret to Finding the Job You Want
o you ever feel stressed when you realize your college days are numbered? Few students know exactly what they want after graduation, but the majority aren’t sure what they want to do for the rest their lives. This causes serious stress and anxiety, yet if you study the lives of many successful people, it’s interesting how many of them reached success in some untraditional ways. One of Steve Job’s most memorable speeches (see above) was about his journey to success and how he could have never guessed where it would lead looking forward. It’s time to get a little adventurous because in this article we’re going to explain three nontraditional tips that might help you find your life’s passion.
Tip #1 Become more cultured:
Sometimes staying in the same bubble is what causes you to feel stuck and out of options. Try traveling to a new place you’ve always wanted to visit, but rather than approaching it like a tourist, go with a purpose to meet new people and become more involved with their culture. This could be as involved as you’d like, but simply having a conversation with others about their lives might turn up some interesting stories that could then give you new ideas and ways of thinking.
Example: Why don’t you plan a trip and travel to Brazil? Bring a friend or go alone — just find an interesting event to attend. While you’re there, meet new people and talk to them about their life, career, opinions, and anything else that you want to know about. You will find yourself enlightened, intimidated, and refreshed after the trip. Hopefully serendipity will bring you some exciting surprises.
Tip #2 Volunteer:
Even though this article is about us finding out what we want to do with our lives, it’s never a bad idea to think about how we can help others. If you haven’t already experienced what it feels like to volunteer, it can actually be extremely rewarding and satisfying. It’s also a great way to help others who really need it. Find an organization you feel strongly about and see for yourself. A Harvard Business School study done by Anik et al. proves that charitable actions are actually linked to personal happiness and satisfaction on many levels. Maybe the experience or positive karma gained from volunteering will help you find your calling. If you want extra adventure points, we’d recommend combining the first and the second tips together.
Example: Let’s say you’re passionate about animals; you should know there are all sorts of clinics and animal shelters that desperately need volunteers located both nationally and internationally. Many times the organization will pay for your living expenses if you volunteer abroad. Research this a little, and maybe you could live outside of your daily routine and travel to a new place.
Tip #3 Attend a Random Conference:
Search online for any interesting conference you’re not very familiar with, then plan to attend it. At first you might be a little reluctant to this idea because it sounds so random, but it might lead to more positive outcomes than you’d expect. Here’s how: Become immersed in the conference jargon and see what the people there are talking about, need, want, or would like to see changed. Listening to these problems could potentially find a missing opportunity. Because you are an outsider looking in, you will have your own perspective outside of that industry’s bubble; therefore, you could find a possible opportunity they’ve overlooked. This could be huge, if you think about it.
Example: You’re a Biochemistry grad and decide to attend a scuba diving conference (completely random to your major). You feel like a “fish out of water,” when you get there, but you begin to notice the industry is struggling with oxygen levels in deep saltwater dives. Then you realize you could apply a chemical compound to fix this issue in the oxygen tanks, and decide to invent a new product that not only sets you on a fun career path, but also helps you become ridiculously wealthy. Long shot? Maybe. But how do you know unless you try it? What do you have to lose, and what do you have to gain?
Your vision coming out of college may not be clear, but many forget there is still a world of possibilities you haven’t encountered. Life has unexpected turns, and embracing the change might help you find what’s right for you. Use these tips to get outside of your bubble and find your life’s passion. Maybe what you needed all along was a little serendipity.