Life will always have challenges, but there are ways to build a life that you love. You cannot control everything that has already happened to you, and you don’t know what the future holds, but there are things you can do to design a satisfying life.
Invest in Your Education
The simple fact is, a college degree makes you more employable and will increase your income over the life of your career. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, and it is easy to dismiss the value of a college degree if the people around you have succeeded without one. While a college degree is certainly not mandatory for a successful life, it does ease the bumps that life throws your way. Paying for school through student loans doesn’t have to be scary, as a majority of students will take out at least some loans to help them through college. Everyone hears the horror stories of hundreds of thousands of dollars of student loan debt, but those are exceptions. As long as you make smart choices, borrowing what you need, and stay on top of repayment so interest doesn’t pile up, loans can be the first step to a fulfilling career.
Don’t Let Perfection Stop You
It can be easy to get discouraged and lose your way when you face a setback. Missing out on a prestigious internship, not getting the job with the big-name company, or being passed over for a promotion can all feel like the end of the line in the moment. While setbacks can be frustrating, you should realize that there is no single decision, career move, or choice you make that can ruin your future. If something doesn’t work out the way you hoped, keep your eyes open for the next option, one will always come along.
Step Back and Access Your Path
It is too easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of life and not pay attention to the bigger picture. It is important to step back every now and then to look at where you are and see how it lines up with where you want to go. You may also take the time to look at those further ahead of you on their career path so you know what that looks like. Take time to look at your peers as well, not to compare yourself, but to make sure you are doing everything you should to move your career forward.
Watch for Signs of Burnout
Sometimes the life you hope for does not end up reflecting what you want after all. When that happens, it can be disheartening. If you find yourself experiencing signs of burnout in your career, such as having difficulty with motivation, lacking satisfaction with your career achievements, developing sleep problems, or having difficulty focusing, you should seek help. Career burnout can be addressed by talking about job issues with loved ones or a professional, taking part in regular exercise, devoting time to a hobby, and discussing specific issues with your supervisor.