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Navigating career anxiety: What to do when you’re unsure

. 4 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
Navigating career anxiety: What to do when you’re unsure

As we grow older, there is a gnawing feeling within us that we have to achieve something, do something, and have a plan. Slowly, this gnawing feeling takes over us, leaving us in a state of anxiety over our future.

What to do after school? What to do after college? How to navigate the professional world? These unnerving questions are always at the back of our minds.

Even with so much information on what to do and how to do it, it is still extremely daunting to choose a career.

As a student, you not only have the crushing weight of exams, assignments, and vivas; this is another concern that may be looming over your head.

We know how overwhelming it can be when people ask you, “So, what plans after this?” and the judgement that comes free with it when you are unable to give them an exact answer. But, it’s okay to not know what to do, even though it might not seem like it. You're allowed to feel anxious about something that is clearly nerve-wracking.

The journey of finding ‘your calling’, so to say, might not be an easy one, but it sure is an interesting one. It is a rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs. This ride never ends but you learn how to adapt to it.

Today, we are here to tell you that career anxiety is REAL and the feeling of uncertainty and being overwhelmed is something that can be handled.

We have some tips for you to navigate career anxiety, learn how to adapt to this roller coaster ride, and have some fun too.

All this and more becomes easier with Kool Kanya PowerPass. It will help you navigate the real world and teach you how you can grow and improve. So, take this journey to success and #RaiseYourPower by staying up to date with practical learnings to help build your career and land your dream job.

It’s okay to not know what exactly you want to do in terms of your career

No one has it all figured out, and you are allowed to experiment with multiple employment opportunities or jobs and see what works for you. You don’t have to know directly after graduation. Contrary to popular belief, you can take some time to figure things out.

See your initial employments as experiments and discover projects leading you to your dream job. So, take your time, don’t rush it and you’ll be absolutely fine. If your exploration journey involves testing your wacky side, read 10 weird and wacky jobs that just might be your calling to explore some offbeat careers.

Analyse your abilities and skills

As you move towards the end of your degree, start analysing your skillset. There might be a plethora of skills that you might have developed throughout the course of your college/university life. Understand and assess them critically and see what role or job fits you well. This will help you critically analyse the abilities that you have and how they can help you with a job that you might have in mind or figure out a role that you might be potentially interested in.

You can take a SWOT analysis test which is a test that helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses to help you figure out the most appropriate job for yourself.

Once you have this clarity, it will become easier for you to figure out what works best for you and what doesn't. And in case you find yourself drawn to creative careers, read 10 creative careers that don’t require a degree to discover the path of unconventional careers.

Seek professional help

Don’t be afraid to seek professional help like career counselling if you feel lost because, honestly, feeling lost during this stage of life is completely normal. A career counsellor will be able to professionally guide you and show you the next best steps.

For all you know, they might work wonders for you and you might land the job of your dreams. Not only this, they might be able to help you come up with an action plan that eases your career anxiety and makes you more confident in your decisions. So, if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to manage career anxiety on your own, remember that you don’t have to.

Remember, it’s okay to have setbacks

In the whirlwind of careers and job opportunities waiting for you, there might be some setbacks. Don’t get bogged down by them; who hasn’t faced minor setbacks? Not even our role models are immune to them.

So, remember if you get rejected for a job, it’s not the end of the world. There just might be something better waiting out there for you. So, don’t lose hope, and as Dory from Finding Nemo says, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

Celebrate all your wins

No win is a small win, so celebrate all your accomplishments. This is necessary because there are times when anxiety might try to get the best of you; celebrating these small wins can help you beat that anxiety and remind you to not get swept up with your worries. Remember, this process doesn't have to be stress-inducing; it can be fun and a learning experience as well.

So, don’t forget to celebrate little wins - reward yourself and #RaiseYourPower.

You don’t have to follow anything but your own path

Remember this when anxiety and FOMO are getting the best of you and you feel like everyone is moving forward faster than you. In reality, there is no right or wrong pace when moving forward. You have to move at your own pace and make your own path without following anyone else’s.

So, if your friend who now has a start-up is not doing as well, remember that they are just following their own path like you are meant to follow yours.

With all this in mind, remember that career anxiety is just a part of your life and with appropriate resources, you can deal with it. These worries are not going to stay lifelong, even though right now it might seem like it. You have the capacity to overcome them and achieve all that you wish to. As we said before, just keep swimming, and you’ll find your path.