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Not knowing what you want

  • 9 August 2019
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Userlevel 1
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Some people say , if you do not where are you heading you will never get their ? , others said just try many sorts of jobs and decide. For me I do not have a clear image of myself , and I do not know where I am heading , can you suggest something for me to read about this ?

4 replies

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Hi Ali,

In one of his books, Noah Yuval Harari is saying that anyway the world will speed up so much that we will need to change career every 2 years. So, the question it won't be "What would you like to do?" because anyway will be obsolete quite soon. The question it is "Are you able to finish something and then start all over again?"

Coursera is the best place to train adaptability as a skill. Try a new subject by finishing a course, or two, or a whole specialization. Once you have entered quite deep into that subject, practice that for a while in order to see if you like it. If not, then move on to the next subject.

My 2 cents! 😉
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Hi Ali, you need to focus on your self and ask it , what's thing you are interested in ?
Some people find themselves in dancing , writing , translation , music , sports , singing , technology like computer or mobile phones , drawing and teaching.
There are many things around us you should focus on thing which attract you.

Just try and try.

I hope that i could help you.
Userlevel 4
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Hi Ali,

I can relate to your question! I've been contemplating the same concerns recently. I recommend a Coursera course called A Life of Fulfillment and Happiness. It provides a structured way to reflect and get to know yourself. I enjoyed the instructor's videos quite well. I also recommend the book, Work That Matters: Create a Livelihood That Reflects Your Core Intention by Maia Duerr. It helped me to get clarity on what interests me, what I value, and where I want to go next professionally. It helped me update my self-understanding as I prepare to take on new challenges, while also taking into account the money part, rather than just focusing on what may turn out to be unrealistic aspirations.

It's completely normal I think to have the need to stop and reflect and decide where next to go professionally every few years. As we grow and change our needs do also. Even if the market changes, forcing us to change work and/or careers often, I think we can still do work that makes the most of our natural talents and interests. And I think we can certainly express our values through paid work.

Looking back on the work I've done so far there's a clear theme. For example, I've designed and built websites, edited for TV news and radio, assisted with various kinds of social research, written for business and marketing, and taught yoga. These areas have two things in common that I find personally important and valuable: communication and/or helping others accomplish their goals. I didn't previously plan my work around a theme; it just happened. And I didn't really see it until I took stock of what I'd done and then those patterns were suddenly very clear to me. It was a very useful exercise!

There's no right or wrong or best way to figure out what you want to do. Mainly, explore the question in the way that feels best to you. If you're craving self-knowledge and feeling like you need to know yourself better then that's a good way to invest your time. If experimenting with this or that job seems right, then move in that direction. Or maybe a combination of both will be right for you.
Userlevel 7
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Hi Ali,

I can relate to your question! I've been contemplating the same concerns recently. I recommend a Coursera course called A Life of Fulfillment and Happiness. It provides a structured way to reflect and get to know yourself. I enjoyed the instructor's videos quite well. I also recommend the book, Work That Matters: Create a Livelihood That Reflects Your Core Intention by Maia Duerr. It helped me to get clarity on what interests me, what I value, and where I want to go next professionally. It helped me update my self-understanding as I prepare to take on new challenges, while also taking into account the money part, rather than just focusing on what may turn out to be unrealistic aspirations.


Thank you for this thoughtful and heartfelt response, @Kai Dailey! I immediately added this book to my 'to-read' list because it sounds like exactly what I need to read right now. It's great to know that you found it useful.

I can relate to that realization that my various pursuits are connected by some common values, even if they don't appear that way on paper (or LinkedIn!). Communication and helping are two themes which feature in a lot of my professional choices, too, which is really interesting given that we've both held different jobs! It shows that it's possible to do meaningful work in a wide array of industries and roles. I've continued to refine my understanding of meaningful work, too – it used to be that I could only ever see myself working at non-profit organizations (and maybe universities), but that view has evolved. I really love my current job as a Coursera Community Manager; I get to do the communicating piece and the helping piece (among many other wonderful things)!

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