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The Career Confusion Part 1: You Are Not Alone!

The Career Confusion Part 1: You Are Not Alone!

It was the first day of your career orientation workshop when the teacher started to ask about your future plan. Sitting next to you were your fellow classmates, firmly answering with confidence about their career interest and passion. And suddenly, it occured to you that although some might have their future all drafted out even before universities, you were not one of them. Hence, you feel overwhelmed, lost and even wonder if it’s due to your incompetence or laziness that would trap you in this stage of confusion.

However, don’t worry, as I will remind you that you are definitely not alone in this journey, firstly by telling you a few side stories about the struggle of determining your orientation.

#1 The panic of Nora

A flashback from last year illustrated how Nora was terrified to start thinking of determining her career choices as she felt completely lost while the internship period is approaching. Therefore, when the survey result of her senior peers showed that 5 students were unable to find an internship last year, Nora was convinced that she would share the same fate. Fortunately, despite her severe stress from peer pressure, which almost prompted her to give up, she learnt to manage through. Hence, in contrast with her prediction, Nora currently has completed her internship in the field of international affairs at a governmental organization, earning her credits while starting to have a clear picture of her future orientation. 

#2 The positive mind of Emma

As Emma just finished her first year of university, she totally understands the concern of being unprepared to start the search for her upcoming internship. However, unlike Nora who felt stressful by her successful peers, Emma had optimized the initial pressure into her motivation to start acting. Certainly, although there was doubt and procrastination in the process, she maintained her positive energy to make progress in exploring her options until she successfully landed an internship at a well-known Dutch publisher house based in Amsterdam, which she enjoys a lot. At the moment, Emma admitted that she remains somewhat unsure of her professional path after graduation, but that’s totally fine. Her attitude as well as her approach has changed to the career question.

#3 The resilience of Nick

Nick was suffering from a sense of falling behind. Despite his outer confidence which gave the impression that he had everything figured out already, Nick underwent all types of fear when seeking out the right direction. He confessed that the burning question to him was not just ‘what choice’, but also ‘which means’ to move forward. However, he was a resilient individual who did not easily quit. Similar to the girls, Nick has succeeded in finishing his PR internship at a branch office of a multinational corporation. He is now seeking new opportunities to explore further aspects of his chosen field.

Have you spotted the common aspects of all three stories above? Indeed, as three individuals with distinctive personalities, experienced different degrees of uncertainty, they all doubted themselves and panicked at certain points along the way. They were all unclear of their life and maybe until this present day, some of their uncertainties remained. However, as you can see, they are already making significant progress. Therefore, trust me when I say that you will also be able to keep your doubts away from becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, unless you prevent yourself from believing so. 

In part 2 of our journey, I would further elaborate on the question ‘How can we make progress?’ based the stories of our three characters. Hopefully it can provide you some guidelines, so stay tuned!

Note: The characters’ names have been changed due to matters of confidentiality. 

Author: Rachel Nguyen

Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung

Photographer: Rachel Nguyen

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