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What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up

Question: Here’s the deal—nothings’s really “wrong” in my life, but nothing’s really “right,” either! I’m a single male in my late twenties, still struggling to determine “what I want to be when I grow up.” Do you have any suggestions, or should I just go back to school and get another Master’s degree?

Murphy Foster, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor: First of all, let’s take the time to identify what your values are – what are those concepts or ideas in life that seem to have carried the most weight for you? Is it adventure, stability, fitness, faith, community, accomplishment? How much does your current job allow you to pursue those things? Are there ways you could pursue those things in your current job that you are overlooking?
It’s also important to ask, at this point, how much of the life you want for yourself are you currently able to vividly articulate? What would it cost you (in finances, time, delaying or dismissing other hopes for you life, etc.) to attain that picture?
If it feels like there is a lot of stress being put on the occupational portion of your life, I’m curious what the rest of your life looks like? Oftentimes I find people dealing with excessive pressure being put on them to achieve 100% work-life fulfillment because the other areas of their lives are dissatisfying or poorly attended to. Therefore, the stakes feel unnecessarily high when it comes to finding a job that satisfies every fiber of your being.
Do your best to silence the “shoulds” in the process. Those voices that actually aren’t your own but are instead the expectations, opinions, and values of others that have been impressed upon you. A life spent trying to satisfy all of those “shoulds” will be both futile and unfulfilling.