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This Is for You If You’re in Your 20s and Haven’t Found Your Calling Yet

Uninspired? I've been there

Young woman looking uninspired
Photo by Kyle Broad on Unsplash

If you’re in your early 20s and haven’t figured out what to do in life, you have nothing to worry about.

I felt lost, too, when I was 19. I’m 36 now and still have recurring dreams about my boss returning to the office and giving me work to do after a 9-hour shift. I hated my job back then. I didn’t want to be in that office. Worse, I didn’t know where I wanted to be.

Every day, I would wake up, go to work, hang out with friends, and go to sleep. That was my life.

But at 24, I made a decision: I said to my family and friends I was going to leave everybody.

Goodbye, Everybody, I’ve Got to Go

In 2011, I decided to move to the UK.

“Man, you’re going to work as a sandwich maker in London?! What about your career here in Italy? What about your future?”

Some couldn’t understand what I was doing. But I was tired of not feeling alive. I needed new stimuli, and London was perfect for that. New culture, new people, new language. A new life.

In London, I discovered that waking up at 5 a.m. and working in a kitchen where people shout all the time is better than sitting in a quiet office all day. I found a passion for learning English and decided to become a teacher.

Had I not moved there in 2011, I wouldn’t have moved to Australia in 2013 and to New Zealand in 2015, where I officially became a professional teacher of English.

I did many different temporary jobs between 2011 and 2015. That helped me discover many things about myself.

Personal Discoveries

When in Melbourne I had to sell 5 paintings door-to-door but sold 0, I learned my persuasion skills sucked and realised a selling job wasn’t for me.

I worked in many restaurants and learned that working in hospitality is fun even though the money isn’t great. I wouldn’t mind working in a restaurant again today.

Working in a car wash taught me I don’t have the body for physical work. I don’t want a job that makes me sweat! I wouldn’t say I liked working on a till in the UK but didn’t mind being a bartender in New Zealand.

I definitely loved working as a language teacher in a classroom.

Moving abroad helped me find direction. So, if you’re feeling stuck, should you drop everything and move abroad too?

Not necessarily.

Bored? Uninspired? Find New Input

You don’t necessarily have to leave your home to find your calling. In fact, you may never find your calling no matter where you go in the world. Finding fulfilment is enough. But you will definitely not come across your vocation if you don’t expose yourself to new input.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was inspired to become a bodybuilding champion after seeing Reg Park, a British bodybuilder, acting in a movie.

When she was ten, Jane Goodall was inspired to study primates and became a renowned primatologist after reading books about Tarzan and his adventures in the African jungle.

If you haven’t found something you love to do, you may not have fed your brain enough with inspiring material .

Read, watch, listen, enrol on courses you think are interesting, meet new people, talk to strangers, do something you’ve never tried before.

Say yes to everything.

That way, you might discover what you love doing. If you don’t, you’ll have discovered more of what you don’t like doing. That’s helpful too.

Don’t Settle!

It’s perfectly OK not to have a big dream, a passion or a big life vision. It’s not OK not to look for one.

If you still haven’t found what you want to do in life, keeping still is the worst thing you can do.

Please don’t settle for the first random job you find. Please keep moving and getting inspired. Do as many different jobs as you can and treat each one as a temporary one.

Until you find fulfilment in what you do. Until, hopefully, one day, you’ll say, “I’m lucky enough to do something I love.”

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I wrote this for my 22-year-old brother. I hope you’ll find it helpful, too.

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If you liked this post, you might like other articles on my blog.

Fabio Cerpelloni is an English language teacher, writer, author, and podcaster from Italy. You can find out more about him and his work by clicking on his glass of beer in the photo.