Plan Your Life
This is meant to be a fun way to think about your future, about which direction you want your life to head if you are feeling stressed about it, or perhaps a little uninspired during the mundanity of day-to-day life. If you have a spare hour or so, grab yourself a pair of scissors, a board with some blu-tack or pins, some magazines and a few brightly coloured pens. You want to create a moodboard that looks a little something like this:
Flick Through Magazines
I love magazines such as Elle for their great pages on women with fantastic careers and travel pieces on far-flung destinations. There’s nothing better than reading someone’s CV and seeing that they were in exactly the same boat as you aged 20/21/22, it taking just persistence and drive (something we can all have) to get them into the fantastic career they are in now. Find any images/articles that inspire you. Photographs of powerful women or beautiful images of countries that you hope to visit, cut them out and pin them onto your board.
Google Job Openings
This is a little strange, I admit, but I find it fascinating. I know that I’d love to work in the journalism/PR world, so I google big PR firms in New York or scan the Hearst UK website to see if they have any job openings and what skills/experience they would require. This helps to keep me focused and when I get very disillusioned with my university course or feel like I’m getting nowhere, doing this little Google helps to keep my eye on the goal and reminds me why I’m doing what I’m doing.
Look at The Stylist
This is similar to browsing Elle magazine – if you have a look at this website you will find lots of ‘Day in the Life’s’ of women with the most amazing careers that I just drool over. I love ‘Day in the Life’ articles because you really get to see behind the scenes of what a job entails and it’s nice to see these women love their jobs from getting up in the morning to the moment their head hits the pillow. If you find a job that you hadn’t thought of, print the piece from the internet or if you have a copy of the Stylist, cut it out, stick it on the board and then get researching that job!
Reflect on your past
While this is all about focussing on the future, I find it very cathartic to look through this box I have of old letters and things I’ve saved that I’ve enjoyed reading. Some of the letters are from people who I did work experience with and I also have a few newspaper clippings of people/interviews/articles that really caught my eye. If you don’t have a box of memories, then just sitting and thinking about who you used to be and what you now want to be is just as useful. If you feel confused about what you want to do with your life, try to remember some of the experiences you’ve had and people you’ve met. When are you happiest? What do you excel at? What are your strengths? I’m not saying your dream job is going to light up in front of your eyes like a lightbulb, but stepping away from the speeding road that is our current lives, might give you the chance to think about what you want.
Cut out what makes you smile or what looks like a dream job that you would love to have. The idea of this mood board is to really visualize what it is that you want. Are you drawn to open spaces, blue seas and sunshine or are the images of the hustle and bustle of city life what get you excited – how can you get there? What jobs can take you to those places? The idea of this task, is to realise that the sky is the limit. I know we feel we all have restraints holding us back: money, family, partner but in the grand scheme of things, we have choices and it is always important to remember what it is you want out of life. Anatole France, a French writer once said: “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe” This is what you must do to keep yourself motivated and get what you truly want.