Finding “Passion” After You Graduate
I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have in college is that after, all those years of learning and studying a particular major begins to manifest itself and you get this dream job and ride in that nice car whilst living in this big house
That could possibly happen, in fact it will, if you are ready to put in the work but it doesn’t come immediately
So what happens during the period, you are waiting for your dream life to happen? For many people, settle for what they can have and for many of us we fall into post-grad depression
Is that really a thing? Yes it is
It is not talked about much but many college graduates do experience it without even knowing and the outside world, isn’t quite understanding of it because you are now an “adult”.
You are left with student loan debt, you haven’t found a job, you are working a job that you really hate to just to pay the bills, you don’t even know what is next for you, and you just feel like you have no passion or purpose. You are stacking the credit card debt, ruining your credit score. You feel enslaved to this company that you work for. You are constantly getting rejection emails from all those companies you applied to and it is all just leaving you frustrated, un-motivated and thinking negatively about yourself and life.
I remember graduating and feeling really sad about life. I hated the fact that I was left with all these new responsibilities and expectations that people have, now that I am done with school.
College was my safety net, it was cool to be broke and clueless. In fact, people don’t expect much from a college student, it is a given, everyone is in the same boat. But, the moment I stopped being a student, my entire life changed, the expectations weren’t the same and being broke certainly wasn’t cool anymore
I hated that I didn’t even know what I needed to do next and even started wondering why I chose my major.
I was no longer looking to go to law school at the time, and thought to myself, what can i do then
I considered going back to school, to pursue higher education just so I can get back into that safety net, hoping things will be a lot easier with a higher degree but I really wasn’t ready for another degree
For my sanity, I took a break and told the people I cared about that I was on break and I didn’t need them asking me any questions till my break was done. Because, the most pressure I felt was from them and trying not to disappoint them. I didn’t want people asking me what’s next or have you found a job? When will you find a job? How is life after school? What is it that you do now? So what have you been up to?
Quite frankly, there is nothing wrong with these questions especially if they are coming from family and well-meaning people but I didn’t have any answers and it gave anxiety
If you need to take a break, please do. Your mental health is so much more important and whatever you can to reduce the pressure, make sure you do it.
During the much needed break, I realized that what I really wanted is to be free and not have to work for anyone. And if my dream is to live a fulfilled life, then I have to create it. Even though I have to work a regular job to have an income, I know at the back of my mind that it won’t get me my dream life. My biggest goal, is to create multiple passive streams of income, that I don’t have to spend time working for other people
“If you don’t find a way to create passive income while you sleep, you will work till you die”-warren buffet
I didn’t start knowing what I wanted. In fact, when you read books or listen to speakers or watch videos, they always tell you to discover your passion and follow it.
What if you don’t know it? What if you don’t have a passion? What if you don’t know what your purpose is on earth?
For the longest time, I was like everyone says this thing but I really don’t have a passion
Here is what I found that really sums it ups
“passion is not a job, a sport or hobby. It is the full force of your attention, an energy you give to whatever is right in front of you”. -Terri
Basically, passion is a feeling, it is not a skill or a job or talent. It is a feeling you get from putting your energy into something. The work itself isn’t your passion, the feeling you get from doing the work, is what is called passion. It is important to be able to make that distinction, when you do, you stop feeling frustrated at yourself for not having a particular “skill” or “talent”.
How do you find that work that elicits this feeling of passion?
Let curiosity lead
Letting curiosity lead is giving yourself the opportunity to discover new things and new ideas that may interest you. The good thing about letting curiosity lead is that, it assumes the premise that you don’t know anything or you know very little and you are interested in learning. You don’t know your “passion” or “purpose” but you are interested in finding what it is that you really like to do. You can do this by self-reflecting and asking yourself questions. The questions could be basic or a lot harder to answer. Here are some questions and answers I will ask myself, but you can phrase yours to fit your lifestyle
What do I do every night before I sleep? Journal
Why do I journal? It’s therapeutic and I like to write
What do I like to watch?
Why do I like to watch what I like to watch?
What do all these tv shows have in common? Thriller and politics
Why am I so interested in political shows? I love freedom
Why do I cook so much even though I hate it? I’m trying to save money
Can I tell people about how I save money doing something I hate?
I sold my unwanted clothes to pay my hydro bill. Can you tell people how to use items they don’t need to make extra money?
What platform do I want to use to tell people about it? Blog, podcast, video
I had a hard time setting up my blog. Can I teach people how they can set up theirs easily?
What do I imagine I want to become?
How do I get there?
What do I need to get there?
What one thing do I do every day without feeling stressed abut it?
What work would I rather have occupy my time?
What do I do every day that makes me feel better about myself?
How can this thing I do that makes me feel good, help other people?
These are just some questions. You can ask yourself as many questions as you need to
You can also use social media to discover the things that interest you. I know it is mainly for entertainment, but social media is also a resource. You can study the patterns of things you save to your archives on Instagram, or the kinds of blogs you follow and the comments you leave on their post. Something you watched online that piques your interest or you were like I could have done better or said things better. If you find a lot of similarities, chances are that topic piques your interest and you can start your own same or similar page and acquire your own tribe of people.
“It isn’t about who did it first, it’s about who did it right”-drake
Quit limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs show up whether you have your life together or not. As a college grad, before you begin to figure out what you want to do, you already have reasons why you shouldn’t. These limiting beliefs are presumptions that we hold, that hinders us from actually achieving what we are capable of doing. You make up every reason why you are not good enough, or qualified for that position. You internalize it and you begin to believe it. The thing is, limiting beliefs are not facts and you won’t know what you are capable of, if you don’t try. Don’t place limits on yourself and don’t let others place limits on you because life in its truest form has no limit
“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.” ―Louise Hay
The thoughts will always come, it is up to you to identify it and consciously replace them with positive beliefs till it becomes a part of you. “Faith it, till you make it”
Do your research on people you love and admire or people doing the work that you hope to be doing and get as close to them as you can. Sometimes you can’t get physically close but you can get “virtually close” by researching.
The point is to expose yourself to their lifestyle. If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to find like-minded people. By knowing their story, the work they do and how they got to the place they are, it gives you an idea on the amount of work and process involved. You may even discover what aspect of their work you want to try and what aspect you don’t. With all the information you gather, you will understand what you need to get to that level you want, and you can start your own journey.
If you like this, you may also like: Life after College: 5 Things you will learn
References to everything I mentioned
TedXKC: Stop searching for your passion by Terri Trespicio
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