“I feel like I’m trapped with my hands tied to the wall and I’m kicking and screaming”
Everyone has that point in their life where they feel lost. After graduating I looked at professionals in the medical, legal and political arena with respect but I realized I don’t want to be these people.
We are born into a family, a certain situation which only gives us an extremely limited view of what the world has to offer. We aren’t exposed to the full spectrum. We go to a specific school, interact with specific people and make huge life decisions based on the little that we have seen of life. From as early as 13 we are asked to make decisions about subjects and careers with this limited knowledge. I always question why taking a business course was never mandatory at my secondary school but a science was. Why was a language necessary but not information technology? How did we decide what was crucial for our children to learn and not others? We are bonded, bonded to our societal and familial ideals, bonded to decisions made without sufficient exposure.
What options do we have? Where do we go next? I’ve realized the things that I may possibly be interested in have nothing to do with my legal degree. Although this is possibly good news, it scares me because what if I’m not really interested in it? What if that isn’t my final area? But there is no way to know this except to dive head first into these new territories and learn more.
Here are my options which may also be options for you.
Do a qualification in the new area (CXC, CVQ, Certificates)
It’s that time of the year where registration is open for many academic courses. If you are someone who enjoys the school environment maybe starting from the lowest level of the new interest could give you some insight into if it really is for you. Some institutions are offering CXC’s for $300 BDS, sign up, take a chance for it possibly may be the right area for you.
Do an online course
If you’re similar to myself and already have a degree you can be eligible for courses online at a slightly higher level. Online course with universities are also open for registration around this time. This courses may cost more than a CXC but the qualification gained from them is also higher so its up to you to determine value.
Join some youth clubs and network
Find a club or organisation that deals with the area you are interested in. Interested in politics? Maybe try the youth Parliament. Interested in Entrepreneurship? Maybe the YES Program or the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. Interested in Environment? Try CYEN – Caribbean Youth Environment Network. For most major areas there is usually a youth arm to foster development in that field which you can join at a low cost.
Do an internship or volunteer
Well, Barbados really needs to work on its internship culture but all is not lost. There are a few organisations that understand the importance of real world experience in decision making and are open to allow interested persons to work alongside them for a short time.
You can take time to brainstorm, to discover yourself and the world around you. During this time you can figure out what product, service or skill you have to offer the world and make your first attempts at entrepreneurship and starting a business. Entrepreneurship is not easy and things do take time. It may be slow and difficult at first but if you are a person who has the personality for this area then now at your crossroads may be a good time to explore further.
Find a mentor
Mentor-ship is crucial. I’m currently still on the search for a mentor but if you have someone in mind who is willing to take you under their wing go for it. Mentors can offer a wealth of wisdom and knowledge that only time and experience brings. They can stop you from making detrimental mistakes and allow you to see your path and vision clearer.
Yes, I said it. DO NOTHING. Often times we get so caught up in life and constantly going that sometimes we all need a break. We need to recuperate, to breathe, to dream, live and bring a smile to our own faces in between the serious concentration. Sometimes the best ideas and true callings come when we aren’t being bombarded with ideas and stimuli. The best ideas may come on a night enjoying drinks with friends or watching television while the rain falls. Sometimes we all just need to go with the flow and let life take us where we are meant to be and not where we think we should be.
Until next time