In the past few months, I've found myself in some pretty enlightening conversations with my close friends about plans, the future, and how our path defines who we are. Often in these conversations, I find myself coming to one very similar conclusion: You can't spend the entirety of the time you're becoming an adult only seeing one possible future.
When it comes to the millennial generation, I feel like a major flaw we have is a lack of flexibility. We want to live in the ideal neighborhood, have the super cool creative jobs and eat all the most Instagrammable foods. The only problem with that scenario is that life just doesn't work that way. No matter how hard we search, there isn't just one clear path or one perfect life.
Maybe we can blame it on the movies or technology and how it's allowed us to have whatever we desire with a few simple clicks, or maybe it's because we've really convinced ourselves that we're that fucking good.
Most of our parents are from a generation where when they turned 18, their parents basically said: "No more free food and easy living, go do something with your life." So, in turn, our parents spoiled us rotten and told us we could play Nintendo in their basements until we "got on our feet," whatever the hell that means.
The result? A generation that nails themselves to one idealistic career, effectively equipping blinders that keep all other potential career paths far out of sight.
So how do you break the mold? It's easy, think outside of the box you forced yourself into!
Instead of applying to every job on the market in one specialty, apply to lots of different jobs that meet your qualifications. You'd likely be surprised how many job descriptions for totally different roles can match up to be quite similar when it boils down to qualifications.
When someone asks you what you do for a living, tell them not only your current career but mention you also happen to be interested in exploring something beyond that. If someone asks me what my job is I almost always reply: "I'm currently a writer but I'm really interested in pursuing a career in video game publishing." Sure, most times they'll just comment on how nice that is, but maybe one day that type of introduction will lead to something more finite.
All I'm saying here is that you if you get married to one idea for how your future should be, you'll never be prepared for the things that pop up along the way and divert that plan. I'm not advising you to steer clear of goal-setting and achieving, but I am strongly recommending you broaden your horizons when it comes to how many goals you can achieve.
Life is short, careers can pivot and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, so don't tie yourself down!