I’m a woman in my early twenties, and I’ve currently been working for about a year as a successful healthcare professional in my chosen field. I find myself wishing I was more like my less committed friends (those with the freedom to go travelling, or try a few different things.) Everyone tells you that you should try and do things while you’re young, and I’m scared my youth will pass me by. I’m torn between committing fully to my career, focusing on professional opportunities, and doing everything I can to position myself for future success, and my desire to take advantage of this time in my life when I have more disposable income, and less responsibilities, then I will probably ever have. I’ve been working hard to try and find a balance, but I’m struggling. What would you recommend for someone in my position-taking advantage of being young, or taking advantage of getting such an early start on my career?
-Young Healthcare Pro
Dear Young HCP,
You can do both. I can completely see where you’re coming from – choosing the right course of action for ourselves can be scary and confusing and it is so easy to second guess ourselves. It sounds like though you are committed to your career and taking all the necessary steps, part of you feels like you are missing out on something. People are giving you their two cents and you’re questioning yourself. This is a great place to be … a time to re-evaluate where you are at and an opportunity to create more of what you want. I can totally relate, when I graduated from university, I decided to travel for a while and all I could think about was getting back to Toronto to start my career. I thought I was missing out on being a “career woman” and my crucial years were passing me by.
What I’ve learned is you don’t need to quit your job and/or travel to feel more free and try new and different things. It sounds like you are in your chosen field, clear with your career path and might like a little spice added to your life. You can do this right now, exactly where you are at. It is a question of making a few subtle changes in the way you think, make choices and approach your life. Who says you have to be “career-less” to take advantage of being young? You already have it all, your youth, a career, freedom, the ability to try new and different things and disposable income to travel. It is all in the way you choose to look at it and in the actions you take to live fully.
Start seeing the positive of where you are at. What are the benefits of starting your career early and taking advantage of your youth in that respect? Each one of our lives are packaged and played out differently and that is what makes us unique in the paths we take, the person we are and the life we lead. You have disposable income, clarity of your career and little responsibility to name a few – this makes for lots of freedom.
Can you bring more travel and spontaneity into your current life? Do you have vacation time? If not, there are always weekend or day excursions, and doing things that are new and exciting. After all, you do have the disposable income. Make a list of 10 new things you would like to to do in the next year and do them (they can be as simple as going somewhere in Toronto you’ve never been and would like to check out, taking up a new hobby, reading a cool book, making new friends, going to a concert, visiting an art gallery or museum, going on a weekend getaway without a destination, etc.)
On the other hand, if you really have the travel bug and want to go on a trip, have you ever thought of asking your boss if you could take some extra time off, unpaid? There is always the option of taking a leave of absence or a sabbatical from work or even just an extra week or two. It wouldn’t hurt to ask if traveling is what you really want to do. You could take some time off and have a job upon your return.
Also, there are Health Care Professionals in demand all over the world. Are there possibilities for opportunities somewhere else in the world that would keep you on your career path and also allow you to explore the world? I’m not sure exactly what type of position you hold and if this is even a possibility, or of interest, but it may be worth exploring.
Every single one of our life paths are different and that is what makes every single one of us so unique. Life is about experiencing YOU! Have fun, enjoy your youth, experience your own freedom and do what feels good to you! Choose your own adventure!!!