So you just graduated, and the job market is looking pretty grim. Since you can’t do anything about that now, it’s time to start thinking about your future. This will be a difficult task for most of you because it probably means contemplating an uncomfortable fact: “If I’m not living under my parents’ roof, I’m probably going to have to support myself, and maybe even a family of my own.” This is adulthood.

This article will try to give you some tips on how to start thinking about what you want your life’s goals are.

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Step 1:

Define “success” for yourself. What do you think when you hear the word successful?  Does it mean having a house in the suburbs, 2 kids, and a dog? Or does “successful” mean wearing all black, being able to raise pigeons on your roof, and snubbing those you used to know who now have a life with a white picket fence?   These are not the only two options.  

Step 2:

Look at your current habits and personality. If you think spending all of your time in front of a computer screen is making you pull out what little hair may be on your head, then it might be a good idea to try getting into some extracurricular activities that would allow you to meet some people.  It’s important to be well-rounded, after all.

Step 3:

Once you’ve figured out what you want to do with your life, take baby steps . This means don’t spend an hour trying to decide which large purchase you should make first (i.e., a car or a house) and don’t spend all night agonizing over what college major to choose. This also means you shouldn’t try and find a job span-lifting and change careers four times in the span of five years.

Step 4:

Don’t be afraid to ask for help .   Nobody was born knowing how to do everything, so asking for advice is a good way to learn.   However, while we’re on the subject of asking for help, don’t be afraid to tell someone no when they need it This means if your mom or friend asks you to watch her kids while she goes Christmas shopping, and you really think watching them is going make your head explode, tell her no.  This doesn’t mean if your friend asks you to help him steal a car that you should say no because it’s unlawful, but if something is going to make you unhappy, don’t do it.

Step 5:

Remember the greatest gift a person can give another is a piece of their own time . You might not be able to buy a new car for someone, but if you give them an afternoon of your time so they can talk things out and brainstorm about life goals, it means more than any present ever could.

Step 6:

Set yourself up for success in the future. Don’t neglect practical concerns in favor of having fun now. If you can’t afford to pay for your own car insurance, don’t buy a car.

If you find yourself lacking in this department, it’s probably time to buckle down and start thinking about w hat you really want in life.  There are jobs out there that will still allow you to have fun, but they will also give you stability. There’s a way to have everything, but you’ve got to put in the work.

Remember that no one person will give you all the “answers,” so try and talk to as many people as possible . If your friend tells you she has a great life plan, find out how it works for her , don’t just take it as Gospel.

Remember that nobody is perfect, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes . You will probably find out the hard way that the job you got without having to go through an application process isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, but that’s okay!