The Unplanned Career: how taking chances can change your life | Part 1

It is very easy in life to not know what you want to do, where to start or how you are meant to find out. For some, they have a clear path that they want to follow and for others it often seems like they’re at a crossroad full of traffic. What is important to know is that it’s okay not to know! Sometimes there is beauty in not knowing because it will push you to try new things and discover what interests you have which could lead to a chain of events.

Let’s take Mick Jagger for example. The lead singer for the Rolling Stones was actually studying for a Business degree at LSE but later dropped out once the band started to take off. By chance, he reconnected with one of his primary school friends who was the guitarist in the band at a train station. From there, alongside other band members, they started to push themselves and perform in their local area. They then went on to be one of the biggest bands of all time. Now, if Jagger never reconnected with his childhood friend and actively put himself in spaces where he could share his music with others, who knows whether they would have been as successful. The point here is not to encourage you to drop out of uni but rather to put yourself in spaces that you wouldn’t typically find yourself. All it takes is meeting the right person/people at the right time to discover yourself and create opportunities.

Spark your curiosity and be open to new experiences

Not everything in your life will be mapped out perfectly, it is up to you to create your own map. A good place to start is to join a society. The experience of being around other like minded people will help you build relationships and perhaps go along to things that you wouldn’t usually. Do you see how being proactive can unlock a whole new map of opportunities? It simply starts with you. Don’t get stuck on how you think you should be or how you have always been, be open to trying new things as it is often these experiences where you discover new qualities about yourself.

So what can I do to adopt a more flexible mindset?

Be curious –  explore your career interests, strengths and values. What do I like? What am I good at? What is important to me? Take a self reflection course on KEATS to give you a starting point.

Be open minded – go to different events and network! Go to an event with a friend or to that dinner you have been promising your colleague for what seems like forever. A conversation can change everything and open up doors. Find an exciting event on Kings Career Connect ranging from in person to virtual.

Be persistent – you can easily be deterred when faced with an obstacle but the best thing to do is persevere. Keep on going no matter what the outcome is; there is value in every experience. If you are however, feeling anxious or overwhelmed don’t be afraid to seek support. Our counselling and mental health support service is confidential and is here to help you look after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Always remember:

“A man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.