Here is a six-step program for finding the career that makes your heart sing, or at least the one that has you facing each workday with a smile.
1. UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR WORRY IS NORMAL
It's a big choice, with tons of possibilities. Cozy up to your doubts by cutting yourself the slack you need so you can do something about it. The worst thing you can do is nothing, only to drift into a life you don't want.
2. Know yourself.
It's corny but true. Most of us lack a calling — we don't hear a voice calling us to our careers. Make a list of everything you've ever enjoyed doing or making. Anything. In the chaos of your list, there's bound to be what you're looking for somewhere. You'll find it in the next step.
3. Think a lot.
It may take you hours, days, weeks, or months to sort through your list. Be patient with yourself. You have a lifetime of old thinking to un-think. And you're worth it. The other option is feeling stupid and trapped in a pointless gig.
4. Try something
It's probably impossible to totally imagine what will actually happen when your idea collides with the real world, so try out your new vocation. Don't quit your current job. Just make time to volunteer or intern. Or take on a side project or two.
5. Reflect on what makes people unhappy.
Every successful product solves a problem someone's having, and you need something unique to offer, so take some time to think about what drives people bats. Especially what exasperates the person you hope will give you a chance. It'll exercise your entrepreneurial brain.
6. Be confident.
Another clichéd truism. But often the only thing that separates successful people from everyone else is that they dared to really imagine themselves as what they wanted to be.