You Don’t Have To Have A Plan For Life
What you need is small steps that will help you shape your personality and future
It’s OK to be lost. We’ve all been there. In fact, I’m still sometimes lost and think if I’ve made the right choices in life. It’s a part of the game, I guess. You’re not expected to know what you want, all you need is to have clues that would shape you and influence your next steps in life.
Today, I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and work for a local corporate. I work in marketing, something that I would have never imaged I’d work as. In fact, I never imaged that I’d live some 10k kilometres (6.2k miles) away from home, somewhere in Asia. I never imaged that I would be who I am today.
In short, you cannot plan your life. There are too many variables that affect our choices and thus influence and change our lives.
Let me start from the beginning. When I was graduating from high school, I was sure to study journalism in the UK. You see, since the very young age, I wanted to be a journalist. I attended a journalism pre-university school, I was trying to write for major national publications and I loved it. The writing was always something that I was passionate about.
Two days before my submission, I changed my mind and chose International Relations and French as my major instead. I got in. I was studying hard and graduated with a thought that I’d work something meaningful, something that will have an impact on our societies.
During my undergraduate studies, I was very heavily invested in anti-corruption movements. I was even one of the founders of an international anti-corruption NGO that empowered the youth to fight against corruption. I was very passionate and driven.
After my undergraduate studies, I moved to Sweden to pursue my Master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide studies. Back then, I wanted to dig in deeper into human rights, link it to corruption and the choice of my studies seemed interesting. However, I never graduated.
I never graduated because I made a choice to go on a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia and to spend one month travelling and exploring. Surprise, this plan didn’t work out either, I stayed in Malaysia for 4 months, occasionally travelling across the region.
It’s when I fell in love with Malaysia and decided to make it my permanent home. I went back to Europe and started looking for a job in Kuala Lumpur. I am not sure how, but with minimal experience in marketing, I was lucky enough to land a marketing job at a leading payment company.
Luck, indeed, has a lot to do in your job hunt. You have to meet the right people at the right time. In my case, it wasn’t the marketing skills that secured me a job. It was my attitude and other skills that seemed very valuable to my hiring manager. It just proves that formal education is one thing, but it does not define who we are and what we are capable of doing.
I’ve been living in Kuala Lumpur for over 3 years now. When I was applying for university, if you asked me how I see my life in the future, I would have never imagined that I’d be where I currently am.
Our lives are fluid. There are many choices that surround us every day. They influence and affect our lives, and it’s only we who can shape them based on the choices we make.
Don’t think that if you chose to study accounting, you must be an accountant. On the contrary, you can be anything you want. I’m a political scientist, with an unfinished MA in Holocaust studies, who has been working in marketing for a payment company for 3 years.
I would very much encourage every graduate to explore and don’t just jump into something that’s deemed acceptable. In the end, if you made a mistake in your choice, it will become a life lesson. Mistakes are there to be made, they teach us very valuable lessons and shape us into who we truly are.
I’m not sure if I was who I am today if I never chose to travel to Asia in the first place. Maybe I’d be working in an NGO now (something that I dreamt of), but maybe I’d be unhappy doing something else. I will never know, but all I know now is that I’m extremely happy with the choice I made. Even though, I sometimes have doubts.
Don’t be afraid to explore.