I Have No Idea What I Want to Do In Life
- Dr. Jill Hubbard with Ginny McCabe Authors, Secrets Young Women Keep
- 2009 20 Feb
Guess what? If you’re not sure what you want to do in life, you’re not alone. But here’s the good news: You can change your mind, and with God’s help you can change careers at any age.
Vanessa trusted God to help her decide on her goals.
I think my brother was born knowing that he wanted to be a teacher. And my little sister’s musical talents were obvious. She was working in musicals by the time she was five.
But not me. I’ve never known what I wanted to do.
My parents put me in class after class after class. I learned to twirl, to dance, to program computers. I’ve built stage sets and volunteered at the local library and hospital. I felt like my parents were disappointed in me, although they never said so. The only thing I was even remotely good at was art. I could draw just about anything, but that’s not really a career.
I began to get impatient and asked God if he was ever going to show me what I’m suppose to do—because I had no clue.
Then one day I went to an astronomy class at the local museum. I liked it okay. But I really liked the guy sitting next to me, Raymond. He was fun to be with, and every chance he got he was there studying the stars. So when they offered another class, I took it. My parents were so excited. They saw my eagerness to get to the class. They thought I’d found a career path I was passionate about, and I didn’t want to disappoint them. So they kept signing me up for more classes, and I just kept going.
I started helping Raymond by drawing some of his star maps. And then some of the museum’s staff asked me to help them create some posters. Then one day the staff asked me if I’d like to try and create a poster for their new exhibit. I did and they liked it enough to reproduce it.
Things just kept going along ... I kept attending astronomy classes,
Raymond and I started dating, and other groups started asking me to create art for their projects. Everything was fine—until it came time to start looking at colleges. My parents wanted me to attend a college with a strong astronomy department. But I really didn’t want to go into astronomy; I just didn’t know how to tell them.
Then one day the marketing director of the museum came in to talk to me. She’d been admiring my art and asked me if I’d like to study art. She said that there were different degrees in art majors, and if I would like, she’d recommend me for a scholarship to the college she attended. I said yes, and she helped me fill out the paperwork.
I didn’t tell my parents, but they did find out when the college sent the scholarship package. My dad brought it in and asked me to open it. Before I did, I told them my secret.
Their reaction stunned me. They gave me a family hug.
They weren’t disappointed in me; they just were being supportive. If I didn’t want to study astronomy, that was okay.
I’m still not sure exactly what I want to do, but for now I’d like to study art. I know that God designed my talents and my gifts. He always surpasses our greatest expectations. God has started opening doors for me that are giving me even greater opportunities to demonstrate my talent. I’m not sure how God will use me and the talent he gave me for his work, but I know firsthand that his plan is always best.
Unlocking the Secret
God chose to reveal Vanessa’s plan for her in his own time, in ways that far exceeded her expectations. We often limit God to the one or two options we see. We think there is only “Plan A” or “Plan B,” but most of the time God has a “Plan C” that we’ve never thought of with an even greater plan and purpose for our lives.
Sometimes young women know early on their passions and talents. As with Vanessa, that’s not always the case. Sometimes it takes awhile for a passion or talent to be recognized. You don’t need to worry about having it all figured out. This is a time to be open to opportunities that God puts into your life.
For most people what they thought they wanted to be or started out doing doesn’t look anything like what they end up doing. And if you are a person who is interested in growing—even if you do know what you want to do— hopefully it will evolve and change as you grow. The important thing is to trust God to help guide you to your goals.
For me, I never imagined I’d be a radio co-host. It wasn’t ever even on my screen. I always had two passions, well maybe three — art and psychology, and being a Christian.
So I attended a Christian university and set out to accomplish both. Growing up, I always enjoyed art and was a good listener who had a heart for people’s struggles. Eventually being a psychologist over an artist won out. So now I wear bright colors, do creative things at home, use art therapy with groups, and get to help people through Christian ministry over the airways or in my office one-on-one.
In high school, I could have never picked a career I love more. But one step at a time, and being open to what God can do, he combined the talents and desires he gave me into what I do today.
Right now, you might be confused as to your goals. You might be eager to get out of school and start your career. But take some time to investigate your career options.
Think about what you enjoy doing. What are you good at doing? Do you like computer programming? Playing video games? Someone has to create, design, build, oversee, market—everything. Maybe your skill is with people. Would you like to be an ambassador? A teacher? A hair stylist? A lawyer?
Maybe like Vanessa your hobby will become your career goal. Do you like to shop? Maybe your career is in fashion as a buyer or designer.
Take advantage of career and personality tests through your school. Talk with your parents and friends about your skills. They might be seeing a gift you haven’t noticed. Be open to a combination of things that may involve, not only career goals, but also family, relationship, and lifestyle goals.
Ultimately, God’s plan involved Vanessa’s talents, gifts, and desires combined with his ultimate purpose for her life. God already knew the desires of her heart before she asked him for anything. He also took the time to prepare her for what he had in store for her to do.
At times, we might feel like Vanessa did—lacking the patience to see what God is going to do, so we begin to question him. But I believe that whatever route he takes us, we have to trust that he knows what is best for us. God is always behind the scenes working things out for us.
Ask God to do his work in your life and to bless your endeavors. Then as you see his plan for your life unfold, you will be amazed at the work he is accomplishing in you and through you.
As you seek him, God will reveal the best path for you.
Ephesians 1:10–12 says, “His goal was to carry out his plan, when the right time came, that all things in heaven and on earth would be joined together in Christ as the head. In Christ we were chosen to be God’s people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with his plan. And he is the One who makes everything agree with what he decides and wants. We are the first people who hoped in Christ, and we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God’s glory.”
We can stick to God’s plan for our lives by
- asking him to guide us,
- praying for wisdom,
- seeking him in all aspects of our lives,
- acknowledging he has a plan and a purpose,
- thanking him for what he has done for us,
- talking to wise people, and
- reading his Word
No More Secrets If your secret is that you have no idea what to do in life, you’re not alone. But God knows his plans for you. Let’s do some work in this area. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions, either here or in your private notebook.
1. What are your passions in life?
2. What are your hobbies?
3. What are you really good at?
4. What would your family and friends say are your talents?
5. In five years, what would you like to be doing?
6. How can we know for sure that God has a plan for us?
7. What does God’s plan for your life look like right now? (Describe how you see it.)
8. What are some of the things that might be keeping you from discovering God’s plan for your life?
9. What can help you understand the difference between God’s plan for your life versus your own plan?
10. Name some of the ways your life is bringing glory to God.
11. What are three things that you can do to prepare for what God has in store for your life?
“Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace.” —1 Peter 4:10
Excerpts from the book Secrets Young Women Keep by Dr. Jill Hubbard with Ginny McCabe used by permission.
Dr. Jill Hubbard is a clinical psychologist and a regular co-host of the nationally syndicated Christian radio program New Life Live. Known for her gentle and insightful style, Dr. Jill also has a private practice helping clients in their struggles with depression, addictions, eating disorders, and relational and personal growth issues. She is also the author of The Secrets Women Keep.