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    How Do I Know What to Be When I Grow Up?

    Trying to figure out what you’re supposed to be and do as an adult can feel like a big, scary deal. You may even feel a little sick because you have no idea what your future will look like. Here are a few things to consider when you’re trying to decide what steps to take to get ready for the rest of your life.

    1. It’s about what God has designed for you. Yes, you need to prepare for your future, but one of the most important steps is to ask God what He wants you to do. Ask and keep asking Him to open only the doors He wants you to go through. Does He want you to go to college? Which one? Does He want you to be a missionary or to bloom right where He planted you in your hometown? Seek Him often and you’ll start to get a sense of where He wants you to go.

    2. Those who know you the best may be able to help. Ask the people who know you the very best what they picture you doing in the future. They may be able to see things about your skills, knowledge and personality strengths that you don’t. Ask them what job they see you doing, or whether they see you at a big university or a smaller school. Seeing yourself through their eyes can give you new perspective.

    3. Knowing yourself and how you were created is really important. If you don’t know if you’re left-brained or right-brained, an introvert or an extrovert, what your learning style is, what personality type you have, or what your spiritual gifts and love languages are, it’s time to find out. You need to know how God hardwired you. There are fun multiple-choice quizzes online that can enlighten you about yourself.

    4. Try out different jobs by shadowing and interning. A lot of people go all the way through four years of college without knowing what the career they’re studying is really like. Now is the time to find people in the careers you’re interested in and ask them to let you shadow them on the job. Go to court with an attorney, spend a day with an accountant or intern at a local bakery if you want to be a pastry chef.

    5. Everyone should develop at least one marketable skill. Even if you plan on getting a college degree and having a profitable career, it’s a good idea to have at least one skill or trade that you can earn money with anytime. Consider getting a plumbing or electrician certificate, or a license in daycare and CPR. Or hone your talent on the piano or guitar so that you can teach lessons. While these things may not become your career, they can be very helpful in a pinch.

    6. Don’t be afraid to try. If you feel strongly that God has designed a certain path for you, don’t be afraid to try it. After all, planes go both ways. When you walk through a door, you can also turn around and walk back out of it. Get rid of the fear that holds you back. Almost nothing in life is irreversible. If you try a job and hate it, there will be other jobs. If you fail, you will learn from that failure and be stronger for the next challenge.

    While preparing for the rest of your life can seem nerve-racking, it doesn’t have to be. Ask God to fill you with excitement about what lies ahead. When you follow His plan, your future will be a great adventure!

    Natalie Gillespie
    Natalie Gillespie is the mom, stepmom and adoptive mom of nine kids, as well as a best-selling author, editor, and speaker. She is the co-author of "Into the Light: My Journey from the Glare of Hollywood to the Glow of God's Love" with Nicole Weider.

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