Getting lost to get found

By CHHENG Sotharath

Being in your 20s is probably the age of uncertainty in almost every aspect of your life. At this point, if you still feel like you’re not ready to “adult’ yet and you really don’t know what’s gonna happen, you are not alone.

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One of the most common uncertainties that Cambodian youth these days encounter is finding the right career for themselves. There are many challenges they face that make their life decisions so blurred that they can’t seem to find a clue to make the right move.

© Larisa-K/2012/CC0

One of the common challenges in choosing the right career is not knowing clearly what you really love to do. You probably want to make a good amount of money from your career, but you don’t think the job you love to do will ever help you become a rich guy. If you’re in this situation, you should take some time to think about your priority between money and passion. At the same time, spend some time for related social or volunteering activities — you will explore more about your passion and your own self. And remember there should be balance between your passion and money.

Another common issue is not knowing clearly what you’re really good at. Probably you are already holding a Bachelor’s Degree, but you’re still lost. You are not confident enough to demonstrate your expertise or you feel like you actually chose the wrong major. I know quite a number of people who hold Bachelor of Education degrees but end up finding out that they are actually more of artists. I also know people who study International Relations and later realize that they were actually born for graphic design. Sometimes, life is all about how you handle your plan B. And you just have to be open to whatever comes next.

Another common challenge is the conflict between what you want and what your family expects from you. This is difficult if you have strict parents who always have eyes on every life decision you make and want you to follow their paths. You’re kind of lost and don’t know if you should satisfy your family or follow your dream. In situations like this, you need communication and negotiation skills to discuss your life plan with your parents. Explain to them how your dream is important to you and how it helps you to have a happy future.

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Now you may not be where you want to be. You may look at others and compare your life to theirs and wonder why you still haven’t gone that far.

Remember that we all have our own unique journeys that we can choose for ourselves. For those of you who haven’t figured it out, start making a list and explore. Because sometimes you need to get lost to be found, and it’s never too late to be what you might have been.

Views expressed here are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of UNICEF.

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