Help for young adults with no direction

Young adults are at a stage where they are trying to find their identity in life.

Two ways to help a young adult find direction in life.

Young adults have spent most of their lives being guided by different principles and values from their parents. They are at a stage where they have to fully practice autonomy and independence. It is at this age that they are grappling to find their purpose in life. Asking a young adult about their purpose may put them under pressure or stress them. They probably haven’t fully established their own identity, so asking about their purpose or passion may  be a bit too much and unrealistic. There is no timeline for finding one’s purpose; it is a lifelong journey. Here are ways you could help them find their way:

Ask them what they like and are interested in

Instead of asking about their passion or purpose, ask them about their interests, hobbies and the things they enjoy. To aid their thinking process, make suggestions of the things they like. For example, you could ask: “I notice that you read and write a lot. Is it something you would consider as a career?”. This is so much better than asking if they have a purpose or passion in life. Putting them under pressure might make them say untruthful things just to impress you or avoid the conversation.

Have a career conversation with them

Take the time to explain to them about different careers paths out there. Explain to them in detail what each career entails, the skills it requires and the qualifications it needs. Do this whilst allowing them to make their own decisions. Do not make any suggestions to them about career paths you think would suit them. For example don’t say to them: “performing arts is good, but medicine has higher financial gains”. Be careful with your choice of words. Don’t use words that are suggestive or dismissive of other career fields.

Don’t put young adults under pressure by asking about their purpose or passion. This may be overwhelming for them.