Everyone talks about making sure you have a 5-year plan. While I think it is important to plan ahead and set goals for yourself, you cannot plan everything, and sometimes you have to deviate and make sure you are continually re-evaluating and following your bliss.
For everyone who knows me, I am a to-do list maniac and have trouble starting any project without a written to-do list first. So when I originally strayed from my 5-year plan once I graduated from college, I panicked. Since May 2, 2016, marks our 5-year anniversary I wanted to talk about 5-year plans and how me deviating from mine worked out for the better.
What My 5-Year Plan Looked Like When I Graduated from College
I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Apparel Merchandising and a minor in Marketing in Ohio. I thought I would graduate, move back to New York, and find a job as a fashion buyer. I figured I would eventually find a path into fashion event planning or styling. I was so confident in my plan that I even coordinated a fashion show my senior year in college to add that experience under my belt. After finishing my fashion show, I just knew this would be something I could see myself doing for the next 5-years.
I started looking for cool fashion jobs, and the job hunting part was difficult, to say the least. I got call backs for jobs in New York, but I was in Ohio, and no one was interested in relocating me there. Not to mention, that since I only had one internship working for a textile distributor, no one really wanted to take a chance on a newbie straight from college with little experience. This was definitely not in my plan when I decided where I wanted to go from here.
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What My Actual Last 5 Years of My Life Looked Like
About two weeks after graduating, I had a change of heart. I thought about all the other hobbies and interests I wanted to pursue that I did not get a chance to explore in college. Not to mention, I had the typical hardships many millennials face when they first graduate from college. (You can read more about my story here.)
But I ended up starting Miss Millennia Magazine, moved to Texas, traveled, and had many, what I like to call, “life's firsts.” I bought my first car, my first house, got my first pet, and I documented it all in M3. I had several jobs after moving to Texas (none of which had anything to do with fashion BTW) and ended up at one that allows me to make my own hours, work from home, and continue to grow my website. The path I pursued is so far from my original plan that I probably would not have had the same experiences like buying a house and car, for example, had I moved to New York. Not to say anything bad about NY because I LOVE that city, but it turned out that my life path was different than I initially imagined. And I am sooo ok with that.
Why Planning Is Okay
I am not saying that making a 5-year plan is a waste, by any means. I am still a to-do list freak ya'll. I think the act of creating that 5-year goal sheet is most valuable. It is not necessarily there to be your map to your whole life, but rather to help you take a deeper think into what you want. Do you want children or no? Do you want to live in a duplex or a mansion? Do you want a career that is lifestyle friendly or corporate driven? It's fun thinking about the big questions in life! But it's also important to do a self-assessment occasionally because believe it or not…you are not the same person today that you were five years ago.
Why Following Your Bliss is Even Better
Planning is great, but following your heart is much more fulfilling. It is true you cannot have everything you want in life, but you can design your life to be what you want to be, but you have to be daring enough to ask for it. If you hate your job, ask yourself what is it that you hate about it. Is it because you do not like working at a desk? Or do you not feel challenged enough? Next, take the time to find jobs that you will feel challenged in or that let you spend time outside.
My opinion is if you are not happy do not waste your time in a place that is not a good fit for you. As someone who sometimes feels like my college education was a waste in regards to the degree I chose, the way I like to think of it is that the time I spent in college helped me determine what I liked and what I didn't. My time spent in college was a real indicator that the decisions you make in high school, will almost always be very different ten years down the road. So stay open! Keep growing, keep learning and keep your mind open about what you want and where you want to go.
Five years down the line with M3 and I am so happy with the decision I made to pursue this dream. I have had countless opportunities to meet incredible people, make good money and live my life the way I want to live it. And I think I have my bliss to thank for that. Following your true desired path may not always be the easiest one, but I am sure it is a much more fulfilling.