Dear Ayana Iman: I'm 23 and a recent college graduate.


I've been eagerly trying to find my purpose but I'm not sure how to do that. I've been praying and seeking God because I want to know what I've been called to do. I'm currently working for a non-profit (4 hours of commuting each day) and I 100% hate my job but I need the money. I want to quit but I feel like I can't. What should I do??

First things first, let's take stock of your current situation:

  1. You're educated.
  2. You're employed.
  3. And you're self-aware.

At a young age, you are able to acknowledge your feelings, needs, and desires, which makes you question everything and for good reason. College was structured with a set of rules, play along and you'll graduate, maybe with honors. In the world outside of campus, the rules are different and each person has their own unique experiences.

Right now, you are in a season of growth. I know it may not seem like it, but you are building a set of soft skills that are invaluable, like adaptability. This skill allows you to take on challenges, accept reality and cope with it. Remain calm and remember that this is just a chapter in your life, not your story. The experiences you've acquired in this role can help you land a new position, one that is in alignment with your desire to have a shorter commute and inspires you.

Before applying to any job, make sure you aren't making fear-based decisions, because low interest means low performance, and you'll be creating a pattern of settling. While money is a major factor for taking a position it's not the only reason. During your commute, use the time to read books that motivate you, jot down notes of things you love to do, and find clarity between the words.

Think about your current position and identify exactly what you don't like. This will be the springboard for making your next move. I suggest creating a list of quantifiable and qualitative skills, which will make it clear to potential employers that you are the one for the job. To aid in your search, write down affirmations, positive words for change, that clearly state your desired compensation, location, and company culture.

Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Your purpose takes time to figure out. What matters most is that you are moving forward and doing so with confidence.

Do you have a question about love, life, career, wellness, etc. that you'd like for life coach Ayana to answer in a future Ask Ayana segment? Submit your questions here for a chance to have your question answered!

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