What to Do With Your Existential Crisis

Graduation is lurking around the corner for my seniors out here and some of you people have probably come to the realization that you have nothing lined up after. A heavy feeling settles in and uncertainty fills every crevice in your brain. You are lost, disoriented, and scared. That was exactly the said scenario when I had my encounter with my first existential crisis. Confusion and horror replaced my carefree attitude as I thought to myself, what’s next? What does the future hold for me? Will I ever become someone great?

I’m sure many of you resonate with this. Sometimes, I find it silly of myself to ask those sorts of questions since I can’t read the future. One might say that by understanding ourselves in terms of what hobbies or interests we enjoy can be solutions to this, but it’s proven that passions and interests don’t always stick with age. Statistics by the US Department of Labor reveal that the average person changes jobs on an average of 12 times during his or her lifetime. So what can be done to better prepare yourself for what’s to come?

There is really no one solution to this, but I believe we can arrive at the most suitable one by understanding each of our traits. Knowing your personality helps shape your future by giving you a range of your abilities and what you love. This allows an opportunity for you to place yourself in the right situations. For example, if you’re a risk-taker, then you could go into positions such as entrepreneurship or trading; while people who like systematic orderliness might pursue a career like accounting.

One good way to go about that is to complete a personality test from somewhere credible. A friend of mine recommended a good one to me that dissected major characteristics about me into categories, and gave a personalized report on each to help me reach a substantial level of understanding of myself and others. This test can be found online at www.understandmyself.com. It has 100 questions divided equally into 10 pages that force you to see yourself as a third person and judge yourself from there. There are 5 major aspects with 2 subcategories in each. Those are Agreeableness: Compassion and Politeness, Conscientiousness: Industriousness and Orderliness, Extraversion: Enthusiasm and Assertiveness, Neuroticism: Withdrawal and Volatility, and Openness to Experience: Openness and Intellect.

After going through all the questions, their system compares your self-ratings to thousands of other people across different spectrums. This test was created by psychometrists, people who administer and score various tests to assess your neuropsychological functioning, with a concept called the Lexical Hypothesis. According to Psychology Dictionary, a Lexical hypothesis is “the theory that important natural characteristics and traits unique to individuals have become intrinsically embedded in our natural-language lexicon over time.” To simplify, it’s a model used to study personality traits in a number of cultural and linguistic settings. The only downside to this test is that you have to pay $10.00 and can only take it once. If you want to take it again, it would cost you, which is why I recommend to take it the second time after substantial time has passed (personally for me, a year or two). If you have some chump change to spare, I suggest you try it out. It will definitely be a better investment than a $10 meal from Chipotle.

Now, this test won’t guarantee that you will find a job or like whatever job you do get. But it will definitely help you understand other people’s perceptions of you and find a deeper understanding of yourself.

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