Jobless + Directionless, but not lost

It’s been over two weeks since I last posted, a sure sign that life has been moving all too quickly.

Last Friday I finished the 10-week summer internship I have been doing – and honestly, the subsequent return back to home in Birmingham has been a most welcome one.

In many ways this summer of working has been hard. It has meant full-time, structured working hours, adjusting to being sat at the same desk for 40 hours each week, learning how a company with thousands of employees works, living in an area where nobody really knows me and feeling very aware about how much I have yet to learn.

It has also prompted as lot of reflection on the sort of job, and sort of life, that I want in a year’s time after I graduate. (Given I neither have nor want a sales one!)

For the first time in life, the ‘next step’ is not obvious. The sort of ‘upwards’ trajectory of university-to-job is not a guarantee in the way that I might have thought it would be. There is no ‘end goal’, no calling to a particular place, nor to a particular job.

I am directionless.

A friend recently wrote about being in a similar place. She speaks of ‘Learning the Process‘ – about finding out that life is not ‘linear’, about consequently needing to change focus from the endings to the process – about the change from having an upwards vision to an outwards one.

I found it really helpful to think about this, and to think about my selectivity in how I present or feel about different parts of my life. It reminded me of the line from Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If‘ which issues the challenge to – ‘meet with Triumph and Disaster/ And treat those two impostors just the same‘. It reminded me about just how difficult doing that is.

The reason I hunger after a direction is because it seems to offer a security. Direction is what I associate with ‘success’, so not having direction makes me feel vulnerable.

Luckily though, I am not lost. 

After all, life has no ‘end’. There is no one job title to be achieved, no particular city that must be lived in. Life is not made meaningful or successful by going down any one particular road. There is no set of things that need to be checked off. No prescriptive ‘direction’, no place that life must take me. When Romans 8:38 says that nothing can separate us from the love of God, I’m sure that any number of possible job choices are included within that.

So at the moment, I am going to sit and wait and trust. I am going to remember what I learned earlier in the year – that I was not made to do or achieve but to be. I am going to remember the something wise of what my days are for. I am going to seek to trust over seeking to gain clarity.

I am going to learn to be directionless, but not lost. 


  1. Rachel,
    I’ve found that finding our place is like a free game you get in a cereal box. It has a number of metal balls rolling around a printed design. The game is complete when each ball is nestled in the slots that best fits each. We too are like those metal balls, meandering around until a profession fits our inclination and inspiration.
    Whether a gardener or a neuro-surgeon, there is someone who depends upon us. A need is being satisfied. And since Jesus tells us that the most important thing is to love and serve one’s neighbor, we are then fulfilled in whatever we do, for as we please our neighbor so too do we please God.
    Saint Mother Teresa once said: “Grow where you are planted.” It is not the job that brings value to the person, but, rather it is the person who brings value to the job.
    You have the right mind-set.
    God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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