Gifts For Yourself (Because You Deserve Them)

Reading time: 3 minutes

Gift season is almost upon us, but before you go all out and splurge on gifts for friends and family to make up for this year that should really just be erased from the history books, remember to also treat yourself.

I'm super guilty of spending a lot of money on other people but then getting real Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to spending on myself, but here are some things I've splurged on all for myself, and I honestly have ~no regertz~ that I did.

Skincare products
Quality skincare products tend to be pricey, but they are absolutely worth it if you find some that work for your skin. Besides, your skincare routine, at least for me, is the two times a day I get to really unwind, so why not go all out?

Bath products
Another gift of relaxation is for bath time. Think bath bombs, soaks, salts, soaps, bubbles, and oils or a combination of a few, depending on your specific need at the time. My go-to is an unscented bubble bath that I then add essential oils to.

If you're an avid reader, you probably find that reading is one of the most relaxing activities. Even better is to have a stack of books waiting for you, so treat yourself to some new books. Browse a (virtual) bookstore, look up some lists, or ask some friends for suggestions.

Satin pillowcases
I think we know by now that satin pillowcases are better for your hair and skin when compared to cotton pillowcases, so not only do satin pillowcases look and feel waaay better, they keep your hair free of frizz and your skin free of wrinkles, so make the switch when you can!

An oil diffuser
Another way I use essential oils is in my diffuser. If you don't have time for a full-blown bath, putting the essential oils you need in a diffuser is a great alternative. Splurge on one that has a timer function so that you can run it as you fall asleep without worrying about it overheating or something.

By jewelry, I mean those fancy ones that hurt your bank account but can last you ages like a 1 carat diamond ring. Of course, just because you can, it doesn't mean you should. You should still work within a comfortable budget. For example, now that I'm wearing earrings more, I'm thinking of treating myself to some fancy earrings when I reach my next milestone like finishing a big work project ahead of schedule or something.

A quality mattress
This one would probably be the most expensive on this list because who knows why mattresses are so gd expensive. With that being said, though, you literally use your mattress every single day (or you should, at least), so why not make those hours of sleep count? A good night's sleep does wonders.

What gifts do you usually buy for yourself?
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Are You Stuck in a Rut?

Reading time: 3 minutes

Do you feel like you’ve been stuck with nowhere to go for some time? Life seems to have gelled into place and it’s not necessarily a place you want to linger for too long? A lot of people fall into a rut without realizing how they got there and sometimes they don’t even realize what the rut is. Let’s think about what the issue might be, and what you can do to get out of it.

Are you burned out?

You might be bored, to put it simply. If you’ve been focusing a lot on your education or career as of late, it’s no surprise if you feel your motivation and energy levels bottoming out. Burnout is a lot more common than you might think and it almost always results from pushing yourself too hard and not allowing yourself a little fun. Take some time off work when you can see if you can discover a new hobby that lets you shake off the stress of your responsibilities once in a while.

Are you overwhelmed by your finances?

Of course, enjoying more hobbies, especially things like eating out and traveling, can be difficult if you don’t have the finances for it. So, too, can all kinds of meaningful life changes be more difficult, from moving home to getting a car. If you’re feeling trapped by your current financial obligations, systems like the Debt to Success System BBB may be able to help. So much of social and lifestyle mobility is tied to our financial situation, so you need to take the time to fix your finances if you want to make meaningful life changes.

Are you tired of your career?

Modern society focuses a lot on not just who we are and how we live, but what we do for a living. As such, we get socialized to place a lot of importance in our career and, when it’s going in an upward trajectory, it can affect us more deeply than we even realize. To that end, it may be worth taking the time to find a meaningful career path and discover what kind of education and training you may need to make. There’s no time limit on changing your career, but the longer you wait, the harder it can be to transition.

Are you dissatisfied with your personal life?

One of the harder things to accept is when your personal and social relationships are no longer fulfilling you in the way that they used to. Socializing can be more difficult as we get a little older, but that doesn’t mean that it’s possible. There are apps designed to help you find people with the same interests like Meetup, not to mention a huge range of dating apps out there to help you shake up your romantic life. It’s just all about finding the right ones.

There are no simple solutions to getting out of a rut. However, the hardest step is admitting that you’re dissatisfied and recognizing what the source is. Once you do that, it’s as simple as working out the solution.

How do you pull yourself out of a rut?
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Why Collagen is the Best Beauty Ingredient

Reading time: 3 minutes

In the beauty world, you'll come across all sorts of products with all kinds of ingredients. Some of these ingredients are a bit rubbish, while others are downright dangerous. You'll be stunned to see how many harmful chemicals are in a lot of beauty products, doing more harm than good. 

Collagen is one of the few ingredients that's worth paying special attention to. In fact, it's the best beauty ingredient you can find. As a swift description, collagen is a type of protein found in your body. It has many functions, but the main one is to help provide structure to your skin. In essence, this makes your skin a lot firmer and more elastic. Already, you can see why this ingredient is so special. Still, let's expand on things by looking at a few other reasons.

Collagen is multifunctional

Collagen can be used in three main ways:
  • As an ingredient in a topical treatment
  • As a component of an injectable treatment
  • By activating it under your skin

The first option is simple: buy creams or serums with collagen as an active ingredient, then apply to your face. For the second one, you go to cosmetic surgery and get injected with collagen. Thirdly, you can find cosmetic surgeons that offer things like microneedling. I know you're wondering what's microneedling, and the simple answer is that it's a treatment that triggers collagen production. Essentially, you activate the collagen under your skin, which encourages it to reproduce and help your skin. So, you have many choices in deciding how you want to use collagen for its beauty benefits. 

Collagen is natural

Collagen is natural! It isn't a chemical compound that somebody has manufactured in a lab. It isn't an ingredient that people have conjured up out of nowhere and tested on multiple animals. It's a naturally occurring protein that all human beings produce in their bodies. This makes it entirely safe for anyone to use. You don't have to worry about any side effects when you utilize collagen; it just does its job!

Collagen works

There's no debate over if collagen will help your skin or not - it simply works. You can find many medical and scientific studies that back this up. Unlike other beauty ingredients, you know that you will see positive results when using collagen. It makes your skin firmer, healthier, and more resilient to wrinkles. It can also help keep your hair in excellent condition and prevent it from falling out. 

As a general rule, if a beauty product or treatment includes collagen, it will help you out. Of course, you should make sure there aren't any harmful chemicals or nasty ingredients alongside the collagen. Also, for serums and creams, look at the concentration of collagen in the product. If it's a tiny amount, you won't see many benefits. The bottom line is that this is the main ingredient in the beauty industry to keep your eye on. If you want healthy skin and hair, you can't go wrong with collagen.

What are some of your experiences with collagen?
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4 Reasons Gift Baskets Are Underrated

Reading time: 2 minutes

Giving a gift isn’t the hardest thing in the world, but it’s certainly not a very simple task especially if you’re trying to impress your recipient. Thankfully, there are a couple of simple gift ideas that are virtually foolproof. One such idea is to buy a gift basket of goodies that you know they’ll enjoy. Of course, it takes a bit of research to see what your recipient likes, but once you’ve passed that hurdle, it should be easy for you to pick a suitable gift basket and send it to them as a practical and personalised gift.

But isn’t buying a premade gift basket a little boring? Surprisingly not! In this post, we’ll explain four good reasons why gift baskets are a fantastic idea and why you shouldn’t feel ashamed about giving one to a friend or family member.

You can gift a bunch of small things

Gift baskets are great because they package lots of small items into a single basket. It usually takes a lot of time to source different items and you also need to consider packaging them into a nice box or basket to give to your recipient. It’s actually a lot easier to just buy a gift basket that already contains the items. You might be paying a little more than the sum of all the individual items, but you’re paying for convenience which is the main attraction.

You can gift things you're not familiar with

If you have a general idea of what your recipient likes but you’re not a hundred percent sure about their preferences, then a gift basket is usually a safe bet that allows you to give several gifts that are related. For example, Hawaiian gifts can include different Hawaiian delicacies, snacks and gifts that are unique to the region. Similarly, a chocolate lover’s gift basket will include lots of unique things that are sure to impress your recipient more than buying a standard box from the supermarket.

You can send them from the comfort (and safety) of home

We know that putting together a gift basket and sending it can be a lot of hassle. Thankfully, you can buy premade gift baskets and send them directly to your recipient with a personalised note. This is a lot more convenient than going through the whole process yourself and the shipping usually works out to be cheaper and a lot less work.

You can gift them for all occasions

Whether you’re showing friends that you care about their birthday or need a quick gift for a seasonal occasion like the holidays, gift baskets can be used for all kinds of situations and it’s not restricted to certain recipients. They can even come in a wide range of different themes and you’ll be spoilt for choice on what kind of gift basket you want to send. Whether it’s a friend, family member, partner or even your kids, there’s a gift basket that’s suitable for everyone.
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4 Ways to Show Your Friends You Care

Reading time: 2 minutes 53 seconds

In this life, we need to focus on ourselves a lot and build ourselves up. We need to become the best possible version of ourselves. If we have lots of value, then we’re going to feel so much better day-in-day-out. Having high value also makes us a lot more attractive, which is very helpful in many aspects of life – personally and professionally. It’s important to have discipline and to knuckle down with regard to our career and to our personal life – if we don’t and instead choose to slack off, we’ll regret it in the long-run.

That doesn’t mean we should be completely self-absorbed individuals, though. There’s plenty of room to take care of others and to put energy into those close to us. In life, we need to have people we care about by our side – we are a tribal species, after all.

Doing things for our friends and family members not only allows that bond to tighten, but it also just feels great. The mirroring feeling of making someone happy is strangely rewarding. You probably know a thing or two about being a wonderful friend, but if you’re not exactly sure what you can do to show you care for them, then here are some ideas:

Really listen to them

If someone has something they want to get off their chest, the worst thing you can do is sigh or show a lack of interest. Venting is important as it allows someone to relieve a lot of stress. It’s also great for that person as you may be able to help solve their problem. Listening is so important and it tightens the bond you have with that person. 

Include them in your life

It’s easy for a person to feel lonely. You may think with social media and various other online platforms that loneliness is less likely to occur, but it’s not the case. Sometimes it even worsens it all as they see lots going on and aren’t included in any of it. Invite them out when you have gatherings – don’t just ignore them. Being present in their lives is important. 

Buy them a present every now and then

Sure, material things won’t mean all that much to some people, but it goes beyond the actual gift itself. It tells them that you’re thinking about them and that they’re an important part of your life. Even the smallest and insignificant gifts can mean an awful lot – especially during tougher times. It doesn’t matter if it’s something from ready for Christmas in a few months’ time or the most expensive piece of jewelry – if you spend time and money on someone, then it’s going to have meaning behind it.

Stay loyal to them

Have their back at all times. If they’re someone you truly cherish, then you’ll go to war for them in whatever way. Just saying you care and that you have their back isn’t enough – actions speak louder than words. If they struggle with something, then you need to back them to the hilt. If you truly care about them, then this won’t be all that difficult.

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5 Steps to a Productive Morning

Reading time: 3 minutes 4 seconds

As the weather is getting cooler and the mornings are darker, it can be harder for us to ensure that we start our day in the right way. We all know that getting up on the wrong side of the bed can have a huge knock-on effect when it comes to the rest of the day. Although autumn and winter is a great time of year to really work on your mindset and outlook on life, we can instantly let that have a positive effect on our mood. With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to start your day in the right way. 

Choose your outfit the night before and be organized

This may sound like you are super organized, but getting rid of major choices in the morning is a much better way to have a relaxed approach to the start of your day. So if you can, it might be worth choosing the outfit you will be wearing for the day the night before. We all have applications on our phone that will tell us the immediate weather forecast, so it shouldn't be a huge dilemma to undertake. It may present the perfect opportunity to reorganize your wardrobe or even create a capsule wardrobe for things like work or casual days. 

Be organised 

Sometimes the only way to start your day right is to be organised in life, this can be anything from ensuring that you have your glasses and looking at a glasses buying guide so that you don’t miss out. It might even mean packing bags for lunch or your next day. Even a planner can help you to stay accountable. Knowing that you are organised takes huge pressure off the day. 

Don’t be an alarm dodger

If you have no choice but to wake at the same time each morning, it can be difficult to accept when your alarm begins to chime. Especially if you don’t find yourself to be a morning person. However, once you hear that alarm begin your morning routine there and then. Snoozing the alarm can only have a negative effect as you continuously put yourself back into that wake-up state every ten minutes. What is the point?

Stretch your muscles as you wake up

Stretching can have a huge positive effect on your body as you slowly wake up for the day, it helps realign muscles to avoid aches and pains. Slowly doing this as you wake up ensures you engage your brain and your body to be on the same page. 

Avoid coffee or tea as your first drink of the day

Our bodies will be dehydrated from the night before, having had no new fluid since you going to bed, so it’s important that you hydrate your body with water as one of the first drinks in the morning. It may be tempted to reach for the strong stuff, but having a pint of water before hand will help your body wake up much quicker than any caffeine hit. 

Ignore your phone until after breakfast

It may be tempting to check in on your social media or respond to emails, but try and avoid any contact with this kind of technology first thing. It’s important to relax and enjoy the start of your day, rather than be hassled or gain those feeling of stress from emails and the pressure social media can bring. 

Let’s hope these tips help you have a better start to your day.
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7 Ways to Style Jewelry

Reading time: 2 minutes 1 second

I post quite a bit about jewelry because I truly believe that they tie an outfit together. Whenever you feel like something's missing from your outfit, chances are it's jewelry. Throw on a minimalistic necklace or some statement earrings, and it would give any outfit a more cohesive look. Here are some ideas if you're looking to experiment more with jewelry:

Decide on a focus

This is especially important if you're looking to put the spotlight on your jewelry. One of my favorite looks is an understated outfit with eye-catching pieces of jewelry that complement and add interest to the outfit.

Don't overdo it, though. Choose one area to highlight. Otherwise, everything will get lost in the mix. If your top is looking too simple, try a statement necklace. If you want to draw attention to your face or hair, try statement earrings. If you, like me, gesture with your hands a lot, statement bracelets or rings are great too.

Any piece of statement jewelry is fine, but if you're looking for something that'll last you and as conversation starters, consult specialist jewelers like Opals Australia who'll be able to help you choose the perfect piece.

Layer, layer, layer

This is something I've always done, probably a habit from high school, honestly. ๐Ÿ˜… How do you layer jewelry? For necklaces and bracelets, you typically want a few pieces that are more or less similar so that they all get the same amount of attention. For rings, try one or two statement pieces and then add more minimalistic accompaniments. Experiment also with midi rings. They really add interest to the overall look.

If you have multiple piercings in one area like your ears, nose, or mouth, try one statement piece in your favorite spot and add other pieces that go well with it.

Mix metals

This is another recurring theme with how I style my jewelry. Especially with rings, I tend to go all metals and skip gems altogether. That way, I can play around more easily with golds and silvers. Different metals go surprisingly well together. With necklaces, this can be more fun because you can find extraextravagant pieces that combine multiple metals.

Wear for the season

I know this sounds gate-keepy and high-brow, but I don't mean wear the season. I mean wear for the season. Consider whether your jewelry can weather the weather (๐Ÿ™ƒ). I've definitely had days when I regretted wearing certain pieces of jewelry. Because I walk or take public transit everywhere, the weather has seriously wreaked havoc on my jewelry.

An example that comes to mind is a scorching hot day when I was waiting for the bus. I was wearing a deep-V tee with a super cute copper necklace. If you remember high school chemistry class, copper is one of the best conductors of heat. Y'all...I had to take off my necklace because it was literally burning me. ๐Ÿ˜‚ Copper necklace, cute. Red scorch marks in the shape of my necklace, not so much.

Analyze those Instas more closely next time. Chances are if an outfit is ๐Ÿ”ฅ, there's some clever jewelry choices being made. If anything, it's definitely a fun way to expand your knowledge of fashion, so if you see me linger on an Insta, that's probably what I'm doing. ๐Ÿ˜…

How do you style your jewelry?

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5 Physical Changes for Better Mental Wellbeing

Reading time: 3 minutes 39 seconds

If you are struggling with your mental health, such as with anxiety or depression, reach out to someone. No struggle is insignificant. Your mental health matters. If you are in need of crisis resources, regardless of where you are in the world, is a great website.

Please keep in mind that in this post, I am talking about general mental wellbeing. I am in no way suggesting that you can improve your mental health just by making small physical changes.

Sometimes, life can get too much, and our mental wellbeing suffers. When that happens, it can trickle into other aspects of your life. Consider this: when you're super stressed from work, you might go home and take out your frustration on other people. I for one have done so on multiple occasions before I started practicing mindfulness. That's why it's important to maintain mental wellbeing. Here are five physical changes you can try out:


A good skincare routine not only does wonders for your skin but for your mental wellbeing as well. An enjoyable skin care regime in the morning gets you refreshed and ready to face the day ahead. At night, it calms you down and removes all stresses from the day. It doesn't have to cost a bomb either. For me, all I use in the mornings are a gentle cleanser, a soothing toner, a hydrating moisturizer, and sunscreen. In the evenings, I use the same gentle cleanser followed by a foaming cleanser as well as witch hazel as toner and then face oil. Twice a week, my evening skincare routine is fancier - I add in a pore cleanser and then whatever sheet mask I need on the day, be it hydrating or soothing or brightening. I try to minimize the use of brightening-type sheet masks, though, because they tend to include exfoliating properties, and my sensitive skin can't handle too much of that.


A new hairstyle can make you feel like a brand-new person. When you find yourself feeling bored and uninspired by how you look, a change in hairstyle can make a huge difference. Of course, this can range anywhere from changing the part in your hair to a drastic haircut. For me, I've kind of settled on a default hairstyle (the one that's in pretty much all my pictures), but when I feel like I need something different, I just put in curlers to sleep in, or if I have more time, I dye my blonde streak a different color.


Something less obvious is a change in posture. We hear so much about the benefits of good posture, but honestly, when you feel yourself drifting off in the middle of the day, something small like sitting up a little straighter can clear the fog. If you have a little more time and the room to do so, a quick stretch also helps a bunch. Stand all the way up on your tippy-toes and reach all the way up to the ceiling with fingers outstretched. Alternatively, do a few toe touches. Stretching out the kinks is a quick and easy energizer. Plus, it gives you a break from sitting all damn day. ๐Ÿ˜‰


This is certainly a drastic step, but it's definitely an avenue to consider, especially if you've found yourself feeling deeply unsatisfied with a physical feature. Plastic surgery is heavily stigmatized, but it really shouldn't be. I have personally observed two students of mine whose confidence level skyrocketed after they underwent plastic surgery (one did eyelid surgery, and the other had her nose done). If it's going to help you feel like your best self, I say go ahead. Just make sure you go in as fully informed as possible. Websites like the PSC can serve as great resources, but remember to always consult with your options of surgeons before diving in.


Last but definitely not least, turn that frown upside down: ☹️➡️๐Ÿ™‚ (not to be confused with ๐Ÿ™ƒ). Everyone has got a beautiful smile, even if you don't feel like it. I don't have the nicest set of teeth, so I've always been super self-conscious about showing my teeth when I smile, but when I'm genuinely smiling, I honestly don't give a shit, ya know, and that's the point. Smiles are contagious, even more so than yawns, tbh, because emotions rub off on others. When you smile, the whole world really does smile with you.

How do you maintain your mental wellbeing?
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It's Time to Spice Up Your Life

Reading time: 4 minutes 32 seconds

This lockdown has got us all feeling restless. Even someone like me who's a serious homebody struggled with the mandatory two-week quarantine when I came back to China. That was some serious stuff. We were not allowed to even step foot outside our own apartment - the unit itself, not the building. Some coworkers who got back before me even had cameras and alarms installed on their doors by the quarantine peepz, and every time they opened the door, even if it's just to take out the trash, an extremely loud and obnoxious alarm would blare, and Siri's evil twin would scream at them to get back inside. I know it's obnoxious because I would hear it, even from several floors away. Luckily, they had stopped this procedure by the time I got back. All they did with me was check the GPS record on my phone. Yes, it was still kind of an invasion of privacy, but after hearing all those horror stories, I didn't mind it one bit.

In the midst of this insanely mundane situation we've all found ourselves in, no matter where you are in the world, if you're feeling like you want to make life more interesting, let's talk about some ways to spice up your life, all from the comfort (I guess) of your home.

Spice Up Your Love Life

Let's start with this because it's probably what popped into your mind when you saw "spice up your life," and I know, I know, who am I to tell you about relationships, considering I've been single for the last six years, right? I'm not trying to tell you what to do because you know your relationship best, but having been single for so long has been enlightening in a way because it's taken the romance out of romance, y'know. It's also been terrifying to read article after article about spikes in divorce rates during the lockdown. China even had to start imposing a one-month cooling period for all divorce applications because they found themselves overwhelmed with the sheer numbers. It's scary because if all it takes to end your marriage is spending time together, that feels like it defeats the purpose of the relationship altogether, so sometimes, spicing up your love life doesn't mean try freaky sex things like the ones Cosmo tells you to try or making elaborate dinners or any of the five million other distractions that you hear about because yes, they're just distractions from the real problem. Spicing up your love life, in my opinion, should be all about communicating with each other about how the relationship is going, to check in with one another (not each other because there's sometimes more than two people involved in relationships ๐Ÿ‘€) to make sure that everyone's still happy. Otherwise, that conversation might have to take a different turn altogether.

Spice Up Your Love for Yourself

This one is easier said than done because everyone knows that they should be doing it. Hell, they probably also know how to do it, but actually doing it is a completely different story. One way that seems to work for me, and I've mentioned this in a different post as well, is to take the spare minutes that you have to take from your day for mindfulness activities. Something as simple as deep breaths to clear your mind, even momentarily, can do wonders. What I mean by the minutes you have to take are minutes from things you have to do like ๐Ÿšฟ and ๐Ÿ’ฉ. If deep breaths in the bathroom aren't for you, you can try reflecting on what good things happened in your day so far and consciously avoid thinking about the bad things. Even on bad days, there are good things hidden in there somewhere; trust me.

Spice Up Your Cooking

Of course, because it's me, I have to talk about spicing up your life, literally. With all this extra time suddenly on our hands, we can actually justify spending a long time in the kitchen. I love to cook, but I don't have time like I used to for meal prepping and experimenting with recipes. Now, that time is back! One ingredient that is a pantry staple for me is spices, all kinds of spices. It's becoming like a collection almost because I love, love, love spices. Even the most basic spices can make basic dishes taste delicious. I went through a phase when I was obsessed with fettucine but didn't feel like Italian flavors, so I just boiled the pasta, drained it, and stir-fried it with chicken breast, spinach, and garlic powder. That's it - no sauce, just the juices from the chicken basically and the garlic powder. I would also sprinkle some chili flakes in at the end.

Thus, if you do want to spice up your love life by preparing an elaborate meal, you can actually make a dish that looks elaborate but actually isn't. Get some porterhouse from somewhere like (Yes, you can still access a butcher during this lockdown ๐Ÿ˜‰). Pour as much olive oil as you think you'll need into a bowl, and sprinkle in a few shakes (I measure by sight, ok!) of coriander, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and of course some salt and pepper, mix them all together, and then rub the mixture over both sides of your steak. Finally, just throw it on the grill! ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ

How are you making life bearable during this difficult time?
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How to Find a Meaningful Career Path

Reading time: 4 minutes 7 seconds

In the midst of global crises such as the one we're facing right now, we might feel like we need a bit more meaning in life (cue that Stacie Orrico song). Something that might help is to get more in touch with yourself and figure out what you really want (cue that Spice Girls song ๐Ÿ˜‚). That, I feel, is the first step to addressing the elephants in the rooms of your life, one of which is your career. After all, we spend, on average, a third of our lives working, so why not make it count? Whether you're just starting out in the workforce or you've been ambling along in a career that sucks the life out of you and are ready to make a change, how do you get on the road to a meaningful (for you) career path?

Understand Your Interests and Personality

Since meaningful is such a subjective term, the first thing you can do is to understand the type of work you feel you have a connection to. Sometimes, it isn't so straightforward. When I was in high school, I was planning on becoming an acquisitions editor because I loved finding really great but not as well-known books and then reviewing them (I had a book review blog back in the day). However, when I was in college taking relevant classes, I discovered an interest in digital media, and I even interned with an e-book publisher. Throughout all of this, though, I was working as a tutor and a communication consultant, mostly because they were two of the highest paying jobs on campus. I enjoyed them immensely, but teaching had never been on my radar because, y'know, teaching. When I graduated, my most promising full-time prospect fell through, and I ended up picking up a teaching job that my friend referred me to because why not. Y'all, I fell head over heels in love with teaching, so much so that I applied to a master's program for the very next academic year. The rest is history, guys. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

The reason for that walk down memory lane is to say don't dismiss certain career paths just because you think you're not interested. Try out all opportunities that come your way. You never know what you'll discover about yourself. Besides, you don't want FOMO and all that. Once you find out what path you want to take, it's never too late to pick up the relevant qualifications, like the MA in applied linguistics I ended up doing or something just as unconventional like a master of engineering management. I did my master's one year later than most people, and I'm running three years (and counting) behind most PhD applicants. My GRE scores have even expired. ๐Ÿ˜‚ If anything, pursuing more niche programs than your undergraduate can help get your foot in the door of whatever career path you end up wanting to walk.

Look at Your Values

I hope those anecdotes did a good job of illustrating how, even in relatively short periods of time, we can change our interests and even attitudes. Therefore, it's still essential to check in with yourself every now and then to gauge if you're still doing something that's meaningful to you and aligns with your values. Self-reflection is key. If journaling and meditation aren't your cups of tea like they aren't really mine, just do something easy like mull over your current situation when you're in the shower or when you're mindlessly scrolling through Netflix for something to watch while you eat (you know who you are ๐Ÿ˜‰). Just, whatever you do, don't self-reflect when you're in bed getting ready to sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‚

If and when you discover that you're starting to feel unfulfilled or losing your enthusiasm, perhaps it's time to revisit the previous step of exploring career paths, but if it's not the industry but rather the position, it could be time for progression. In some fields, vertical progression requires new skills or updated and current skills, so you might consider picking up some quick courses from somewhere like LinkedIn Learning or Coursera, which are both recognized by most companies. If anything, it'll keep you up-to-date with regard to those skills. For example, we all know that interpersonal communication skills are super important, even if you're not in something like marketing and PR. Nowadays, a lot of attention in interpersonal communication is paid on how to communicate inclusively. Things like how you use gender pronouns or how you refer to marginalized populations may seem like no-biggie, but they have a world of impact on those concerned. It's no longer just about how to communicate with people effectively but how to communicate with all people effectively.

Now that many of us have found ourselves with some extra time (and a dash of pessimism) on our hands, we kinda owe it to ourselves to make it meaningful and fulfilling, whatever that may mean to us personally.

How did you end up in your career?
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