Written by Dominic Giuliano
As a late bloomer, I was of those people that had broad interests, but I could never figure out what I wanted to be.
I had what could be called an “open-buffet mindset” where all these wonderful choices were laid out in front of me, and I didn’t want to choose one in case I couldn’t choose something else. I wanted to do it all.
I later realised many of us find ourselves in the same boat. We have a general interest but are challenged by the idea of having to choose what to be or what to become. Then, when we make a choice, we can’t help wondering “what if?”
A bit about me
I grew up in the small country town of Bathurst, in a big family (5 siblings). I enjoyed school and found passions in mathematics, science and economics (a bit of a mixed bag).
I struggled in year 12, mostly because I wanted to enjoy time with friends rather than study, but my natural curiosity never really left me.
I played cricket like a man possessed and would train relentlessly. I bought a bowling machine that fired balls at me and would spend hours hitting them against the courtyard wall (and windows).
I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was developing my ability to pay attention.
As far as I can tell, if you don’t know what you should do in life, find something that you love and work really hard on that. The meta-skills you learn (like paying attention or concentrating) can be used for other purposes later on.
Studying… and questioning my life decisions
I finished my Bachelor of Business in 2018, after many years questioning whether it was right for me.
I was not a good student to begin with, mostly because I had doubts about what I wanted to be. I was lucky enough to study a few psychology subjects as electives, and that turned something on in me.
After several years working in different businesses, I finally woke up to myself and returned to study. I did a bridging course in psychology at Monash University, and did well enough to get into several Masters Programs across the country.
Despite my fascination for the subject and my many hours of attention and effort, I had that old question in the back of my mind, wondering if I should be something else.
I later realised that the “little voice” is like a little guide.
It’s probably trying to get you to consider other options or chose a less taxing path. It’s helpful in some ways because it gets you to critically question yourself and your motivations.
But it can be important to remember that even though you have doubts (which will accompany you no matter what you are doing), you listen to them enough so you aren’t making an error, but you don’t follow them just because they are there.
Having “no doubts about it” is perhaps a sign you aren’t thinking about it. To doubt is to think. Thinking is doubting and questioning. If you aren’t doubting you aren’t questioning.
So, it makes sense that anything you do will involve taking the doubt with you, and if you want to do it, you find reasons to address your doubts.
Where to next?
I’m working through my postgraduate psychology program and I’m loving it. I recently got a job as a Careers and Skills Advisor with Charles Sturt, and I love applying what I know in discussions with many other students that have that same “open buffet mindset”.
It’s okay to have heaps of preferences and to want to go in different directions. That’s the fortune of being multi-talented creatures!
The best part of life can be spent finding out what you enjoy and what you don’t. And who knows, maybe an entire career can come from something as simple as studying a single elective in a course you weren’t sure about!