It’s confusing for a Swede to be surrounded by central European ambition. Am I also supposed to exit my student life and enter my work life simultaneously? Even my dad, who embodies the protestant work ethic, is Swedish enough to tell me I’m supposed to be lost for six months post-graduation and then find a job.
But knowing whether I should post my new job on LinkedIn six months pre- or post-graduation is not the problem. The problem is that I have no clue what to post in the first place. The traditional routes my peers go – consulting firms, graduate programmes, start-ups or fintech – have never really interested me. Yet, it hasn’t dawned on me until now that my five-year business studies were there to prepare me for exactly that. It’s as if I gave in to a five-year long sales talk with a person at a store, thinking both of you were just killing time, until she says: “So are you interested?” And you answer: “Oh, no, I wasn’t planning on buying anything.”
Whenever I share this state of confused existence with friends, they usually give the pragmatic tip to just be in the present. That is a fair tip if you happen to know what path you’re on, it’s not hard to listen to the birds chirping when you’re following a 3-kilometre man-made trail. But when you are lost in the middle of the woods with no trail near you nor any reception, well, then the present moment just feels a little less cosy.
The wise philosophers keep telling me that the pointless life misses no meaning. But right now, I’m walking between all the paths not taken, without feeling its poetic beauty. It seems to me that I’m neither a hustler whose goal-driven life gives them a sense of meaning nor a monk who transcends having goals in the first place. I’m just confused.