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How do I find my best career option?

I am interested in three different career options. How do I pick the best option for me? #careers #career #career-path #career-choice

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Ken’s Answer

The most important thing that you can do is to get to know yourself better to see how your personality traits are related to people in various career areas and then talk to people in those career areas to get their advice and suggestions and to see if you truly relate to that career area.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

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Ron’s Answer

Hi Precious,

If I had three potential career options I'd look at them with a critical eye. Some of the things I'd consider are:
* Do I already have relevant experience to any of them?
* What are the advancement opportunities?
* What is the pay like at the entry level and how does that change as I advance?
* Do I know anyone already in one of the fields that can be used to find out more and also a potential networking connection as I enter the field?

If you really aren't able to find any big differentiators just jump into one. Internships are a fantastic way to try on a career before you fully commit.

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Precious,

Ken has given you some excellent advice and guidance. One additional thought to consider is to augment your understanding of your personality traits with some insight into your natural strengths. My favorite assessment is StrengthsFinder. The resulting report will provide insights into your true strengths and how that may influence your career path. Following Ken's advice along with an understanding of your true strengths will put you in a solid path to discovering your best career options. And remember it's a very fluid path - be open to opportunities you may not have thought of before. Best of luck.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Research the StrengthsFinder assessment for application to your need.
Take the StrengthsFinder assessment and review the resulting report to determine educational and career options.
Retain the report for reference in the future as you continue down your career path.

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Donnebra’s Answer

What do you like to do in your spare time? Find something centered around your passion. Find something you know will keep your attention for years to come and that you would want to share your passion with others