2 answers

How do I know what path to take?

Asked Glen Burnie, Maryland

As a rising senior, I know it's important to start making decisions about my future. I know the classes I choose to take can prepare me, but I how do i choose which path to take to ensure success? #classes #success #degree

2 answers

Marca’s Answer

Updated Berkeley, California

Hi Angel, this is a great thing to think about now. And one you'll probably want to revisit every few years, as you gain more work experience and learn what you enjoy and are good at. In order to figure out what path to take and then what classes you need to take, it's a great time to explore options and learn more about your interests.

I wish I had taken more time to do that early in my career but was fortunate to work for Starbucks at a time when the company was growing quickly, and that allowed me to try lots of different things. Even as an entry-level barista, I was able to take on ordering product and merchandising the store, and then get into training new hires. That experience was super enjoyable and led to a promotion to management. So it's good to have a plan, but it's also important to be open to the experiences that come your way every day.

To get started with exploring your longer term goals, I recommend getting as many different kinds of experiences you can in the course of your normal school and/or workday. Try taking a different role or stepping into a different persona. If you're normally the leader who sets the direction, try coaching and encouraging other people to step up. If you're normally the reliable "doer" on a project, throw in more of your ideas up front and challenge yourself and your group to think of more than one possible solution. If you're kind of afraid to take risks, start small but do a few things every day that have some chance of failure - and note that the experience doesn't define you, if you do fail!

Another recommendation is to talk to family friends including your friends' parents to learn about their career journeys. What do they actually do every day? What do they love about their jobs? How did they get into that line of work? If they were going to make a career change today, what would they change to and why?

Marca recommends the following next steps:

  • Talk to family friends including your friends' parents to learn about their career journeys. What do they actually do every day? What do they love about their jobs? How did they get into that line of work? If they were going to make a career change today, what would they change to and why?

Britta’s Answer

Updated

Hi Angel, it's great that you are aware of how important it is to start considering your future. As a rising senior, I would look to take a variety of courses to try to help you figure out what you are interested in. You may even be able to take a couple of community college or online courses to help you determine a possible college major or career path. It may be a good idea to seek out opportunities to volunteer in your community. I wish you the best of luck!

Britta recommends the following next steps:

  • I recommend envisioning where you would like to see yourself in 5 years and then try to break down steps that would help you to get there.