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How do I know if my major is right for me? How do I know I love it?

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I don't necessarily want the highest paying job, I want a job where I can be able to wake up every morning at 7 am and be overly excited to go to work. How do I locate my major like that? What tools do I use? How do I know it's the right fit? #job #college-major #career-counseling

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Ken’s Answer

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Congratulations on being interested in finding the right career to follow.. It takes a special person to enter into a specific career field and meet the demands which that career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside.  When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.

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 ##
  • It really does not matter what school you attend, as the most important factors are how well you do with the school work, which is an indication to an employer about what kind of employee you will be, and the effort that you put forth in your networking to set up networking connections that will help you throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video for you to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##
Here are some important tips on reducing college costs. Too many people spend way too much on an education and end up with unnecessarily high debt. ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ## Ken Simmons Translate
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Rebecca’s Answer

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Hey Robert!

I found myself struggling with that same exact question for most of my young adult into my adult life! This is such a common question that so many people have.

The thing that finally clicked for me was realizing that if I put myself fully into what I was doing, I really couldn't help but love it. When we do things whole-heartedly, we get invested, we want to do well and we get excited about going back and doing more. Start putting real effort into the the major you chose and see what happens next. How do you feel when you do that? Try it out over months, maybe even a year. It takes time to develop the understanding and skills to feel like you are mastering something and sometimes, we can be discouraged if things don't come quickly or we aren't the "best" (I know I do!). I say, give yourself time to make your decision and don't be afraid to change if it just isn't working for you after that time. There is NO wrong answer - I know it sounds cliche, but it's true. Every decision you make will take you on a journey and even if you think "bad" or "good" things happen, who knows what could happen right after that? It took me 4 big changes in my career after college and A LOT of dedication to learning to finally love my job today.

Be patient with yourself! And have some fun! :)

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