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How did you decide on a career that you love?

I'm a freshman in college and I'm having a difficult time deciding on a career path that i want to take I know I want to be in the medical field but I haven't decide on something specifically. How did you come to the decision on your career? what made you decide on that career? And do you love what you do as a profession? #career-choice #career-path #career-counseling #college

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Ken’s Answer

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.
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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Kim’s Answer

Hi Amanda

You are asking some great questions. And you've been given some excellent advice already. My only additional thought is to gain insight into your true strengths and how they will help guide you to the most relevant career choices. My favorite assessment is StrengthsFinder. The resulting report will provide you with the strengths that you naturally possess and what opportunities may be potential options. This information along with the other resources that Ken has suggested should give you a well-rounded guide to your decision-making process. Best of luck.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Research the StrengthsFinder assessment to determine application to your decision-making process.
Take the StrengthsFinder assessment and review the resulting report for application to your process.
Retain the report for reference as your career progresses.

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David’s Answer

Hi Amanda, great to hear you're giving it some thoughts. The best combination is to gain expertise where your passion is, but please do stay connected on what does it take to be competitive in specific industry/field and how fast does it evolve for you to be relevant. And never forget to remind yourself about what is it, that you don't know, do stay curious and validate your thinking outside of your closed network. Wish you all the best.

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Ceil’s Answer

You can't know if you're going to love a career - that's something you discover as you're in it. Like most people, I started with what I was good at - writing, and learning new stuff, in my case - and found jobs for which I'd be a competitive candidate with those abilities. Once inside an organization (and I recommend your early jobs be in larger organizations if you're not 100% committed to a particular career), I was able to build a network that let me sample other careers, which helped me refine my own roles to match what inspired me.

Give it time - you may not get it right the first time, or the second, or the third - but you'll be a more well-rounded, effective person in any role for having had those experiences.

Ceil recommends the following next steps:

List what you're good at
Listen to your heart as you review the list - which one would you really like to do for hours every day?
Pick one or two
Go to LInkedIn and find jobs with those skills

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Hanleigh’s Answer

I would highly recommend taking the Focus 2 Career Assessment! https://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/ is also a great website where you can search your major and see what careers you can do with that major. It also includes specific steps on how to achieve that specific career. Hope this helps!