4 answers

What career should I choose?

Asked Salem, Tamil Nadu, India

4 answers

Simone’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Hi Pravin,

I love what the others have posted and I will add my own spin to it.

I have been working (before and after college) for for 13 years now. I have had seven different types of jobs in that time. Mostly, that was because I gave myself permission to explore until I found something that I really loved to do. The job I have now is my dream job but I would never have thought I'd be doing what I am doing now (strategy & operations for a tech company). Based on my own experience, I recommend you explore a bit, if you feel you have the flexibility in your life to do that.

I would start by writing down all the things you're interested in. People? Computers? Travel? Food? Math? Science? Physical activity? It can be anything! Just start the list as a way to get clear on what you might want to explore first. Once you've got your list, you can start looking for people with job in a field related to your interests.

I love the recommendation you got to meet with people who have careers you think you'd be interested in. These are called "informational interviews". Often, if you send an email or Linkedin message to a person you'd like to learn from, they will agree to meet with you for about 30 minutes over coffee (always offer to buy the coffee, if you can afford it). You can also ask adults in your life about their career paths. Do you have someone at home or at school who might be doing something you're interested in? Talk to them as a low-pressure way to get started.

Once you have an informational interview scheduled with someone, go to the meeting ready to ask questions and always end the meeting by asking if that person has any recommended next steps for you or has other people they think you should meet with. Here is an article about how to conduct a good informational interview: https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-steps-to-a-perfect-informational-interview

Best of luck! Be willing to explore and know you won't always get it right the first time (I certainly didn't).

Simone recommends the following next steps:

  • Set up a Linkedin profile so you can connect with people in fields you're interested in: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-tips-high-school-students-judy-schramm/
  • Explore your interests: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/know-yourself/5-ways-to-find-career-ideas
  • Reach out for informational interviews: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ask-for-an-informational-interview-and-get-a-yes

Donal’s Answer

Updated Dublin, County Dublin

Think of what excites you, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time, could you make a career of it? You need to balance what you are really interested in with being able to make a living from it. No matter what you do, if you can become expert enough in it, you can often make a decent living from it. Definitely explore what your passion is rather than being guided into what others feel you should do.

Having said that, it depends how important job security is to you. If you are very concerned with that, then a qualification in an industry that is in high demand might be something to complete, or at least have in your back pocket as a fall back.

Rumshah’s Answer

Updated Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Hi Pravin,

From my experience, I can tell you that choosing a career can be very tricky at times. I remember I was deciding between medicine and engineering. Now, I am currently pursuing a degree in biomedical and mechanical engineering and totally love my decision. I just want you to remember that you should consider your interests before choosing a career path. Talk to others who are already in the profession that you are interested in. This way, you will get a better idea about the profession in general and it will be easy for you to decide what you wan to do. I would recommend that you create a list of professions you are interested in and do research on them. If you have more questions, let me know!

Kim’s Answer

Updated Nipomo, California

Hi Pravin

You have been given some excellent advice already. My only additional thought to consider is to gain insight into your natural strengths as a starting point in selecting your career. My favorite assessment is StrengthsFinder. The resulting report will provide insights into your true strengths and how they align with certain careers. This will give you areas to further investigate in finding the right fit for you. Best wishes to you.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

  • Research the StrengthsFinder assessment to determine the application to your need.
  • Take the assessment and review the resulting report for guidance on your potential career options.
  • Retain the report for reference as your career progresses.