I have no idea what I want to do once I graduate from high school. What do I do?
Brittany A. Coleman
First, let me tell you that it's okay to not know what you want to do right now. Some people know exactly what they want to do and do it. I have a friend who's always known that she wanted to be a doctor and she is one now. Some people try different things to figure out what's right for them. I wanted to be a fashion designer, a storm chaser, a medical illustrator and an engineer. I even started out as an engineering major in college and I am now a lawyer. I met an older gentleman who was a doctor for many years and then later decided to go to law school. I say all of this to say that everyone is different and that's okay!
Have you thought about what you like to do? I think that's a very important first step. Do you like math and science? If you do, then you can consider being an engineer, a scientist, an intellectual property attorney, a doctor, or a dentist. Do you like to read and write? If you do, then you could be a lawyer, a writer or an editor. Do you like computers? Then consider computer science or game programming (not sure this is the right term for it). Do you like art? Consider graphic design or advertising? Do you like learning about business? Then consider finance. Do you like talking to people and telling them about products? Then consider advertising, marketing, or sales. Do you like fitness and working out? My younger brother lives in the gym and constantly researches new fitness routines so he is looking into going to college for physical therapy. Do you like helping people? Then consider teaching, health care (medical assistant) or social work or even combining other interests to work at a non-profit organization. Do you like working on cars or fixing things? Then think about learning a trade so you can be a mechanic, a carpenter, an electrician, or a plumber. The key thing is to think about what you really like and see if there are jobs/careers that will let you do what you like to do.
Then, if you need a degree to get there, start looking into trade schools, 2-year and 4-year colleges to see if they offer programs that will teach you about what you like to do. If you are still unsure but know that you want to go to school, then enroll at a school that lets you try different classes before declaring a college major or start off at a 2-year college and get your basics out of the way while you make a final decision. Also, try to talk to a guidance counselor to see if he/she can help you figure out some areas of interests. Ask people who know you like your parents, grandparents, etc., who may have some good career ideas for you based on the things they see that you are good at doing.
You are still young and have plenty of time to decide what you want to do, and even then you may change your mind a few times. The important thing is that you keep trying until you find the right area/job/career for you.
Determining your career path is one of the most challenging decisions you can make. What i suggest is really thinking about what interests you. Where do you feel excited or passionate? That will give you a clue as to what career you would enjoy. Also don't worry about picking the wrong career. Everything in life leads you down a path of adventure. One career can evolve into something else. Once you have experience you can start to be mindful of your future and steer your career the direction you want, as you discover more about yourself and your interests. What you pick today is not where you must stay.
You can never go wrong with an education. Enroll in a liberal arts college, community college or training program if you are completely sure what you want to do.
Or take a year off before diving into a expensive education commitment and try a few different internships. Internships are a great way to learn what you like and what you don't like.
A career is a journey, something that you will discover over time and with experience!
My best advice to you would be to do something you want to do not something you have to do. if you are passionate about a company then follow them and look how you can be best suited for them. List your strengths and follow you heart.
You are not alone in not knowing what you want to do when you graduate - I have 4 children and I can tell you that none of them knew what they wanted to do when they were your age. I suggest that if you are able to go to college now then start - choose general studies the first year - you don't have to remain with what you choose at first. During that first year take some kind of job - work part time in an office, or work as a cashier at a grocery store, or any of a hundred different things that are available for college students. That gives you the ability to continue your education while you get a little bit of work experience under your belt. You may be able to tell rather quickly based on what your job is whether you enjoy dealing with the public perhaps or whether you don't enjoy it. Take lots of course that expose you to different fields, perhaps take a music class or an art class or a pottery class, even something athletic - things that give you a diverse introduction to lots of things. Enlarge your scope of knowledge - both with your classes and by meeting new people. The greater your exposure to different things the better you will be able to choose what you want to do with your life. And don't be discouraged if you get into something and decide you do not like it. The one thing about life is that you are not stuck anywhere - you can always reinvent yourself in another field!!
I had the same problem when i left school. Its not easy to find your path. My suggestion is to find something you enjoy and start there. I fell into retail and i have been doing both public facing and staff based for 15 years now.
My career has not always been straight forward, but have faith !
Dean Dinsdale Williams
congratulations on finishing school - assuming you do not want to go to university, this is my opinion.
i would look at work in an area that might interest you. this doesn't need to be a set career choice but you will begin to build the transferable skills to succeed in the work force. as you build the skills that would interest an employer you will also find out more about what you would like to do.
It is okay not to know what you want to do! As you go through life your ideas, dreams and ambitions will change. My advice to you is to follow your passion, it will not lead you astray. Do what you love and what makes you smile and find out how to make a career out of it.
What you are asking is completely normal, i asked myself the very same question and trust me, not knowing is Okay. You are making the very first step, simply by asking the question. My advice to you, dream big and do something you are passionate about. It is so much easier and enjoyable!
Continue to ask questions, you'll find that you'll get the answers. This is a good skill to learn.
Choosing your future career takes into consideration many parameters:
1) is this job in line with you university cursus?, most of the time, people do choose their career based on the type of studies they followed. For example, I had a bachlor degree in management and I am currently a bid manager, managing bids :)
2) Self reflection: what are you interests? sometimes, you won't really be able to find a job that matches your studies, so you would need to choose a job that truly interests you. For that, you will need to know yourself–your strengths, values, personality, and skills.
3) If you don't really know, Ask someone. Sometimes it’s not easy for us to see the areas in life where we excel, ask your parents, other family members, friends, or teachers what they think you’d be good at. Their ideas might surprise you.
Good Luck !!
It's perfectly okay to not know what you want to do as a career. Some people know exactly what they want to do right away while others do not. For example, my son knew he wanted to be a doctor as early as elementary school. One day, he picked a school project to draw the human body. The school provided him with oversize paper and he asked a friend to lay down on the paper while he drew around the body. As a youngster, he would dissect tomatoes and put them in the fridge to study them to see how long it would take for them to deteriorate. Till this day, I kept the oversize drawing because this was the first glimpse that he wanted to go into medicine; and he did. Today, he is a resident Pediatrician. On the other hand, my daughter loves animals and throughout school she talked about being a Veterinarian. She researched and found that she could never euthanize her furry friends. So that was out. She later thought that she wanted to become a Nurse but felt that if a patient got really ill and for whatever reason where to expire on her, she would not be able to handle it. So she went off to college without a definite career. It wasn't until around her sophomore year that she decided she wanted to teach. Now grant you she was already a Sunday School Teacher Assistant for many years. Today, she is a High School Math Teacher. She loves math and is extremely good at it. She tutor her younger cousins who are struggling with math.
I suggest that you first think about what you are passionate about and good at. You will discover that those things makes you happy and could lead to a career. You've received some very good feedback from previous posters. I'd suggest to continue thinking about their comments as you may find the right direction.
I wish you much success on your journey. Best of luck to you!
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