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How do I choose what career is right for me?


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Alycia’s Answer

Mariam,
Out of all the career choices you listed, it is clear that you want to be in the healthcare field same way and help others during their most vulnerable times. In fact, I went through the same dilemma a few months ago: should I become a nurse practitioner, or a PA? They go through the same amount of schooling (earning a masters degree in their field), earn about the same amount of money (you can double check on Salary.com depending on your state), and are given the same amount of respect in the hospital. The main difference is their approach towards patients. Nurse practitioners follow a nursing-model of care, considering they are first taught as nurses. Physician assistants on the other hand take on a more medical model of care, in which they focus on the diagnosis and treatment of their patient.
In order to figure out which career path is best for you, I would definitely reach out and try to shadow each of these professions; you could attend informational seminars (or webinars as of right now), ask any family members that might be in similar fields, talk to your own healthcare provider, that are many ways you could go about this. After reaching out, try to get their contact information and ask if you could shadow them or have an little interview over some coffee, where you ask them all the questions you have about their profession.
If you are truly interested in healthcare, you WILL eventually be lead to the right profession. I believe in you Mariam; if you have any questions about what courses to take as a pre-PA student feel free to ask me. Good luck!

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Tequila’s Answer

Kim you're not alone. People ask themselves this question throughout their lives. I learned from my daughter is that we don't know until we know. There is a spark that hits you. You start to feel alive, committed, and happy about what you are doing. The job is no longer a job but part of your life. How do you get there? I think it's a little trial and error. But one's willingness to make change and own that decision are invaluable towards finding what gets your creative juices boiling. It's a journey sometimes for some and it's instantaneous for others. I hated biology while in HS, just couldn't connect the dots. Then I took the sciences to become a nurse and literally realized that it wasn't just me, but maybe timing and a bad biology teacher. LOL Now I enjoy knowing about how the human body functions from the molecular to functional levels. The point is you will know what you really like one day. In the meantime, go after what you think works for you now. If nothing more than a space filler, a paycheck; while you discover your true passion.

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Michelle’s Answer

Explore your likes. If you think you want to be a nurse or doctor. Look into helping as a volunteer at the hospital. If you want to work in a doctor's office. Volunteer with your personal doctor or one you think you would like to be. If you want to teach...be a volunteer or intern at a school. Watch shows or videos about what interests you as a potential job/career. Not all jobs or careers will actually be like on tv...but you have a general knowledge of what goes on. Go to job fairs at your school and talk to the presenters or go to a job fair at the college or university. They will have more specific career information that at the lower educational levels.
Talk to family or friends of family that are in jobs/careers you are interested to. Communicating that your have an interest will let them really talk to you about what they do and why. But you have to find something your love or really like, otherwise you will not be satisfied. However, we all start somewhere we really don't like, but for that career choice - find what fits you best and you find satisfying. Too many people do jobs or careers they don't like and they don't enjoy. So they don't have the satisfaction or pride in what they do.
Best of luck.

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Deni’s Answer

Mariam -
In addition to StrengthsFinder that Kim suggests, here is a book I've found helpful:

"What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers" by Richard Nelson Bolles

There is an assessment portion as well as a general matching of jobs/careers based on the assessment. It also gives good hints on how to explore various jobs. Bolles publishes it every year, so it has the up-to-date, current jobs and careers.

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Dana’s Answer

There are several ways to figure out what you want to do in life.

1. Write down things that you are interested in. Then, begin to eliminate them one-by-one by choosing those you could see yourself doing for a long time. Try to narrow it down to three choices. Then, research those careers including job and education requirements, and salary.

2. Take a personality test such as the one by 16Personalities. This gives you a great overview of potential careers.

3. It looks like you might be interested in nursing. Call a local technical college or community college to ask to tour their program or speak to their program coordinator.

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Robyn’s Answer

Utilize career counseling that may be available to you and don't be afraid to make a career change if needed.

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Swapnil’s Answer

Hi Mariam,

Try to follow your passion or develop passion in your work. You will excel in your career. Nowadays we try to follow the mob in which we lose our identity.

Following your passion will enhance/maintain your identity.

Thank you,
Swapnil

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Kim’s Answer

Mariam
You have been given some excellent advice from mentors. My only additional comment to consider is graining an understanding of your natural strengths ( to compliment the 16personalities assessment) and building you career options from there. I think you will find that by following your true self and strengths you will enjoy your career that much more. Best of luck.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Research StrengthsFinder assessment to determine the right fit for you.
Take the StrengthsFinder assessment and review results.
Utilize results from both assessments to find areas that interest you most.

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