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I'm unsure what career options would suit me best with my current interests and hobbies. What advice can be given when looking for a career path that would suit me better when regarding my strengths and interests?

I'm currently a senior in high school. I enjoy marine biology, choir, colorguard (marching band), and helping others for the general cause. I have multiple interests but am unsure how to figure out what career path may suit me best depending on my strengths. My top 2 strengths are open mindedness of others situations and perspectives (I can understand both sides of the story), and the ability to take charge (leadership), even in stressful times. #marinebiology #choir #colorguard #helpingothers #leadership #career-counseling #career-choice #career

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15 answers

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Leah’s Answer

I leveraged my first two years of college to really expose myself to as much diversity as possible. There are so many jobs, professions and fields that someone can go into - so I think its great to explore as many as possible before you decide to dive deep into any one area. I also have a belief that college is a process that shows you are trainable - yes, you learn valuable skills while in college but in the end, you will go to work for a company that is going to train you on their processes, products, etc. Thus, the specifics of your degree doesn't always matter (sometimes it does).

I also recommend doing as many informational interviews with people as possible. Generally, people in all professions are willing to share more information about their job, educational background, how they got to where they are, what a day in the life looks like for them, etc. Informational interviews are a great way to learn and also establish a network of contacts across industries.

Finally, as time goes on and you develop more insight about yourself - I would look at four areas and see where they intersect
1. What is your passion
2. What is your unique brilliance
3. What does the world need
4. What can you make a living at

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Dan’s Answer

I would say follow what you like and go with it. If you could make your hobby into a career that pays well it would be something that you would love to do and go to each day and would be able to afford you a life style. If you believe in something strong enough follow it and enjoy it

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Carl’s Answer

Have you ever taken a strengths and skills inventory test? I have been apart of and also administered these types of exercises with teams I’ve been apart of and led. It’s amazing how much you can learn about yourself. Not only do you learn things you didn’t know about yourself but also explains why you do things the way you do or approach things the ways you do. This can really help you with additional direction in your decision making process. There are many free ones out there is good free one you can get started with. There are more comprehensive ones out there, usually with a fee, but can be worth it. Do your research or ask your guidance counselor for advice. Hope this helps!

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Wesley’s Answer

Hello Michelle. I would suggest you spend some time speaking with your counselor who most likely has some tools to help you align your interests with possible career opportunities. It seems that you have done a nice job thinking through your strengths as well as your areas of interest. One additional thing I would suggest is for you to find some individuals either at your church, family friends etc and either shadow them or spend some time asking them questions about what they do each day. This would give you better insight into whether these careers would be the right fit for you.

Best of luck!

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Kimberly’s Answer

If you enjoy the science-related fields, there are a lot of options for you there. Those are growing and in-demand careers! Here are some options:
1. Ocean Engineering
2 . Marine Biology
3. Marine Mammal Trainer
4. Marine Archeology
5 .Marine Researcher
6 .Marine Environment Educator/ Oceanography
7. Aquatic Veterinarian
8 .Scuba Diving Instructor and Underwater Filmmaker
9 .Marine Scientist
10. Marine Environment Economist

You could also work with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and help keep the world clean and healthy!

Kimberly recommends the following next steps:

I would suggest seeing if you can do any job shadowing in any of these career areas. That may help you narrow down your search.

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Victoria’s Answer

Life is a journey where you try things out, evaluate if it is for you and then make decisions based on your experience. Another added level of complexity is that you yourself will also change and what your interests and values are at one point may change and the job that you thought was meant for you no longer is. The bottom line is the idea of something being meant for you is a goal that is unrealistic. Instead reserve time for introspection to figure out what you want in life, career, etc and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, tie those together and figure out what careers align with such - this will set you up with more alignment in what you want that may not be something you are conscious of and tie it to a career.

Figure out what your life goals are (ie. work to fund your hobbies, work as your hobby)
Figure out what you want to learn from a job, what you value in a job
Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are
Figure out what jobs align with your personal abilities and your personal & professional goals
Figure out what opportunities are closely available to you (ie. school network, campus recruiting, personal connections, etc)

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Noorayaz’s Answer

This is a question often asked and stumps most at your age. Here is the important thing to understand - there is no easy answer. It is a combination of:

* Doing some leg work - researching careers
* Rolling up your sleeves- spending a day in the life to see what the day to day really is
* Engaging people - professionals in the fields of interest, counselors and teachers are all great sources
* Studying - your first few years in college are great to learn the theoretical practice and foundations behind numerous options

This is a big decision so dedicate time like you would to a major project. Then trust your gut based on everything you find. This is important because there are so many options out there and the facts will make it tricky to decide. That is where your instinct will break the tie.

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David’s Answer

Hello Michelle:

You kind of presented a career option for yourself according to what I have read, let me try breaking it down and give you a little bit advice or direction but you can always ask you high school counselor for the remaining time to help, once you get into college you will have to reply on career center services and college counselor or support. So here are couple thing I can advice you or give you some ideas to think about. You say you like to do the following thing, "I enjoy marine biology, choir, colorguard (marching band), and helping others for the general cause." which is very good and I do hope you get into the college of your choice as well as enjoying all the organization and club the school have for you. So let's just back to the topic since you are a senior in high school and about to go into College/University either in the summer or fall, First thing I believes is you probably already apply for college as well maybe got accepted to the College/University you apply or wanted to attend. Like most freshmen, first semester is about transiting to a new environment and new setting. I would say maybe start with couple introductory college course to see if your marine biology or biology science is something you like. If you start feeling a little bit uncomfortable due to the course work and etc. your may go to the career center or your counselor and see if they can maybe assist or give you a career path test to see what career is more suitable for you.

Good luck

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Kathleen’s Answer

Hi Michelle, looks like you’ve got a lot of great answers already but I wanted to reach out too. As a Marine Biologist myself, I am more than happy to connect with you and discuss more about the field, it’s challenges and it’s opportunities. If you’re not 100% sure about what you want to do quite yet I’m here to tell you that’s okay! Most people in today’s world will have many jobs in several different fields, and as long as you know your strengths and are willing to learn you will find a job you love. Feel free to send me a message on linked in if you want to chat more specifically about Marine Biology! Best of luck.

Hi Kathleen, while your answer was great and I'm sure helpful please refrain from asking students to contact you. It is against our guidelines to organize communication outside of Career Village. Thank you for understanding Gurpreet Lally

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Eyasmine’s Answer

Last semester, I was undeclared and I had to take this mandatory first-year seminar meant of undeclared students. One resource that I found really useful is stuff like career quizzes. Especially this one called Sokanu,

There are also plenty of tests like these that can go deeper from how you are in a group, what you see yourself doing/not doing in a career, etc. But this one on Sokanu is really straight forward and so easy! It gives you lists of careers and jobs and you simply just rate them from if you'd love doing it or if you'd hate it.

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James’s Answer

If you have specific interests around Marine biology it would be a great opportunity to explore that further and see what you find? Maybe connect with colleges/universities and see what they offer so you can take those passions further. Then that would be a good opportunity for you to network and meet like minded people who have same passions as you. Good luck and hope it works out for you!

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Angel’s Answer

Hi Michelle!

Your dilemma sounds very familiar to my own back when I was your age. I recall being equally proficient in all of my courses in high school but especially enjoyed taking electives like biology, art, choir, psychology, and mainly any courses that were not my usual math or English that were always part of my schedule. I was also in tennis and a cheerleader for the last two years of high school. I struggled to figure out what I wanted to major in because I couldn't determine what courses I was strongest in.

Additionally, I have always been the peacemaker/mediator in my family and among my peers. I'm slow to speak but observe and listen to everything before determining who is at fault and always make it a point to be fair and diplomatic. Leadership comes naturally for me, even when I don't plan for it because I prefer to be a behind-the-scenes kind of leader.

With that said, because I understand where you're coming from, I can tell you that you are in a unique position to pick from a variety of majors and do well at any of them, if you wanted to. Honestly, it's possible that you won't have full clarity of your choice(s) until after you're a year or two into college life. So, my advice to you is to do the personality assessments mentioned in some of the other responses to your inquiry; research more career options this summer; and, initiate some dialogues with people in some of these career options you're considering so that you can see if you can picture yourself in their role.

Now, if you want my personal opinion of some career options that I personally believe would suit your natural diplomacy and leadership skills, here are some definitions of two career options that I borrowed from my friend Merriam-Webster to add to your research list this summer:

Legal Definition of MEDIATOR: one that works to effect reconciliation, settlement, or compromise between parties at variance.

Legal Definition of ARBITRATOR: an impartial person or group that is given the power by disputing parties to resolve their dispute.

Please feel free to keep me posted on your findings as you dig a little deeper into your future career!

Most sincerely,

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Aicha’s Answer

Hi Michelle! You kind of laid out some good options for yourself. I would just say explore and do more research into the field of Marine Biology to see if there is a specific occupation you like in that field. Also, it is ok to be undeclared in college (meaning you have not chosen a specific major yet) because you can just take your core classes and in the mean time search for some career options. You could also seek advice from your adviser when you get into college as well. Overall, I think if you do have an interest in Marine Biology just look into what you could do in that field and look into what pre-reqs you will need so you can go ahead and get those out the way early in your college career. You mentioned you were in color guard in high school if that is something that you are still passionate about you should look into joining a college that has a color guard team. Good luck with everything and hope this helps!

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Kayenaat’s Answer

The best way to chose a career is to keep all your options open. Try to engage with the people who are into that field. Understand the challenges. Look into the ways that a career can be achieved. Some might require you to clear an exam, some would need a university degree, some might need you to be trained under the professionals and so on. Analyze all aspects in terms of money, work-life balance, perks, and limitations, etc and then zero down to your decision. I feel every job has pros and cons for sure. You just have to figure out the career you'd love to do in spite of the challenges it caters to.

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Cindie’s Answer

Hi Michelle. It sounds like you have a very good assessment of your strengths and interests which is a great starting point. Like you, I am a person of many interests and have an innate understanding, I think, of people. I assume you will likely go to college so the good news is that you do not have to make an immediate decision on what you want to pursue. If you/your parents can afford it, I would suggest that you take a test that would assess your strengths and then give you a list of careers that would best fit your strengths. High school counseling services will be able to direct you to these services. Colleges and universities generally offer these services also, so, when you get to college, you can ask your counselor about it. In the meantime, your first 2 years in college will be taking core curriculum so you do have some time.

Your strengths will apply for a wide variety of fields and will serve you well. Continue to develop these talents. Michael Jordan, one of *the* basketball greats of all time, was gifted with talent for the game. But what made him a "great" was the fact that he worked harder than anyone else at developing his talent for maximum return.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

"The higher you want to climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be." John C. Maxwell