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How can i figure out what career would be right for me?

I'm a single mother of one, I'm 27 years old and about to enroll in college. I'm interested in human behavior, psychology, sociology, Physical health and the natural way the world works. My goal is to gain knowledge and pursue a career in something that involves my interests, also to be wealthy and provide a good life for me and secure my daughters future. I'm looking for advice and some guidance. #career-counseling #career-choice #career


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Kim’s Answer

Hi Stephanie,

I'm not sure what career would make you "wealthy." But, I wanted to address the concept of wealth. We all want to be in a secure position and able to provide for our families. Most of us who are in such a position don't really consider ourselves wealthy. Money management is an essential skill. Part of this has to do with distinguishing between "Wants" and "needs" and being able to delay gratification. For example, what's the difference between an $18,000 car and a $30,000 car? Answer: $12,000 dollars! They are both reliable transportation. You also want to understand loans, credit cards, and interest rates, and in what order you should pay off credit cards. If you don't already have these skills, please look into things like creating an Emergency Fund. Also if you want to save for your daughter's education, there are tax advantaged ways of doing this. You will also want to look into insurances, including life insurance and disability insurance.

Also, one way people do better financially is to move. If you are able to do so, you should consider it. You will want to compare the cost of living in your city to other cities, out of California. You will find that even though salaries are lower elsewhere, so is the cost of living. By the time you finish comparing both salaries and the cost of living, you may find that the lower salaries elsewhere will actually put you further ahead financially. This is why many retirees are moving to foreign countries - it substantially increases their buying power!

As you consider other jobs, you will also want to consider what hours they work. For example, as a police officer, I was stuck on the 2pm-10 pm shift for 5 years. I missed seeing my son grow up, as he was always either in school or in bed while I was home.

Congrats on making the decision to go back to school. Wishing you the best!
Kim


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Tiffany’s Answer

Hi there! If you like human behavior/psych as well as physical health, you may want to look into becoming a psychiatric nurse. It would be 2 years of undergrad prerequisites, then 16-24 months of nursing school (depending on the program) for a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. Take the NCLEX, then apply to be a psych nurse in a hospital!

Thank you so much Tiffany! This is something to think about, I actually never thought about this field. I will definitely do my research. Thanks again for your time. Stephanie R.

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Becky’s Answer

There’s a great book called The Proximity Principle By Ken Coleman. He talks about finding your why and finding what you’re good at. Then look for the intersection between what you’re good at and your Why for working. It sounds like you’re “why” is your future and what is best for you and your children. I would look a little deeper too. Look for what you want your legacy to be after you retire. What kind of work do you think would add value to society. When you merge that with what you’re really good at you will find a great career. Also do a review of your skills and ask people that have worked with you and people that are close to you what they think you are good at. It may open your eyes to opportunities you would not have considered otherwise.

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Terhan’s Answer

I think a great career that people often overlook is sales or sales management. The dynamic of customer experience and sales is rooted in human behavior and psychology. The greatest benefit of sales experience is the transfer of skills and public sector businesses have a sale component.

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Elina’s Answer

Hi Tiffany. Congratulations enrolling into college. I think this is a great time for you to explore different courses within the psychology, nursing, and business space. There are many opportunities within corporations who invest a great deal into ensuring their employees are happy and healthy psychically and emotionally.

Now more than ever there is a movement for people to improve their emotional wellbeing through psychology. Nursing can also provide great job security.

Psychology is very fulfilling if you enjoy listening to others and guiding them to solve their concerns.

Nursing can address your need to help someone physically improve their condition.

Understanding business can land you a great career within a corporation where you can advise on how to engage employees and help them focus on their personal wellbeing and ensuring that the business understand how personal wellbeing can contribute to the bottom line of a company.

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Xavier’s Answer

Hey. My best advice would be to speak to the professors on campus that have had success in this area. Believe it or not, people love to talk about themselves lol. But seriously, once you've been enrolled express your concern to the professors and your advisor, and I am sure someone can give you options on what steps to take.

My biggest regret while I was in school was not taking more time to network with the people on campus. Who knows the amount of opportunities I missed. I know you're a single mother (my mother was as well, and is just now going back to school), but please try to be as involved as you can. If there are internships or volunteer opportunities available, I would take advantage of it, and that may help with deciding on what's right for you.

I wish you the best of luck. Hope this helps. It takes a lot to do what you're doing, very inspirational!

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JOHN’s Answer

You seem to have a wide-range of interests within the human services field. I would suggest that you make an appointment with the college's career center and get some professional assistance in exploring and narrowing down your options. Another way you might start is to take the Self-Directed Search (SDS), an excellent on-line assessment that can help you look at specific occupations around your interests and abilities. It might help narrow the field a little the link to the SDS is: http://www.self-directed-search.com. it costs about 10 bucks, but it could be a good investment. Even if you do this, I would encourage you to have someone in the college career center visit with you about it.

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Arshia’s Answer

Dear Stephanie,

I want to take a second to applaud you for being a hard working single-mother and enrolling in college. You are making the right decision for your and your family.

Career choices and interests are fluid, meaning that it can change over time so the most important thing is to be open-minded and allow yourself to follow your interests and passion, while also being realistic about your chosen field. Since you have an idea of the majors and disciplines you are interested in, you can narrow down some of your options. It's important to speak with your academic and career advisors in college and develop rapport with them so they can help you with your educational and career journey.

You will want to do a lot of research online into your chosen fields and look into the pathways that allow you to get there. Look up professional associations, job descriptions, and sometimes you will have to work your way backwards- meaning look at the job posting and see what it requires and then go to school to work on that goal. Taking career and personality assessments such as MBTI and the Strong Inventory are very useful. Your higher education institution should have subscriptions to get you those tests free of charge or at very minimal prices. These tests will reveal information about yourself and is a good starting point for you to build upon.

My last piece of advice is to never stop reflecting inwards and always learn more about yourself. This way you will choose a career that truly make you happy and hopefully allow you a comfortable lifestyle for you and your daughter.

Arshia recommends the following next steps:

Take the following test: https://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-personality-test-new
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Start exploring careers: https://www.onetonline.org/
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Jessica Sera’s Answer

Hi Stephanie!

There are many ways you can go about finding a career that is right for you. It is great that you have already discovered certain topics you are interested in - like psychology and human behavior. During your undergraduate experience, you can take some classes pertaining to these topics and find that you may like a certain aspect of psychology, for example. You may also find it helpful to talk to your professors about their backgrounds and experiences. This will provide their insight on various career paths in a particular field. I also majored in psychology, and throughout my undergraduate experience, I definitely learned how broad psychology is. There is health psychology, social psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, etc. It may help to think about what your interests are and pursue classes from that. From your interest in physical health, possibly health psychology would be an interesting subject for you! Aside from taking classes, I would recommend doing some strength assessments like the VIA Character Strength Survey, the Myer-Briggs test, the Enneagram, and Strengthsfinder. You may gain insight into your personality and genuine aptitudes and skills that you can translate into a career. Lastly, if you have some career choices in mind, I find that Onetonline.org is a great tool to search for the education needed for the career, work activities, and values, wage and employment trends, etc. Finding a career right for you is definitely a process, and I wish you the best of luck!

Jessica Sera recommends the following next steps:

Take classes you are interested in - possibly health psychology?
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Speak to professors about their background and career path
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Take strength assessments to discover more insight into your strengths
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Research careers using OnetOnline.org
Saved!

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Lisa’s Answer

Financial adviser may be an answer to your career consideration. Flexible work schedule and gaining knowledge of finance will help you and your daughter. Working with clients will need your fined tuned interest in human behaviors. Most importantly, you set your goals and energy for how wealthy you would like to be in this field. You will be the boss of your business and feel good helping people.

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Simeon’s Answer

You might want to consider getting a degree as a physician's assistant. You can earn a decent wage in that field quicker than you could from psychology and sociology as far as I know. I'd recommend seeing if you could shadow people in these different fields or watch related videos and see if the fields appeal to you. Also, try to find people in these fields to talk to and see what their honest opinions are about the pros and cons of their career.

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Kei’s Answer

Hi Stephanie.

I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science major in Psychology and if you are interested in human behavior, you can explore these 2 options.

1. You can be in the medical field if you pursue Psychology to medicine
2. You can be in the industrial field and join Human Resources

Both options can make you happy and wealthy if you work hard for it. In the end, I would say, weigh your options. Being a medical practitioner would require more time to study. You may or may not work longer hours from time to time. Being in the corporate world may or may not be the same depending on the industry you are in.

Either way, being a graduate of Psychology does not limit you with these 2 options. I am not a doctor but I work in a customer service industry and I like how I use my knowledge in analyzing people's behavior and how I can help them be better at what they do. Choose a career that you love and something that you are passionate about. If you do, you will be motivated and determined to be your best every single time. For sure that will make your kid proud. Good luck to you!

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Nadia’s Answer

I would start with preparing a list of your current work/life priorities.
Important questions to be asked during creation:
1. How much time do I need to spend or take care of my daughter? Try to estimate in %.
2. Do I have any other important responsibilities, such as regular taking care of my parents?
3. What are my work schedule preferences? Nigh/Day shifts, weekends etc.? No preferences?
4.. Do I have any other important responsibilities, such as regular taking care of my parents?
5. What is the lowest salary that will allow me to live, pay bills and have at least minimum savings?
6. What is the acceptable distance to my working place? Is remote work a priority or an option for me? Will I consider moving to another city or state if it will result in a great job?
Compare your list with actual job offerings available in your location. It can help you to narrow down some jobs that will be aligned with your priorities and - what's even more important - are available. Think of your college courses and pick them in a way that will help you to get those jobs after graduation.
Good luck!

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Syed’s Answer

Hi Stephanie,

A career that can be an interesting option for you is talent acquisition/search/recruiting. This role involves working with clients to find great talent for their human resource needs. You need to be talented at identifying people with the right character traits and backgrounds to succeed in your clients’ posted roles. When interviewing candidates, you can lean on your background in human behavior to gauge whether a candidate is the correct fit or not. You can also coach people to prepare for further interviews by working on things like body language, tone, etc.

Some clients will pay you several thousand dollars in bonus money if a candidate you identified and placed can successfully work for 90 days in their new role. Eventually, you can build enough of a name for yourself to launch your own search firm. You have to have a strong reputation with clients and a nose for business. If you want to build on your areas of interest, you can specialize in areas like hospital staffing or academic faculty recruiting for example. This can be a very lucrative path to go down with tried and true methods for success.

Good luck!

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Rhonda’s Answer

Spend time asking questions to expand your interest and abilities in a field;

job description,
available job opportunites; Linked in,
College career counselors.
Reach out to accomplished professionals in the field of your choice; Mentoring program
Wishing you the best of luck!!!!

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