How do i know what career is right for me?
I'm in college right now, about to graduate with my associates. During my childhood I wanted to be a teacher, then as I got older I wanted to be a therapist or councilor. I just turned 20 in April and I think it's time i have a better idea of what I actually want for my future. I want to be in business because it does seem interesting, i've been to seminars and it seems like something I could do. Another reason why I choose to major in business is because, its so versatile and makes good money. Deep down i'm not sure what my calling is but I want to figure it out already so I could dedicate and focus my future into my job. #college #career #needhelp#business#therapist#engineering #psychology
Also, there's no need to pressure yourself into finding a calling. Your career is a large and important part of your life, but it isn't everything. I would try to think more holistically about what makes you happy, including friends, family, extracurricular activities, etc. Ideally, you will find a career path that is stimulating, and it will give you the time (and income) to enjoy all of life. It sounds like business could fill that niche for you nicely. Try out a some classes, but don't be afraid to change your mind if you need to.
I believe your on the right track, earning a college degree will greatly enhance your marketability as a professional. Not only does a college degree make you more marketable, it makes you more marketable to a much greater range of career OPTIONS.
Earning a college degree – at any level – will open doors for you that would otherwise but shut. In addition to the skills and knowledge acquired by earning a degree, attending college provides professional networking opportunities inaccessible to those who don’t go to college.
Most people only consider the direct impact of a college degree on their own lives, one of the more hidden benefits of college and earning a college degree is the positive impact it can have on your family life as well, especially your children. I think, households where one or both parents have a college degree their children are more likely to earn a college degree. Earning a college degree can have a ripple effect that will influence the well-being of generations to come.
Enjoy The Journey
Research shows that it’s really hard to work out what you’re going to be good at ahead of time, especially through self-reflection.
Instead, go investigate. After an initial cut-down of your options, learn more and then try them out.
Minimise the costs of trying out your options by doing cheap tests first (usually start by speaking to people), then trying your options in the best order (e.g. business jobs before non-profit jobs).
Keep adapting your plan over time. Think like a scientist investigating a hypothesis.
I think many young (and older) people struggle with this. My focus was more on getting a job and I regret not spending more time on finding a career that fits my interests. So if I had the opportunity to go back and advice my younger self, this is what I would tell her.
Although a career is important, it is not everything in your adult life. Money is important, but it is not everything. Finding a job/career that interests you will bring much more satisfaction and less stress. So while you are young and have more time, really focus on what you enjoy. What do you dream about when you daydream? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Now go find volunteer opportunities in those fields. This will give you real experience in those types of positions and more importantly open the door to people you can talk to about other opportunities in that field. HR would be a good place to start. Ask for an appointment with the HR rep to pick their brain. Try to learn all the different types of jobs and companies that have those types of positions (there will be more than you can think). They may even know some recruiters that you could reach out to that specialize in your interests. The more people you can get to know in your field of interest, the better and easier things will be for you.
Best of luck!
I struggled with this a lot too-- I had so many things that I loved doing, so it was hard to choose just one path. And, that's ok. There is a book called "What Motivates Me" by Adrian Gostick that I would encourage. Sometimes, it isn't just about finding what you are passionate about-- it is about finding what truly motivates you. That will help you find a career that is exciting! After reading this book and taking the quiz, I was able to better understand what I really wanted out of a career, and that helped me focus.
I was a psych major and was determined to be a therapist. When I did get into graduate school to continue, I realized I was more interested in getting out into the world. I have had a few different corporate jobs over the years, but in the end, have been a career Executive Assistant supporting C-level executives for many years. It definitely was not where I thought I would end up, but I realized I was good at my job, always willing to learn and go the extra mile... sometimes that extra mile is where you get the most benefit in learning.
Be open to anything. Try anything that interests you. Recognize your strengths and think about how those strengths could transfer into a career. I know someone else mentioned Human Resources, which is great. There are so many aspects of psychology and so many different things you can do (training, recruiting, well-being, etc.). If those first few positions don't work, never worry - you will have learned skills to take you down another road.
Trust me, you will find your niche!
To me, that's what college is partially about. It's about taking courses and finding out what you like and what you don't like. For me, I loved history and horticulture but figured that a degree in either would limit me to what I could do in the future. I hated statistics with a passion and knew that I was not going to be a statistician just based on that. What I did know was that I liked the interaction with people and had exposure to sales and marketing with my dad's company. So I chose to get a degree in marketing. Do I use it now? No, I do not but what it did was give me the basis to start working and get experience in an array of fields until I found my way in real estate.
My recommendation for any young college student is to take classes that might seem interesting as electives. If you like them, then additional courses that can fit in your degree plan can be taken. Get summer jobs or internships that apply to what you think you will like. Hands on learning will really show you what the job is all about. Sometimes we have an idea in our minds of what a job should be vs. the reality of what a job really is.
Good luck in your pursuit, whatever you decide. Remember, happiness in a career is extremely important and happiness can only be defined individually.
Chris recommends the following next steps:
Also, bear in mind that your "dream job" might not be what it's cracked up to be - or vice versa - maybe you take a job that seems unpleasant when measured by its job description but you end up developing a passion for it. Most jobs are what you make of it, whether you're a janitor or the chief executive officer of Microsoft.
For now though, pursue what your gut tells you to pursue. You mentioned business seems interesting - that's great. Start thinking about what specifically in business you might want to do, and start networking like crazy. I got my first job in my industry (sports broadcasting) through sheer luck - my parents were friends with a family whose son worked in sports radio, which got me an internship there. Sometimes it can be that easy, but definitely don't discouraged if it takes you a little while to find something that might interest you. It took me a few months after I graduated college to find a full-time position in sports media that I wanted. Good luck!