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What to focus on when you do not have a vision of what you want to work at?

I am a las year International Business Administration student, and while all my classmates are going back to the family business, starting a process, leaving for a Masters degree or finding jobs in normal enterprises, I have lost thrive and passion for whatever I can do with my degree and experience so far.
I am a really passionated person and not discovering what am I passionate about is making it hard to take the next step. #business #college #career #psychology #motivation

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Subject: Career question for you

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Zainee’s Answer

Sometimes when you're trying so hard to look for a "passion or vision" it becomes an impossible task.

What's worked for me is I think about where I find joy. Start with a few questions like: is it when I help others? Is it when my work creates positive impact? Is it when I can find a solution to a problem? Is it when I can connect personally with others?

Seeing it from this perspective will allow you to discover a career that aligns with your values and what brings you joy. Doing meaningful work for you will clarify your vision and chances are, you'll be passionate about what you do as it's connected with who you are as a person.
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Carolyn’s Answer

Hi, for me - i decided to volunteer at a few places to see if i had a desire to do that type of work. It allowed me to get a feel for what my true passion was and yes it could be totally different from what you went to college for and i don't feel either was a waste of time. Sometimes as you experience life and different environments it helps you grow and simply change your course in life. good luck - Remember keep an open mind!!
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Danielle’s Answer

You are not the first to feel disheartened because you're not sure what you want to do post graduation. The good news is, you have the rest of your life to figure it out and you don't have to have all the answers right now. Think outside the box! There are tons of people that don't end up doing exactly what they studied. When you are thinking about your next career move, think of what you are passionate about on a personal level. You don't have to be defined by your degree - there are tons of companies/jobs out there that are not degree-specific and are looking for passionate and hard working individuals. Now is the time to do some soul searching, try to think of what you would enjoy, and then look for related jobs!

Danielle recommends the following next steps:

Search Linkedin, Glassdoor, and other job search sites for companies or jobs that sounds interesting to you
Make connections - network with people within and outside of your field
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Julianna’s Answer

My advice- try a little bit of everything, and say yes to all the opportunities that come your way! Go on sites like The Newsette that feature career profiles of successful women, and see what about their profiles appeals to you the most (is there a certain industry that sounds interesting? is there a work/life balance that seems to resonate with you? is there a particular job responsibility you think you'd love to have?). You can also go on LinkedIn and check out the profiles of people who work at the companies you love the most (is there a product you use that works really well? is there a brand that makes you happy whenever you see it?). Go down rabbit holes...you never know where they'll take you and what you'll learn!
Thank you comment icon Definitely agree..."go down the rabbit hole"! Every opportunity is an opportunity to learn. Try things...learn what you like and you don't like. In every situation seek there are opportunities to make a difference, even if small. Don't let fear hold you back from trying something out. Right or wrong, it's a step closer to finding your passion. Marc Zbinden
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Adriane’s Answer

This is a problem everyone struggles with throughout their professional careers, so you're not alone! It's also very generational where I think a lot of people were raised with the idea that "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life" meaning your joy and fulfillment in your work will outweigh the feeling of 'work.'

Ideally, we could all latch on to what we love to do in our free time, find a job that embodies that, and earn enough to live off of that. In this vein, I would encourage you to think about the things that you enjoy in terms of the activities (i.e., do you like talking to people, do you like helping, teaching, being creative, etc.) rather than the topics, like 'accounting' or 'business.' Then, I've found, you can more easily search for a position that has the things you want to actually do rather than an overarching sector or theme that you're interested in, if that makes sense.

On the other hand, you may never be able to earn enough doing what you love and that is OK too! As long as you can find something that you like well enough and people that you like working with (which I have always found to be most important), then you find other ways to do what you love, through volunteering, interest groups, etc. There are unlimited options here.

Keep an open mind and don't put too much pressure on yourself to find the "dream job" right away. That "dream job" will and should change and you experience different things and find your way in this crazy world.
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Will’s Answer

Heya! Don't feel like you need to be shoehorned into a job that fits within the major you're wrapping up. Definitely do as others suggested and take some time to yourself if needed (Traveling is probably a no for now due to COVID-19, but talk to a lot of other people). I didn't know what I wanted to do until my 2nd year into community college within BA (I finished with a concentration in MIS).

I can't tell you how many times I've met people in my career who ended up studying a degree completely unrelated to what they were already doing - whether product management, marketing, communications, etc. Dip your toes into different areas if you can and you'll find your passion, eventually! And remember - the greater job you do and the more people you know (networking), the better position you'll be in when advancing your career. Good Luck!
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Tara’s Answer

Hi Ana,

This is a fantastic question. A question that can resonate with so many people.

You are not alone in having this experience of losing your passion at the moment. You may find that you have different times in your life when that passion level is higher than others. That passion may also be the catalyst to trying new things you may not have considered previously.

It is so important to not be afraid to take the first step. Things may not be exactly what you hoped for initially but you can always make a change. You don't have to look at anything as permanent if it isn't making you happy.

If you decide to go in another direction, that is perfectly ok. Take the lessons you learned and the pieces of your experiences that drive you and give you strength to pursue the next challenge.

Have patience and surround yourself with people that lift you up and support your endeavors.

Best of luck!

Cheers to the Future!

-Tara

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Cristi’s Answer

Like many others have said on this response chain, you are not alone in feeling this way. Your passions and interests will likely continue to change your entire life. Embrace that because it will bring a more fruitful quality of life if you allow yourself to experience different jobs and different passions. Sometimes knowing where to get started can be a scary path when you are not sure you have a personal direction. I felt this same way in college and ended up taking a semester off. When I returned I changed my major, but interestingly enough I have been in an industry for over 15 years that has nothing to do with my degree. I worked in three different industries before I finally found a job that I loved and fit my skill sets but it did take some time navigating to get there and there is nothing wrong with that path.
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Saswata’s Answer

Hi Ana, A few suggestions would be:

1. Speak to one of your professors and seek help
2. There are many career counselling companies, groups. You can potentially seek their help.
3. personally, list down top 3 things you are passionate about. Then map out your Business administration degree knowledge and see if you can directly make an impact to achieve your areas of passion with your degree. This will help you in mapping out how best you can align your acquired skills with your passion.

Best wishes.
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Xavier’s Answer

My advice would be to get a piece of paper and write down the things that mean the most to you. Then write down all of your skills sets that could help with the things that mean the most to you. Now you will be able to look up careers that have these type of requirements. Reach out to anyone you can in the fields that interest you, and see if you can get an answers on how the day-to-day life is.
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Simeon’s Answer

It's possible that you are dealing with burnout. If you have the ability to take a break and spend some time on your own, it can be helpful just to have a breather. For money, I would just choose a safe option for the present moment and use your free time to explore, have fun, and get back in touch with what you want to do long-term.
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Dan’s Answer

My best advice is similar to others on this thread: think about what you most enjoy doing. It doesn't have to be 'job' related, but where do you get the most passion? Is it in solving puzzles? Is it in playing a sport? Is it in listening to music? Helping a friend? Those are all indicators of the types of things that you enjoy (and often are also good at doing). There are all sorts of businesses and fields that have connections to each of those items I mentioned above. For example, if you love helping a friend, perhaps some type of non-profit work that supports others in need could be of interest. If it's puzzles, then frankly, most business problems are comparable to solving puzzles with data and information. You just need to put the pieces together to see the answer.

Give some thought to that, and don't be afraid to try things and pivot. When you do pivot, reflect on what you DIDN'T like (not the job itself, but what about the job). Those two lists of things can help steer you in certain directions. Most importantly, don't be afraid to "fail" at what you try. Learn from it.
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Michelle’s Answer

HI Ana,

Awesome question and your level of self awareness is impressive.

You started your journey for a reason. With all the work and study you did, it's possible that you may have lost sight of the reason you went into this field. Don't give up on yourself because you don't have definite plans, post graduation - you may just be tired.

Try thinking outside the box and consider industries such as banking, financial services companies, pharmaceuticals or even state/federal/or local government.

I wish you all the best in your search for you!
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D.’s Answer

Take a break and re-group. Write down what you are compassionate about, what bothers you, what makes you happy, what makes you bored..... You may find the answer you are looking for when you stop and think about what you really like and what does not interest you. It will come to you. Try not to think about so much. It will come to you.
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Sandesh’s Answer

1. Strategy
a. Identify your niche: What is it that you have to offer different than what's being already offered by your competitors
b. Assess your competition. Assess your target market. Create a business plan

2. Finance
a. Pitch the plan and attract investors. If capital requirements are small, self sponsor but remember to keep your losses minimal.
b. Close the deal, make the capital draws

3. Capability
a. Develop your product/Service
b. Identify the target customer. Promote your product/service via website, social media etc. (Some times your need to give out your product/service for free limited trial)
c. Execute on production, marketing, accounting, human resource, business management
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Dwight’s Answer

Sounds like you need to discover what you are passionate about so you can find a career field that will hold your interest and not feel like work. The book, "What Color is your Parachute?" could help give you some insights. Consider what your strengths and weaknesses are? Do you like to work on a team or by yourself? Do you like the big picture or the technical details? Do you prefer working with data or forging relationships with others to complete work? As your parents and friends the same questions to see if what they say matches what you think.
Seek out opportunities, either through volunteering, internship, internet research to learn about fields that interest you. Like many have said, it can be hard to know what you want to do, "when you grow up." I was faced with that 4 years ago as a 51-year old, when I retired from the Coast Guard after a 33-year career. Here was my opportunity to do what I wanted and not have to go where the Coast Guard ordered me. The first thing I did was decide where I wanted to live. We (my family had a say in the decision) chose to live in the Dallas, TX area, so we could be near family to have and lend support for each other. I chose a company, Fannie Mae, that had the vision and values I could relate to and support that were in line with my core beliefs. The role, as a lean management consultant, allowed me to use my 30+ years of people skills to build relationships, train others, and influence to use of lean management for the company.
Find you passion and pursue it!

Dwight recommends the following next steps:

Read "What Color is your Parachute?" or some other book that might reveal your strengths and skills.
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