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why is it difficult to pick a career that you think you might enjoy?

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Well I am about to go into the 11th grade and I believe that I have my mind set on the career that I am going into but one thing that I may want to know is what are the best steps in becoming a successful mechanical engineer and what other jobs may be somewhat similar so that I could put in the my thoughts to widen my job spectrum? #mechanical engineer #mechanical-engineering

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7 answers

Ellen’s Answer

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Finding the right career for you is an ongoing journey throughout your life. My advice would be to keep an open mind at every opportunity and use your college years to get as much experience as possible. Use your career center and networks to get involved in internships in order to try out different things. These experiences are often very helpful to help you decide what you don't like so you can narrow done on career options that you enjoy. Mechanical engineering can be applied in many functions, so keep an open mind and ask lots of questions.
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Alison’s Answer

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Andreus, I love your question! For some people, it’s not difficult at all to pick a career. They find something they’re interested in and end up really liking the work in that field. For others, it can be hard because personal tastes and interests change, or the work they end up doing in the field they thought they wanted isn’t as enjoyable as they thought it would be. You do not have to make your final decision now.

It sounds like you’ve done some research on mechanical engineering already, and that’s a fantastic first step. Next, take some courses after high school (or in high school if your school offers them) that will teach you more about that field and what it involves. Listen to your guidance counselor’s recommendations for classes, too. If she says Pre-Calc is a good class for you, take it. Sometimes developing a base-knowledge for what you’ll need in a future career can help you figure out if it’s right for you. For instance, if you don’t like your biology class, you probably don’t want to become a zoologist, right?

Once you’ve done some more exploration, then start looking for internships or ask around to see if you can find a mechanical engineer who would let you interview them, shadow them for a day, or even shadow for a week if you’re off school. If you’re happy with what you learn and can still see yourself doing that work, then you’ll be in good shape to continue on towards that dreamy engineering gig. If at any point something starts feeling like it’s not a good fit for you, think about what isn’t fitting, and research positions that will shift you away from that part of things. As another example: Student Z wanted to be a chef, but got his first job in a restaurant kitchen and didn’t like the fast pace. So, Z figures out how to pivot; he shifts to a catering company instead where orders must be placed in advance and he knows exactly what has to be done for tomorrow before he leaves the kitchen today. As you try out internships, etc., you’ll be able to figure out how various other jobs relate to your engineering goal, and which one is right for you.

Good luck!
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Madhura’s Answer

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I would recommend starting with what are some of the thing you are good. Push yourself to make a list of at least 10 skills/talents. Then fill the matrix with things professions you are evaluating. It has been found that the roles that you are good at are often the ones you are/become passionate about and enjoy the most as your job.
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Amanda’s Answer

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Hi Andreus,

Great questions you're asking! I'm going to focus on the question in your headline - "why is it difficult to pick a career that you think you might enjoy?"

Basically, it's because there's no way you can have all of the information your need to know if you'll enjoy it before you're actually doing it! The good news is that most people don't stay in one job for their whole career anymore, so you will have plenty of opportunities to take what you learn at each step and use it to inform your next step.

If you were to study mechanical engineering for example, you may take your first job as an engineer with an engineering firm, or you might work in any number of other companies that make or build things - eg construction companies, manufacturing companies, mining companies, power companies. You might even decide to pursue a career in consulting!

As you gain your first few years of experience, you'll start to notice some things you like and that you don't like - I suggest keeping good lists of both sides, because this is important data that can help you make decisions as opportunities come up. You might decide to take a promotion with the company you're with, or you might decide to try another industry, or even try something completely different.

It's also important to know that how much you will enjoy a job doesn't just depend on the actual work you're doing - the culture of the company and the people you work with most will have a major influence as well. You could do exactly the same work at two different companie, and love one but hate the other!

If you choose to study something you are interested in (and reasonably good at!), you give yourself the best foundation to start your career doing work that you enjoy. From there, you can collect data as you get more experience and make decisions that will make you enjoy your work more and more over time. And, if at some point you make a decision that makes you enjoy work less (that happened to me once!), then you can learn from that experience and try something else that hopefully you will enjoy more.

The most important thing to remember is that if you find yourself in a job you don't like, you're not stuck! It takes some effort, but you can make a change. Best of luck with your study and career choice!
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Dennis’s Answer

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Great question! I've been in the work force for 27 years and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up! Here's some words of wisdom... You will likely change jobs and careers, even slightly, a few times. At least a few times. It's okay to not know up front where you want to go or what you want to do. I started at an IT help desk, but within a couple months - they saw my abilities as a programmer so they brought me into another group to help with a gas metering project... I never expected that. Then a year later I took a Civil Service test and ended up working as a Data Analyst for New York State. Over the years, I have shown my skills and aptitude and just kind of "fell into" different jobs and aspects of technology. My biggest advise to you is not to worry that you don't have it all figured out. Because sometimes, it happens over time. I never thought I would be working in a municipal (city/govt) role to help build out 5G wireless networks. Never thought that's where I would end up. I'm very happy here and love what I do.... but whatever you decide to get into, give it a chance and go with it. You'll look back in 10, 20, 30 years and may say "how did I get here?" The ride will take you over bumps and curves but get some skills that are marketable and that you enjoy - you'll sort it out. Relax because you're in a spot we all have been... and some of us still are! Don't stress! Good luck!
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Sugender’s Answer

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Andreus, It's great question. my son also had similar question while moving into grade 11 as he wanted to opt for Mathematics or Biology?
first and most important is... sit with yourself and think about you and ask these questions with you before asking someone in family dad or mom etc. write on peace of paper and read it again and again.
1. what you would like to become after 6 years (or after your graduation) and what motivates you for this decision
2. is this decision out of your observation or someone from your friends and families influencing you to go for it?
3. check back your last 2 years your subject gradings, which subject you scored most and is your decision inline with your decision. eg:- did you get more score in biology and less score in mathematics end physics, still you want opt for mathematics?? or you consistently scoring good as per your decision?
4. if you are little confused, talk to parents or siblings in peaceful environment.

ensure your decision is final because if both passion and profession are same.... life will be great..! All the Best
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Sugender’s Answer

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Andreus, It's great question. my son also had similar question while moving into grade 11 as he wanted to opt for Mathematics or Biology?
first and most important is... sit with yourself and think about you and ask these questions with you before asking someone in family dad or mom etc. write on peace of paper and read it again and again.
1. what you would like to become after 6 years (or after your graduation) and what motivates you for this decision
2. is this decision out of your observation or someone from your friends and families influencing you to go for it?
3. check back your last 2 years your subject gradings, which subject you scored most and is your decision inline with your decision. eg:- did you get more score in biology and less score in mathematics end physics, still you want opt for mathematics?? or you consistently scoring good as per your decision?
4. if you are little confused, talk to parents or siblings in peaceful environment.

ensure your decision is final because if both passion and profession are same.... life will be great..! All the Best
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