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What are the best things to help me discover my passion and career path?

I struggled quite a bit throughout high school and college to find my passion. Not until my senior year in college did I realize that I didn't want to pursue the major I was in any longer. #college #college-major #career-paths #academic-advising #passions

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Stacy’s Answer

There is nothing wrong with not knowing exactly what you want to do. I often say, "I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up." And I've been working for 20+ years. I followed my passion early; and then had to change course and find something new. And it's been an exciting journey of trying new things and being in a lot of different roles that have made me a much stronger professional and overall person. So embrace the journey vs looking for "the answer". I would also recommend determining your personal and professional goals and values. Then you can look for work that enables you to do those things and stay true to who you are; but isn't necessarily a specific industry or functional area. And lastly, start trying different things - either through internships, shadow days, informational interviews or take a role that looks interesting even if you're not sure it's "the one" and see what you find.

I appreciate your answer, especially "embrace the journey vs looking for 'the answer'". It's intimidating at times to think in the future and wonder if I'll actually find something I'm passionate about but this is a nice reminder to focus also on the present. Thank you! Anders L.

Thanks for the advice. I am interning at a research program this summer to see if that is what I want to do with my life and I think it will be a great experience. The program has not started yet, but I already feel like I have learned a lot from the application process, especially through the interview. Mira S.

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Robert’s Answer

What makes you smile? What makes you laugh? What would you gladly jump out of bed at 4 in the morning to go do? There are subjects and ideas that truly excite and inspire you. Make the effort to identify them and then don't be afraid to seek work in those areas. There are lots of people who don't do what their major was in college. That's ok. You could work in your major for a short time to pay the bills while you research other options. You could start by volunteering in an area that interests you.

It's really important to not give up. Don't become complacent. Identify your passions and then fight, fiercely, to stay true to them. What you are struggling with now becomes much harder if you allow yourself to get comfortable in a job that meets your financial needs but does not connect with what truly inspires YOU as a unique individual.

Here are a couple of resources, if you're still reading this: read "The seven spiritual laws of success" by Deepak Chopra, it's fairly short, & very impactful. Read "You are a badass" by Jen Sincero. Both can help you get in touch with who you are at your core, and that will help you answer your question!

You can do this! It's going to be great! Enjoy the journey!

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Carlos’s Answer

First of all, struggling to find a passion is very normal especially when you are young, so don't panic. I can tell you though that in my case my passion was always the design/art (I was always the guy in charge to make posters for my class in junior school, or the flyers for a party in high school, and I love it . So I guess I was lucky to discover my passion at an early age. Sometimes is difficult to identify in yourself "what I am good at" So ask for your friend's opinion or relative ask them what do they think about your skills (we all have some kind of skill) , do they think you are good talking (persuasive skills), or drawing, or dancing or helping other people you can find an answer on their answers.

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Liza’s Answer

Look at finding your passion as a fun adventure. For me I have more than one. My true passions ended up being my hobbies and outside of work activities. For me my career is something I enjoy getting up every day to do, something I am naturally good at and curious to keep learning about. Try some things out. Knowing what you do not like is half the battle. Take a chance to try something you think you like, if that doesn't turn out right, change directions. Talk to a variety of people you trust, run your thoughts by them, when you get one or two that resonate with multiple people you are probably on a good path.