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Is there a "right" time to know which career path I'd like to take?

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Subject: Career question for you
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7 answers

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Devin’s Answer

The answer is no, there is not a right time to know which career path you'd like to take because it's different for everyone. The difficult reality is that your career is truly a life-long journey. More than likely, you will change careers at least once in your lifetime. What matters is that you find an area to study in or work in that you are interested in now and begin to compile the life experience necessary to know what you truly want. Ideally, your passions line up with your career and best of luck to you figuring it out.

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Wojciech’s Answer

You have to get new skills whole life. You might have to change career because of bad economy. Always think what would you like and go with it, but remember that you can always change it.

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Karina’s Answer

I think that some of us experience a pressure to know one career that we dream of having, strive towards, and plan on settling into once we achieve it. This isn't the route that most people take, and that is perfectly okay. Career interests can shift, but it is helpful to at least find a field that interests you at a younger age so you can gain experience. My advice is to follow your interests and continue to try out new volunteer, internship, and job opportunities that help you determine what you enjoy doing and what doesn't interest you. If you're in a position or major that you don't enjoy, don't settle or stay - continue looking for other opportunities. People in their middle ages are able to have drastic career switches, and it's perfectly normal to try out different careers.

Karina recommends the following next steps:

Determine your interests
List out some dream jobs that you have
Find the steps needed to get close to some of your dream jobs
Locate internship, volunteer, and job opportunities that interest you

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Kim’s Answer

Hi Caroline
You have been given some excellent advice to help answer your question. I would also like to add that you may want to consider gaining an understanding of your true strengths and then build your career options from there. There are several assessments to help you with this process. My personal favorite is StrengthsFinder. The resulting report will focus on your natural strengths and what opportunities may be the best fit. It will help you narrow your focus to what comes naturally to you.
Best wishes for your success.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Research StrengthsFinder to determine if it ia a good option.
Take the assessment and review the report.
Retain the report to help guide your educational and career decisions.

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Cora’s Answer

I believe there is never a set time to pick a career path. Sometimes it takes a little while to know what you are passionate about in life. There are some of us who know from the time we are born what it is that we would like to do and there are others who don't really know until we go to college or something happens in our life to direct us to our path. I would like you to remember to not be to hard on yourself, if you don't know, keep pushing forward and eventually you will find exactly what career you would like to do.

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Anna’s Answer

I would say all the time. But before you consider a write down a list of activities that give you energy and job. Ask a few people you trust if they see that in you. To have a lasting career, it is very important that line of work is consistent with your personal value, you are passionate enough to keep on learning new skills to make you an expert in that field.

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Ilyas’s Answer

Hi Caroline,

I don't think there is a right or wrong time to find the career you will end up loving. I started out being a Computer Science major when I first started college, after 2 semesters I changed it to Business. I chose Business because I didn't know exactly what I wanted to be but I knew that I would have many options with a broad degree. Unless you plan on perusing a specialized career, such as Doctor/Nurse, etc. I think you can find a degree that generally fits your interest and then start to work at a company that you know provides a ton of opportunities. Whether that is a 2 year degree or 4 year degree, I definitely recommend college. I know college is not for everyone, but it does provide a foundation and is a great experience. My recommendation is to leverage your network, what types of careers do you have in you circle? Friends, Family, Neighbors, what do they do? Can you spend time shadowing them or at least taking time to ask them about their career, why they chose it and what they enjoy most about it. Research is key, but also knowing that there is no single path for everyone to take, everyone will have their own journey and if you learn to enjoy the journey and learn from mistakes/failures along the way, you will be fine.

Hope that helps you! Good Luck!