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How do I find the right career to aspire to?

Hello, I'm currently a Communication major, minoring in psychology. I don't know what what my career goal is at the moment. I'm really open with the options people have recommended for me but I don't know what would be the right fit for me. I can see myself in in many different job positions so I'm very conflicted. How can I, at the very least, narrow down my options if I can't figure it out a specific job? #career-counseling #career-paths #july20 #jobs

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Alejandra’s Answer

Finding the career that is right for you is no easy task. Most importantly, you have to select a career that fits you! Here are some of my recommendations which may help you as you narrow down which profession is right for you.

- Take self-assessments and career quizzes online to determine your key skills and interests (i.e. identify your soft skills, technical skills, aptitudes, values). This is an easy first step that can help you identify your strengths and interests which will help you narrow down some of the career options that most align with your skill set.

- Create a list of occupations you are interested in exploring and learning more about. Personally, I was in a similar position where I could see myself pursuing different careers upon studying political science and psychology in college. Early on in college, I narrowed down my list of career choices based on the classes that I enjoyed the most, the topics I was most interested in and the areas in which I performed the best.

- Conduct informational interviews with contacts from your network. (i.e. ask professionals about how they decided on their career, what steps they took, what advice they have for someone starting out, what a day in their life looks like etc.). Leverage your career center professionals, your network of family and friends, and attend networking events to get in touch with professionals. Reach out and schedule a quick call to get to know what it is that they do on a daily basis and what their responsibilities are.

- Continue your growth and learning. Get first-hand training through internship and volunteering opportunities offered by your school or within your local community. This is the best way to get to know what it is that you like and dislike about the profession. Experience will also help you get to know professionals in the field and it will expose you to the different specializations/areas of expertise within that profession.

- Ask yourself, is this a possible career for me or is this a path that I am pressured to follow (societal pressures)? This is important to consider. Specifically if one of the career options you listed is a profession that is expected of you and not necessarily one you are personally interested in. Determine the path that you will succeed in career-wise, but also well-being wise.

- Research employers to get to know their culture. Job positions might showcase the responsibilities you wish to undertake but each company has distinct values and drivers. Make sure a prospective employer is the right fit for you, not just the career role.

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Rebecca’s Answer

I was also a Communications major in undergrad and had an interest in Psychology, so I very much relate to where you are coming from. A couple of things I would consider:

1. Are there internship or job shadowing opportunities in any of the areas you think sound interesting that you could try out? If not, you can also reach out to people in those fields and ask questions such as:
-What do you find most rewarding about your job?
-What is the most stressful thing about your job?
-If you could change one thing about your role or job, what would it be?

These types of questions can give you some insight into how a company culture is, which is crucially important to job satisfaction as well.

2. Similar to the answer before mine, I would ask the people who know you best where they see you excelling. That doesn't mean you have to go in that direction, but it is often insightful to hear from others how you are perceived and what those strength areas are. Additionally, I would seek out this answer from people that know you well in different settings. Classmates, friends, parents, colleagues, professors, etc.

3. You sound a lot like me. I heard people talk about different job positions and always thought, "that sounds awesome, I could do that!" But once I tried things out, I realized it may not be for me. One of the best pieces of advice I have received in my career is that it is just as important to figure out what you DON'T like as it is to figure out what you do like. So, if you try a job and realize it isn't for you, it is OK to move on and try something new.

4. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and pick something. To better help with that, I would say make sure you are talking to multiple people at the company, as well as asking yourself "are these my people?"--do you see yourself liking not just the role but the people you work with. If you find a company culture that embraces curiosity and learning, then you can flex into different roles within the same company which is what I have been able to do and I love it.

Hopefully this helps a bit! Just remember, your first job will not be your last, so it's ok if you don't get it right straight away. :)

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Gyanendra’s Answer

Figure out your interest by asking below to yourself:
1) What would you love to do if you get 4 hrs of time.
2) What are the things which excites you and you don't get tired doing that.

Ask from colleague/people who know you about your strengths.

Narrow down to your strength areas and prepare a list of jobs which have mix of your strength and interest.
this will help you to conclude what career you should choose.

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Gloria’s Answer

I think that you have gotten great feedback in this post. I would also propose to you that you consider volunteering with various organizations in your area. What I like about volunteering is that you are exposed to a variety of different people who can help you learn about possibilities that you may not have considered. Plus, you can learn about the business of being a not-for-profit organization.