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How do you know that the career you are pursuing, is the career that you actually want to pursue?

One of my biggest fears in life, is that I’m on the wrong track and that I won’t actually find out that I’m on the wrong track, until it’s the end of the road. At the moment I’m pursuing a degree in international business, but often feel like my heart is in digital communication and/or education. I’d like my career to fulfilling and meaningful and not just something I do to get by. #career #career-counseling #careers #career-path #career-choice #july20


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Becky’s Answer

Part of finding your passion is trial and error. I always recommend finding what you are truly interested in and passionate about. This may take time and maybe a few “wrong” turns, that is ok. You will learn something from every choice and every path that will help you grow. I took a very winding path but I learned a lot along the way. Living and experiencing life is the best teacher. Go with your gut and heart and don’t ever give up and you will be fine!

Thank you so much! Life’s twists and turns are definitely the best teachers. The best lessons I have learned have been through lived experiences. Chantay T.

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Chau’s Answer

I think everyone has faced that fear before and I myself went through a career change. I have to tell you it's not easy and requires a lot of commitment and self-discipline. However, finding a career that is right for you is the most important thing. It means you don't feel discouraged coming to work every day and you feel challenged. I used to come to work with a bad mood and felt like I was not learning anything new at all. That's when I knew I needed to make a change. However, pursuing a career that you love doesn't always mean it will secure a roof above your head or rent money or savings! So take it slowly. Explore and discover yourself. Find your passion!

Most importantly, when you think you like digital communications, you should take a class or an online course about it, read up about the trends, the job description, the life of an editor, etc. Just do your research and see if that interests you. If it does, connect with someone in the field who can answer your questions about this career path. Then, if your interest remains the same, find a volunteer work in digital communication/education or an internship that can help you gain real experience and a whole lot of insights. After all of that, I think you will know surely if it is for you.

My point here is that finding a career that suits you is not always so straightforward. It will take time and a lot of effort. In order to minimize your fear and rationalize your big decision, you need to do your homework. And believe it or not, sometimes the career picks you and not the other way around :)

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Jason’s Answer

This is a great fear to have as will steer you in a good direction as opposed to many folks who don't think about it until they've already declared a major or even graduated. The good news is that international business in the current world refers to a plethora of career paths. The other side of it is that you don't need a degree in international business to conduct international business. If you have areas of interest in other aspects of business, I would suggest going down the general path.
My own story- I was a licensed professional counseling (psychotherapist) and recently got an MBA and now work in corporate quality management with a clinical flair to it. I'm also under 40 so you can change if you need or want to. I did this as a married man, with two young kids and a full time job. Its doable even if you need to change gears for your own future.
Follow what you love. The worst thing you can do is back up into a corner when you have a family.

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Leahanne’s Answer

You are right to question your career path and having doubts is a sign that you should listen to. I'm going a bit against the grain to say I'm not sold on the trial and error method unless you plan to live a very long life, and have very thick skin. Nor am I a fan of a one-survey approach. The problem for me with those assessments is they don't tell you why. I don't know about you, but I want to know why I should be an airline pilot or a fisherman. Because that's the insight that I can then use and apply to other fields if necessary.

I utilize a 4 part process with my clients:
Find out how you're wired - what do you seek in the world (power, love, harmony, adventure, loyalty)
Find out what specific functions you are best at
Find out what areas of the world you care about
Test it out and THEN get any education you need to support your path.
Not the other way around as we tend to do in this country.
Hope that helps. Good luck!

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Ciara’s Answer

Hey Chantay,

I think nearly everybody has the fear at some stage trying to figure out what career is for them. If you think you'd be interested in a particular sector - maybe try and get a summer internship, work experience, or even chat to people who are always in the industry to get guidance.


Good luck!! :)
Ciara

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David’s Answer

If you are not completely sure what you would like to do, you can try getting involved in any ways you can before you take a college course in that field. For me I knew I enjoyed coding as I did it online before I attended college for computer science.

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JENNIFER’s Answer

Chantay,

I am a Career Certified Counselor and I always encourage my clients to follow their hearts. How do you know if the career you decide on will make you happy? Talk to a school guidance counselor about taking some career interests surveys. There are tons of surveys out there to assist you. Once you find your true interests, do some volunteer work in that field to see if you like it. I wish you the best in your career choice!

Warmest Regards,
Jennifer

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James’s Answer

Hey Chantay,

This is a fear that I think many, many people have. One thing that I think can help ease that fear is that despite the world becoming ever more 'specialized' it is still possible, and often beneficial, to shift careers and continue to try new fields until you find the one that is right for you. I would encourage you to check out the book 'Range: How Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World' https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PHLNR28/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1. It lays out the case for continuing to sample different careers until you find one you are enjoy and are suited for.

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Jennifer’s Answer

I think it is important to understand what are your values and what is your passion. Take a career interest survey to understand what you love to do. If you can match those to your career it will be fulfilling and work you will live to do. You can also change your career as you gain experience, I have changed roles, companies and industries multiple times in my career.

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Shadow someone in a role you are interested in.

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Ankit’s Answer

very tough question to answer, all you have to find what is your passion. Like you said Education perhaps in international business you find a passion for how to enable digital platforms so that learnings are available to other geographies.

Hi Ankit, can you provide any more information on how to find your passion? The more details you can provide, the more helpful your answer is for the student Gurpreet Lally

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi. Chantay,

I think that fear is common to a lot of people. It is terrific that you're thinking about this issue early. I wish I would have been more thoughtful in my approach to determining the field in which I majored. The simple fact of the matter is that our interests change as we get older. A way to address that challenge is to get a degree in a discipline that is applicable broadly. In other words, pursue a program that will enable you to be successful in a variety of career fields. A simple way to do that is to backwards plan: identify what careers you think you might be interested in and work back to think about what majors will allow you to pursue multiple career interests. For example, if I thought I might want to work at a think tank doing research but also was considering consulting for a professional services firm, I might have pursued something like economics or math. Both of those majors would provide tremendous technical skills that are extremely attractive to employers and a wide range of career options.

In the end, keep in mind that, no matter what major you get or what your first job out of college is, that does not lock you into that field forever. Don't feel like you need to have your whole future figured out as soon as you graduate. Give yourself time and space to think. Gain some work experience and evaluate if that path is right for you. If not, start looking for other options. Not getting it right the first time is okay - I certainly didn't and a significant proportion of my friends have had at least one change in job/career in the seven years since we graduated from college.

I hope this helps - feel free to leave a comment if you'd like to clarify anything. Good luck!

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Eliandra’s Answer

What I would do at first, would be an online vocational test, because it is by knowing yourself and your personality, that you will be able to go in search of a profession that makes you happy.

The truth is that we can only know what we really want by starting, it may be that you start with something and don't feel that it is good for you, and okay, we are constantly evolving, and you can change the direction whenever you want.

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