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Tatum D.



How do you know when you've found your perfect carter choice?

Asked Columbia, South Carolina

I am a high school senior, about to graduate and go off to college but I have no idea what I want to do as a career. I like science and math related subjects but nothing really sparks my interest as a job I want for the rest of my life. So I want to know what were some key signs that made you believe you had the perfect job that you would be happy doing for the rest of your life? #career #teaching #teacher #professional #job-search #advice #college-advice #career-advice #adults

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Good question. A College major is an important decision, however a Career is something completely different. A degree is only a tool and is too often looked at as the deciding factor in settling on a career. There was a time when folks started a career as an apprentice and then worked their way up in that industry which they stuck with for the rest of their lives. Times have changed so that we have untold opportunities to choose from and there is no longer a need to settle on one "career" for the rest of your life. Your likes and dislikes will change over time as your experiences increase. Use the tools you have (personality tests, career placement tests, etc.) to make your initial decisions. Use your first year in college to take the general requirements that apply to most degrees. Talk to the other students, professors and councilors about the different opportunities/degrees. Talk to the company recruiters who visit the campus to find out about the different types of jobs out there in the various areas. Settle on a degree, based on what you find. Then start your career in that area and keep your eyes open. Be willing to change if you find you are not as passionate about that choice as you originally thought. Your passions will change over time and you are in charge so you can decide if and when it is time to change. You very seldom ever find the career you will stick with for the rest of your life when you start unless you are one of the lucky few who learn early what you are passionate about so don't limit your options by tying yourself to that idea. Good luck!

Last updated May 24 '16 at 12:22 PM

Believe it or not, people who stay in one career path, and especially with one employer, are now perceived as stagnant. Should you go that route, and then find yourself unemployed, it will not be easy to find another job. I would plan on having at least three major jobs over the course of your career, each for 5-12 years. You will chart a path. It is almost impossible to know what you want to do at your age. And besides, when you "know," and opportunity knocks, you will not open the door.

Life is a series of adventures. Don't be afraid to try new things, take a few chances, and do things you never dreamed you would do. You will be amazed at how it all unfolds.

How/why did I become a cop? Honestly? I was working as a cashier in the parking lot, the vacancy announcement went on the board, and I thought, "gee, those people don't do anything, and get paid a whole lot more." Plus, I hate having to plan a wardrobe. Remember, you can also have hobbies and other interests besides your job, volunteer work, etc. All of those are transferrable skills that can lead to the next job. When you are not growing professionally, and there is no hope for new challenges any time soon, you need to consider how you plan to fix that.

Relax, enjoy life, But keep your eyes and ears open, and don't be afraid to explore a little bit!

Last updated Oct 12 '16 at 11:32 PM

Hi...excellent question. I spent a lot of my youth and younger years searching for the perfect career and I did not find it to be honest. What I did was to experience different things that I was interested in by taking college courses and working in jobs (the military, computers, business, psychology) and then I have been very fortunate and able to find jobs that use some or all of those skills. Along the path, I found some things that I am very good at and was able to do them within my jobs (training, coaching, mentoring) but I never made those professions my full time job. I found a career with a company, Dell, that I love and regardless of what job I do for Dell I consider Dell to be my career...careers can be different things for everyone, I hope this helps and makes some sense. Good luck! :)

Last updated May 24 '16 at 01:20 PM

Hi, Tatum,

I know this answer is not timely, but I want to share this career guide with you even if there is only a small chance that you might find it useful. I think you already have some great answers, so I'll be brief. I have struggled to find the right balance between what I enjoy and earning a comfortable salary. The guide I linked below has provided a framework for me to find a career in which I can help solve an important problem and also make me happy. I hope it helps you - it is definitely worth the read.

This professional recommends the following next steps:

Last updated Apr 07 '18 at 06:10 PM
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