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For someone who has no clue what direction they want to go. what advice would you have for me right now while I am in highschool?

I thought that I wanted to be a dental hygienist for most of highschool, but last year when I went to job shadow one I realized how much I really didn't want to do that forever. I have no clue what direction I want to go and as I am now a senior I am getting worried because I feel like I need to figure that out soon. #career-choice #careers

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rola’s Answer

Try to discover your career passion. It is not related to grades as you may be receiving high grades in a subject that is not your interest. Try to think about your talents/interests when you pick your specializations. Speak to people in different jobs and ask them what they like must and what they dislike most in their careers. Try also to think about the competitive markets and mainly in career opps markets in you country and have a look at the future projections for career in your country. You do not want to study for 4 years or so in a specialization that is already crowded with unemployed graduates! Unfortunately many people are falling in this trap.
I do recommend Artifical Intelligence/Big Data/Robotics/Clouds/Genetic Engineering/Cyber Security as they are all green fields for innovations:)
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your answer Rola! It means a lot to hear your feedback!! Grace
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Debra’s Answer

Hi Grace,
My advice is to think about things that make you happy and that you enjoy doing. Look for your strengths....if you like numbers, then maybe the finance world. If you love animals, then perhaps the veterinarian world or if that's too intense, manage a petcare hotel/center or a grooming salon. The most important gift you can give yourself is a career that you love doing for then it never seems like work!!
Thank you comment icon Thank you Debra! I agree 100% that you need to choose a career that you love! Grace
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Marie’s Answer

Hi Grace,
I remember having a very hard time deciding on a career in high school. I liked so many things it was hard to know what I would like best, or what I would be good at. But that is okay. Your decision on what to do after high school is the first of many career decisions you will make during your lifetime. Remember that very few decisions are irreversible. Sometimes you have to try something to see if it is right for you.

Have you thought about going to college without a declared major? Many colleges allow you to apply without deciding on a major.

Here are a few articles that might be helpful:
https://www.usnewsglobaleducation.com/all-advice/is-it-okay-to-have-an-undecided-major/
https://studybreaks.com/college/undecided-how-to-pick-college-major/

Good Luck!
-Marie





Thank you comment icon Thank you Marie! I did not think about looking into undeclared colleges but I will for sure start! Grace
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Grace,

Don't worry you need to figure it out now. I understand what it's like to feel lost. I went to college straight out of high school undeclared. I picked Marketing as my major and sadly entered the workforce in 2008. I didn't follow any traditional career path and I now work in Cybersecurity for a Fortune 100 Company.

I recommend you continue to shadow jobs. I did this when I was changing careers and even was able work on projects I could add to my resume along the way. Have you thought of what industry you want to work in? Jobs responsibilities and company culture can vary within industries. For example, working at a bank versus a start-up.

While you are deciding, sign-up for code academy and learn for free! Learning transferrable skills will open many doors! (https://www.codecademy.com/)
Thank you comment icon Thank you Jennifer! I definitely will hopefully be going on more job shadows soon! Grace
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Suzanne’s Answer

Hi Grace!

Don't be worried..you have time. I have a few thoughts here and I hope this helps. By the way, I'm a retired registered nurse. My first love and career was in music which lasted about the first 10 years of my adult life. I found myself alone, raising my son, so I decided to go back to school for nursing (my second love) which proved to be the best thing I could have done. My nursing career was extremely positive in so many ways.

So, please consider the following:

1. Talk to your high school counselor about your current thought processes and concerns.

2. Talk to your parents (if this is appropriate for you)

3. Consider taking a gap year either working or volunteering. Here is some info:

3A. https://counseling.steinhardt.nyu.edu/blog/gap-year-after-high-school/

3B. https://www.princetonreview.com/study-abroad/college-abroad/gap-year

3C. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertfarrington/2019/06/10/heres-every-reason-you-should-take-a-gap-year-before-college/325ee77d1ac8

4. Consider going to a community college to earn your pre-requisites for an associate degree which would easily transfer to most 4-year bachelor's programs

4A. https://www.mccneb.edu/

5. Consider other healthcare careers: https://www.besthealthdegrees.com/careers/top-10-healthcare-careers-for-the-future

(Copy and paste the URLs into your web browser)

It appears that you are interested in human health and wellbeing. You may want to probe this interest to see if there are other options that you can see yourself doing every day. I can vouch for nursing, but there are many other options to investigate. There will be some of the basic sciences needed, so you can focus on these classes if you decide to go to your community college for a year or two.

Keep in mind that the COVID19 pandemic has upended the world as it functioned previously. Traveling abroad is just not as easy. You will need to carefully research any gap-year projects that involve travel. Right now, many universities and colleges have only online classes, so freshmen students are missing out on campus life activities. Waiting a year would allow for the current situation to stabilize. As a healthcare professional, I can say this with certainty: Covid19 is not going to disappear. Viruses, once they have entered the human population and spread, do not go back into the original source animal. Additionally, science is just beginning to understand this virus. There are no drugs we have yet to help with early Covid19 symptoms other than when it makes people really sick. They only have a glim idea of why it sickens some and not others. In the meantime, we may all have to use public health measures for a very long time. I suggest getting very used to wearing a mask no matter where you are in the world. It is really basic common sense. Don't catch it and try not to spread it.

I really hope this helps. I remember feeling very lost as well when I left high school. It will be ok. Just be well and safe. Ultimately, I hope you find something that you love and that helps to make the world a better place.

Best,
Sue
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! You are so helpful. I will definitely be looking into those websites you listed. Stay safe! Grace
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Michael’s Answer

Grace,
If you plan to attend college, take some freshman level courses in topics you know nothing about but sound interesting. You may discover a passion for something that you will want to spend your life pursuing. If not, you will still have learned something new. Never a bad thing.

Otherwise, try to meet people that are involved in different careers and find out why they like their jobs/careers and what it takes to succeed. That may help you decide.
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Maria’s Answer

Hi Grace,

Try to have as many mentors as you can who can guide you and provide honest and meaningful advice. Choose people that you trust and sincere in helping you become a successful person. Follow up and find the time to spend with them on a regular basis or when your schedule allows, even briefly. If you have the opportunity to visit with them during work hours, just to see how their daily routine is like, go for it! Most likely, you'll learn a thing or two, plus there's also the chance to connect with other professionals in their industry.
I hope this helps and good luck with your career choice!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for your feedback Maria! Grace
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Gina’s Answer

I'd start by figuring out what your truly like to do-- hobbies/interests-- and do some research from there. There are many places where you could do volunteer work to start out to see where you best fit. Also, taking a personality test may help- it may give you ideas of careers you never thought of!
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christine’s Answer

Hi Grace!
There is a book that you might find helpful. It's called , "What color is your parachute for teens." You might find it in your public library.
Best of luck to you as you explore!
Thank you comment icon Thanks Christine! I will have to check that book out for sure! Grace
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Denise’s Answer

Hi Grace! Try and figure out what's your passion. If you feel like nothing is inspiring you, guess what, that's ok! I currently just made a change in my career and I'm in my 30s. I went from being an executive assistant to a UX designer. I enjoy both fields but love being a designer and that makes the difference in my job duties. No matter what career path you choose to walk down just make sure you choose something you enjoy doing. You can also start by volunteering at places you would like to start understanding how certain industries function and understand a workplace environment.
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Simeon’s Answer

In general, I recommend going to the department of labor's website to get a sense of the most promising careers. Watch some videos on what people love and hate about those fields. If one resonates with you, do some research on the years of schooling or other prerequisites that you would need to get into that field. I'd also recommend looking at job boards and companies hiring for the career. See if your earlier research on prerequisites matches what the companies say they are looking for in candidates. In general, which school you go to prepare for a field shouldn't affect your long-term course too much outside of law and medicine.
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Marica’s Answer

It's OK to not know! But, you have interests and things you love to do. Really spend some time figuring out what makes you happy. I remember not knowing exactly what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to be in the business/finance field. I ended up in commercial property/casualty insurance which ended up being exactly where I should be!! It's a great mix of technical skills and marketing with our agents and I get to utilize my strengths to be successful in a career I truly enjoy!

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MARCUS’s Answer

Grace, I understand your dilemma in trying to map out the rest of your life before you graduate high school. However, you do have options to volunteer over the summer in varies industries, attend a community college, or develop a plan for an online business. Best wishes.
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MARCUS’s Answer

Grace, I understand your dilemma in trying to map out the rest of your life before you graduate high school. However, you do have options to volunteer over the summer in varies industries, attend a community college, or develop a plan for an online business. Best wishes.
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Kathryn’s Answer

Hi Grace!

I am so glad that you shadowed in high school and discovered what you didn't want to do so early - that's awesome!
I was all over the map on potential career paths through high school, so I can definitely relate to how you're feeling.
My advice may run a little contrary, but it worked for me: go "all-in" whichever direction you're most interested. I think the fastest way to finding out if something is right or wrong is to immerse yourself in a path. Very similar to how you ardently pursued being a dental hygienist and then were able to eliminate it.
Personally, I declared a major (Business) a bit on a whim. Declaring a major made me eligible for a leadership program and scholarships that I otherwise would not have even known about. Plus, I was getting to take business classes freshman year and joined student organizations in the business school.
Ultimately, my whim on a major was right and I never looked back. But if it had turned out not to be the right fit, I am sure that I would have realized it more quickly because I was so involved.
Conversely, when it came to choosing a career path I had my sights set on a particular industry throughout college and then found during an internship between junior/senior year that it was not the right fit. Again - this reinforced to me the importance of getting immersive experiences early. You may strike out or you may strike gold - but you will find out fast!

If you're having trouble finding a whim to pursue, consider what it was that initially drew you to becoming a dental hygienist. Is the medical field appealing? Maybe consider what former dental hygienists moved on to as you likely have similar interests. I happened to find a website that has the top jobs of former dental hygienists - maybe something there will spark an idea: https://www.zippia.com/advice/exciting-jobs-former-dental-hygienist/.

I hope this helps! Good luck on your future endeavors!
Kathryn

Kathryn recommends the following next steps:

Go "all-in" whichever direction you're most interested in.
Consider what initially drew you to dental hygiene and look for commonalities in other fields.
Thank you comment icon Kathryn! Thank you for your advice! I will definitely keep it in mind! Grace
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