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Why does nothing interest me when it comes to careers, and how can i find one that does?

i've always been extremely indecisive. When it comes to thinking about my future, a million thoughts flood my mind. I dont have any specific thing that i think is realistic enough to achieve. i want to live a happy, money stable life, but where do i even start? #college


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Catherine’s Answer

Hi Lexi! I just graduated, and I went through a similar period of being extremely indecisive about what I wanted to pursue. It's a difficult journey, but I'm sure you'll learn lots more about yourself and find something you enjoy!

Please don't discount yourself on what you think you can and cannot achieve! You won't know until you try, and there will always be a way to improve upon yourself so you can achieve those goals that didn't seem realistic at first.

If you're just entering college, try to take as many general courses as you can! You can use these to gauge your interest in pursuing those fields as a major or career path. You can also go to office hours and talk to your professors about why they chose to study in that field. Also, try to find mentors in different fields you're curious about. If you want to learn more about a certain field, try looking up keywords pertaining to that field on LinkedIn and messaging people with jobs that you find interesting. Lots of people are willing to talk about their careers, and you can use their advice to find what you're passionate about. Lastly, try talking to those closest to you! This can be a parent, a teacher, or a close friend. Often, they can give you insights about what you seem most excited about and possible subjects that may interest you.

The future can seem scary at first, but I believe in you! Good luck!!

- Cathy


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John’s Answer

Lexi what sets you apart from everyone else is your unique personality with all the special talents and strengths that you possess. YOU are the biggest asset that you could ever have. The first step to embrace your uniqueness is being aware that you are special. You are like nobody else in this world. Nobody else has had the same experiences as you. No one has exactly the same characteristics and shares the same values. Nobody has learned all the various skills you learned. Discovering your talents and strengths means becoming more aware of who you really are.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOU TIME
Try writing down your thoughts every day for a week. Record your observations, instincts, feelings and revelations. Let your thoughts flow onto the page. Then come back after a week and re-read what you wrote. Your journal will begin to reveal patterns in your character that represent areas of interest, honest feelings, awareness of skills, and a natural connection to certain people, places and things. Stream of conscious writing can be the most effective way to identify your talents. If you notice a lot of your thoughts circle back to one main idea, this could be your strongest talent or deepest desire. Use what you’ve discovered to create a list of your strengths and align them with a list of goals.

LIST YOUR HOBBIES
Typically, what you’re drawn to it is a natural talent. Think about what you love to do most when you have free time. What activities do you find so captivating that you sometimes forget to eat or sleep? Your obsessions could be the things that help you identify your deepest passions. Even if your hobby is watching movies, you may have a talent for storytelling or analyzing narratives. Even film critics have to start somewhere. You might think talents are only something you love doing, but sometimes our talents are the things you don’t even think about. Your talent is simply something you do better than most. If there is anything that comes natural to you that doesn’t seem so natural to others, it’s a talent. This is why it’s important to take a long hard look at what you’re actually good at.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOU MONEY
Your core values are closely linked with what you spend your money and time on. Take note of what you spend your money on and look closer at what this can tell you about yourself. For example, I spend my money on artwork and paintings. That is a strong natural characteristic of mine, a talent that drives everything I do, how I think and how I spend my time. If you like spending money on going out with friends, is it that you like bringing people together? Is it that you like getting attention and expressing yourself? Or maybe is it because you value deepening your pre-existing friendships? Why do you do what you do? What is behind it? The key is to keep digging deeper in order to get to the core essence of your talent patterns.

SOMEONE ELSE MAY HAVE THE ANSWER
One of the best ways to figure out what hidden talents you have is to talk to people who know you. We tend to overlook our skills and often miss out on what makes us great. Having an outside perspective can be highly valuable and revealing. Friends, family, and other trusted advisors have the unique vantage point of observing you in a way that you can’t observe yourself. Ask what they think makes you unique and what they think you excel at. Be sure to talk to people that know you well but also people who barely know you. Getting all perspectives can tell you even more about yourself. You might be surprised by what you find out. Often, how you see yourself is very different to how others see you. The problem with talents and strengths is that they are so normal to you that you tend to dismiss them. You are so used to them that you take them for granted and don’t realize that they exist and that they are your biggest asset.

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT
Finally, take a moment for self-reflection and ask yourself: “What do I think are my greatest strengths?” Be proud—list things that you normally wouldn’t say about yourself and brag a little bit. Now, take a look at all this information you've put together. What themes or trends do you notice? How does it feel to look at all of those lists, chock full of talents and skills? What have you learned about what you are good at? Maybe you’ve found that your eye for detail, crazy clean desk, and ability to always make people feel comfortable and motivated means that you’re destined for success in company leadership. Or that your love of fashion, articulate long emails, and witty sense of humor merit exploring the blogging world.

THE SHADOW KNOWS
After you complete your in-depth research, you should be able to determine which career is a good match for you. Try not to get too frustrated if you can't make a decision by this point. You may not have enough information yet. Continue to do more research until you can comfortably choose the ​best career for you. You will want to learn what working in the field is really like before you actually work in it. The best way to do this is to talk to people who do. Don't be shy about going direct and reaching out to any organization that interest you to see if there is someone currently working in your career field of interest who would be interested in hosting a job shadower. Gaining exposure and first-hand experience through job shadowing (as well as internships) can make the difference between assuming what a potential career would be like and experiencing it first-hand by working on-site.

Lexi, don’t feel pressured to get the answer exactly right in this moment—instead, allow yourself to just explore possibilities. And take a deep breath of relief! You’ve now armed yourself with a map of your talents and skills, and you can start really thinking about what to do with them next.

Hopefully this was Helpful Lexi

Wish I'd met you 43 years ago! Excellent answer! All my friends thought I would be a teacher. I never recognized my ability, and didn't care for the structure of a classroom. Eventually I became a Police Field Training Officer, and GED math tutor. Took a long time to get there! Kim Igleheart

Thank You Kim. You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few actually do what they know – knowing is not enough – you must take action, it's in these moments your destiny is shaped. John Frick

Thank You Tanya. “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck John Frick

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Shelby’s Answer

I feel like a lot of people face this feeling of anxiousness when growing up, I know I did. I felt super indecisive, especially comparing myself to my twin sister, who was (and is) so passionate about her profession. I thought about what I was good at, which at the time, I was good at learning and did well in school. Then, when I was in college getting my Associates in General Knowledge (which is a great starting point if you're undecided by the way!!), I had a professor whose teaching felt subpar to me. Her explanations and structure were very loose, so I felt frustrated, as if I could teach the class better, which was probably a naïve thought at the time. But, that was when I decided to pursuit a career in education. I wanted to be able to teach students math in a way that helped them learn. Therefore, an experience changed my indecisiveness to decisiveness.

One thing I do want to say, though, is that it is okay to be unsure. If you are just entering college, then you have plenty of time to decide what path you want to take. Many people get caught up in always going, pushing, and reaching for more. But, if you are unsure, you shouldn't push yourself to a decision you will regret. My personal opinion is that you should get some sort of general degree, or at least start there. Get some experiences. Find some subject you like and speak to your professors. Ask for their opinions. Then, maybe you can ease some of your anxiety towards this decision.

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Laura’s Answer

Hello Lexi,

I completely get where you are coming from . First do not feel pressured to have it all figured out your first two years of college you'll be taking basics. This will give you time and experience in different fields. I surely took advantage of this I changed my career about four times. I would also advice you to ask professionals around you what they like or dislike about their careers. Another thing I would recommend would be taking a career aptitude test to have an understanding of what would be the best fit for you.

GOOD LUCK

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Cindy’s Answer

I don't think that you are alone in feeling indecisive about your future career. It's okay not to know. People change careers pretty often, so it's okay to try on a few things and change your mind.

You said that a million thoughts flood your mind- consider journaling some of those thoughts. Write down all of your ideas, as crazy as they may sound. Don't worry about being realistic right now- dream big! If you find that over time some themes show up more than once, maybe that's something you should explore. Also jot down why they sound interesting at the time. What are you good at? What do you like or hate in school? What jobs do you know you Don't want and why? Maybe you can narrow down some fields by a process of elimination.

You can also ask adults what they like and don't like about their careers. Get as much feedback as you can and think about whether you would feel the same way in those jobs. If you are worried about financial stability think about what kind of lifestyle is important to you and whether the potential for salary in your dream job roughly matches it.

When you come up with some potential jobs consider the steps needed to get that job and whether you are willing to do everything it takes to get there. Again it can help to ask people how they've gotten into their particular career.

Remember that everyone takes a different path and it's not necessarily the shortest, fastest one that will leave you the happiest or most fulfilled. Best of luck to you!

Cindy recommends the following next steps:

Brainstorm some career ideas and write them down
Ask people what they like and don't like about their careers
Ask people how they chose their job and how they got it

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Marie’s Answer

Hi Lexi,

Do you think that maybe you are being a little hard on yourself? It sounds to me that you have an admirable goal to be a happy, self-sufficient adult. You are also aware of the many possibilities to achieve this goal. You are not alone in finding these possibilities to be somewhat overwhelming. My advice is as follows:

First, be a friend to yourself. Be as kind to yourself as you are to your best friend, and try to keep the thoughts in your head positive.

Second, think about who in your life can help you with this decision and ask them for help. Seek out a teacher, a guidance counselor, a parent or a trusted adult in your life and ask them if they can help. Others may see strengths in you that you do not see in yourself. A teacher or guidance counselor may have information on different career paths that they could share with you.

Third, there are books available to help teens decide on their career path. The following article may be helpful:
https://www.parent.com/these-8-books-can-help-your-teen-choose-a-career/

Good Luck!
Marie

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Carolyn’s Answer

Hi Lexi, Not everyone knows what they want to do when they are in college or even after they graduate - and that's ok! Take courses that interest you and you will develop skills that are meaningful to you. I wasn't quite sure which field I wanted to pursue and I settled into commercial real estate by being open minded and searching for jobs that I found both interesting and a good fit for my skillset. Best of luck!

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Kim’s Answer

Lexi,

What are the things that you are thinking about that you do not think are "realistic enough" to achieve? Perhaps there are stepping stones you can strive for to get you there. If you would share a little of that with us, perhaps we can help you think of different things related to those dreams. . . It all starts with the first step!

Kim

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hello! I think that this is one of the hardest choices. If you truly do not know what type of job you may be interested in, I recommend looking at entry level jobs at a company that you are interested in or admire. Even if you are not crazy about the job you have specifically, it can still be highly rewarding to work for a company whose mission and work inspires you. Once you begin working, you can see first hand the types of position that exist at your company, see what you are most interested in doing, and pursue that type of role. It is generally easier to be promoted from within!

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Natalia’s Answer

Hi Lexi! I, like many of the people answering this question, completely understand where you are coming from. I can suggest a few things. First, many universities have an option to be a "Liberal Studies" major where you can choose to have three minors of which they can be in completely different disciplines. There, you can take a couple classes to see what you like and change if something doesn't interest you. This is also a great option because you can get your core classes out of the way without feeling like you "wasted" your time. I also recommend going to various campus events (whether they are virtual or not) and see what they are about. Do they talk about topics that interest you? Do you like the people that are in the student org? You can (and will) meet so many people that I hope you find a group you can vibe with and enjoy! Good Luck with your search!

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Dennis’s Answer

Why do you think 90% of college graduates do not get a job in their major; nobody is positive they made the right move in the right job. Very few anyway -so you have to follow the time tested, proven effective scientific approach and go after the first company that hires you. Try to find an area that interests you but it doesn't really matter. The wheel is the trial and error; approx 2 year job bounce around all successful people take. You will see and do interesting things and earn about 30 years of solid job experience in 6 - 18 months. I have 5 steps I will introduce next time.

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Dennis’s Answer

Why do you think 90% of college graduates do not get a job in their major; nobody is positive they made the right move in the right job. Very few anyway -so you have to follow the time tested, proven effective scientific approach and go after the first company that hires you. Try to find an area that interests you but it doesn't really matter. The wheel is the trial and error; approx 2 year job bounce around all successful people take. You will see and do interesting things and earn about 30 years of solid job experience in 6 - 18 months. I have 5 steps I will introduce next time.

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Richard’s Answer

Think about what your favorite classes have been so far in your life. What jobs/internships have you loved? Do you like interacting with people or being more solitary?
These things will give you clues about what the best path in life for you is. You can see what college majors line up most with your favorite classes and talk to upper-classmen or professors to see what careers come out of the major. Maybe you could even try an internship or two from there.

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Garrick’s Answer

Finding the right career path can sometimes be challenging but many university allow you to get a taste of each field before you have to make a decision on your major. Also university have career panels which let you ask direct questions to people in certain fields.

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Estelle’s Answer

If you are considering a career in medicine, you should start shadowing early. Talk to family friends in medicine or your pediatrician. Ask them about shadowing for a day in clinic to see if you like it.

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Emmy’s Answer

Hi Lexi,

There is a lot of great advice, and I agree with a lot of what people have already said. I did go to college with a major in mind and later questioned if I made the right choice. One thing that I did after I had declared a major that I wish I would have done before hand was expose myself to as many career choices as possible. A way that I found to be awesome in doing this was through volunteering. Think of some of the things you are most passionate about, find organizations that are geared towards those passions, and volunteer with them. I think you will begin to realize quickly what you do or don't like about possibly working in that career field. Additionally, I would organize as many informational interviews as possible with people in the career fields about which you have some interest or that touch on your passions. Speaking with other people about what they like or don't like about their jobs and how they get there is very helpful. Ultimately your career won't necessarily have to match your major. You can still study something more generic and then find the things about which you are passionate, and how you can turn those into a career. In the classes that you are in, be it in high school or college, ask your educators in the subjects about which you are interested what are possible career options. For example, my husband wanted to be a lawyer, but he didn't want to study law in undergrad. He told this to a college professor who suggested he major in journalism since this would teach him a lot about writing, which you need in law school, and he could save the more specific knowledge on law for law school. Educators can help you to see areas of study that may be beneficial based on your long term goals.

I wish you all the best.

Emmy

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