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How can I decide what my career will be?

At school, I like learning thing in engineering. I like to build things, do outside work. I am passionate about learning new things and getting challenges. I like to know what i am able on doing in the future as a career for myself. #career-choice #career-path #career-choice #undecided #outsidethings #constructing #engineering

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Subject: Career question for you

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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Ariel,

Great question and I know you are not alone in asking this.

As Jeffrey suggested, keep an open mind and give different things a try. It may take a while to find what you are good at and love to do.
I started out by majoring in music my first two years of college, but then completed my BA in Organizational Management. After my first two years in college, I learned that I loved music as a skill and hobby but didn’t necessarily want a career in this. I play the piano and it has even been helpful in the past as a part-time job here, making additional cash for playing at events or services.

I now have a career in Corporate Social Responsibility and helping connect our employees to programs and opportunities that help others and make a difference our world. And I still get to use what I learned in my music education.

Having a career that combines what you are good at and what you love can be very rewarding. But it may take some time before you find that dream job.

I read an article shared by a supervisor years ago, on finding your ideal career by asking these questions:

1. What brings you joy?
2. What are you good at?
3. What will people pay you, enough, to do?

Stay encouraged, stay safe best wishes for success in your education and career goals.

career-choice career-path career-choice undecided outsidethings constructing engineering


Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Find a mentor in a career or job that interests you. Consider a job shadow day, once it is safe to do so. Here’s an older video link on “Finding the work you were meant to do.” https://blog.ed.ted.com/2016/05/10/7-ideas-about-finding-the-work-you-were-meant-to-do/
Check out some helpful videos and career information we have at www.att.jobs/students
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Jeffrey’s Answer

Hi Ariel,

This is a great but also scary question. I remember when I was in your shoes and I sometimes felt like I needed to make final decisions about my career as early as possible so I could get a start on my experience. However, what I've learned throughout this long experience is to not rush it. it will come to you and you'll find the thing that you're really passionate about. Once you figure out what it is then you'll naturally take every opportunity related to it.

My advice at your early stage is exactly the same that I was given at your age: be open minded and try everything. If you think that you may be interested in engineering or construction then talk to people in that field. Ask to spend a day with them or take a related class or read about it. Nothing tells you more about a career than getting experience doing it. That's how I ended up in medicine. I shadowed a physician my freshman year of college and I felt at home and realized that it was everything that was always important to me.

Good luck and I know you'll figure it out. The important thing is that you're already thinking and asking the right questions. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Great advice Jeffrey. My daughter just finished grad school this year and works as a Pathologists' Assistant in a private medical lab. She shadowed my cousin several times; he is a Pathologist. She also shadowed his assistant. She loves what she does and attending job shadows only solidified for her what she wants to do. Thanks again for encouraging students and best wishes to you as well in your career path! Melisa Cameron
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Lakeisha’s Answer

Hey Ariel,

Great question!! To find the right career know your passion, preference and principle of what you see yourself doing long term. You have to love what you do; when you don't you don't perform at your best. Once you have decided what interest you the most, start learning more and networking. The more people you meet, the more insight you will gain and how they enjoy the work.

The ultimate goal Ariel, pursue a career that makes you happy everyday, align with your values and utilize your talents to the max! I'm confident you will make the best choice. Good luck!! =)
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Erica’s Answer

Great question Ariel, it is absoultely fundamental to ask yourself this question now but also in the future!

My advice would be to start from what you think you would love to do and in which type of job it could translate into. Then if you know someone that does this job reach out to him/her and ask all questions you have in mind (daily tasks, work/life balance, pros and cons so you can evaluate espceially the cons for your specific case, etc...). If you don't know anyone, you can search on Linkedin for a professional in this field and send to this person a message asking if he/she is willing to answer to some general questions about his/her job. Last but not least, you can always ask questions here! What also helped me was to ask feedback about myslef to my family/friends/professors, I have asked "what do you think I am great at", answers could surprise you and help you broaden your thinking/ideas!
Mentorship is also a great advice but in my experience this type of relationship takes a lot of time to build; however, if you know someone you don't feel judged to talk with and that has a lot of knowledge about yourself and/or the field you are interested in, and finally of course that does have the time and will to have a talk and share some wise advices, definitely go for it!
Experience is critical too! Interships or job shadowing experiences can be a great asset for your decision.

In any case, my suggestion is also to do not stop asking this question to yourself, it's a great one that might create confusion in your mind but that I am sure will help you to grow as a happy and mature professional in the position that maximises your full potential! Good luck :)

Erica recommends the following next steps:

Explore. Example: online material, could be universities exams programs or job openings and requirements
Ask questions and feedback
Experience. Example: intership, job-shadowing
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Savita’s Answer

Taking aptitude and interest tests will help narrow down career choices. Other ways to explore interests would be to shadow people at work for a week or two.
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Pro’s Answer

Try an Interdisciplinary, Liberal Studies, or General Studies major, that will let you combine multiple interests. Or an Individually Designed major that you can even name yourself.
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Alycia’s Answer

I would suggest doing an internship or shadowing someone who works within the field you are interested in
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Sheila’s Answer

Hi Ariel:

This is a great question. Jeffrey has nailed it on his comments as well with other CV Profs. I agree to be open minded and try everything. You'll gain much experience and you'll find your passion along the way. I encourage you to shadow people, ask questions and take notes. Whenever possible you might want to consider volunteering in areas that you are interested in. You'll gain insights in that field and will have some experience under your belt. I wish you much success on your journey. You've got this. Good luck!

~ Sheila
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Ariel great question! Choosing a career is challenging and exciting. I would attend workshops like expanding your horizons, Society of Women Engineers hosts conferences and workshops in STEM (Science TechnologyEngineering Math) like WOW it’s Engineering. They do hands on activities in Stem. Also colleges offer camps and activities for example University of Central Florida college of engineering and computer science hosts a week long camp called “Camp Connect” that exposes you to all different types of Engineering. Participating in events and doing hands on activities really helps you to narrow down things you like and dislike. Try to get exposed to a variety of things. You can also join organizations like FIRST Robotics and afternoon school programs and clubs that will give you opportunities to experience new things.

Enjoy this time exploring and trying new things. When in college choose internships to get hands on experience. This will help you apply your knowledge and narrow down your interests, Have Fub!
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Bill’s Answer

Hi Ariel, you ask a great question and one that we all have struggled with. You say that you enjoy learning new things and being challenged, and building. Certainly, there is a place for you in the Engineering world. Do you also like math, science, and physics? These are core skills that you should enjoy as well if you want to pursue a career in Engineering. What other things are you passionate about? One method of finding out what you may be good at is to take an aptitude test. The results will help you identify your skills and gifts, and professions where you can use those skills. I am an Electrical Engineer by training, but I ended up working as a Systems Engineer in the aerospace industry because of my love of aircraft and flying. As I moved on in my career, I am now an Engineering manager in charge of developing infrared camera technology for tanks and ground vehicles. I also enjoy mentoring junior engineers. There are really limitless options as to what you can do in the engineering field!
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Victoria’s Answer

Hi Ariel!

Such a great question that I feel so many people can relate to! I would say the biggest thing is to be open minded and try anything that sparks interest to you. Trial and error I feel is the best way I have learned in my career. Different opportunities have taught me all of the things I like but most importantly the things I do not enjoy. Also spend time talking to people who currently work in the field you are interested in. You could spend the day shadowing the individual or having a conversation and they walk you through what a typical day looks like in their job. Experiences I feel are the best ways to learn what you truly enjoy working on!

Best of luck!
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