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How do I know what career I will love and excel in?

My name is Meg and I excel more at writing and speech vs math and science. I love giving people advice, being creative/improvisational, helping/uplifting others, and entertaining people. My passion is making people laugh and connecting with others. I have in the past wanted to pursue broadcasting/communications, education, or speech pathology; but am unsure if these are the right fit for me. I really want to figure out what #career is right for me.


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Maya’s Answer

Hi Meg! I know figuring out a career can be daunting especially for someone who enjoys so many things. I think the best advice I can give you to decide what career options are available for you is to volunteer/ shadow people that work in fields you are interested in. For example, you said shadow a person who works in speech pathology or intern at a broadcasting center. The best way to decide what you like and what you might not want to do as much is to get experience in those fields and see how they operate and how the people within interact with each other. Remember figuring out you don't want to do something is just as valuable as figuring out what you do want to do. Therefore, look for practical shadowing/volunteering/ intern jobs so you can really get experience in all the fields you're interested in. Hope this helped!

Thank you so much for your feedback! I appreciate it. I will definitely try that! Megan S.

How did you know what career you wanted to pursue? Megan S.

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Deijana’s Answer

Well, it's great that you know what your interests are. Now looking at that, what you think can accomplish with those skills and passion? There are so many! But only you will know what will fit right. Try volunteering or pursuing an internship. By trying a job out temporarily, you will get to try new things yourself, learn, and see what the inside of that professional field is like. If you don't like it...move it and try something else.

thank you so much for your feedback! I will definitely try this. Megan S.

I think what I can accomplish with those passions vary, but to answer your question, entertaining people can bring a fun energy to the workplace. Helping people can be applied to many many things and regarding broadcasting/communications/journalism I can help people by being honest, respectful, & considerate in my work and how I deliver news, so on. It is still all confusing and overwhelming! How did you know what you wanted to pursue? Megan S.

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Emily’s Answer

I believe what helped me find my path was finding out what I enjoyed reading and learning more about the most. In my undergraduate, I was much like you. I had lots of possible paths running through my head and could not figure out what was going to be the most valuable choice for my life career. But the more I studied healthcare, the more interested I became in it. I started reading articles about emerging healthcare trends and found myself staring conversations about the subject when finally someone said I should pursue healthcare as a career. Ths wise person also suggested that today, statistics show that someone will change their career an average of 5-7 times during their working life.
When I started my healthcare career I found myself still reading and wanting to know more/learn more. Eventually, this trait got me a promotion. I can't say my life would be the same if I ended up pursuing something I truly didn't love.

Thank you for sharing your personal experience! I will definitely look into what topic I enjoy reading and learning more in, in hopes that will guide me in the right direction. That seems to have helped you grow with your field! Megan S.

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madelyn’s Answer

What helped me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in Social Work was how interested I was in the subject, even outside of school. I had never even thought about this field until I took my first social science class in college and it resonated with me. I was on my own path of emotional healing and I wanted to help others do the same. I too love uplifiting people and helping them overcome emotional hurdles, so maybe looking into holisitc social work or being a clincial therapsit might interest you, it may sound like a tough job but you make a big impact on peoples lives. If that doesn't sound interesting you can always try and shadow job fields that excite you, theres nothing wrong with changing your mind about what you want to do - most everyone does it at least once. You could always try speaking to your school advisor too!

madelyn recommends the following next steps:

Look into different programs that your university offers!
Speak with an advisor
try shadowing a specific field that interests you

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Victoria’s Answer

I don't think people ever truly know the answer to that question. Life is a journey where you try things out, evaluate if it is for you and then make decisions based on your experience. Another added level of complexity is that you yourself will also change and what your interests and values are at one point may change and the job that you thought was meant for you no longer is. The bottom line is the idea of something being meant for you is a goal that is unrealistic. Instead reserve time for introspection to figure out what you want in life, career, etc and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, tie those together and figure out what careers align with such - this will set you up with more alignment in what you want that may not be something you are conscious of and tie it to a career.
Victoria recommends the following next steps:

Figure out what your life goals are (ie. work to fund your hobbies, work as your hobby)
Figure out what you want to learn from a job, what you value in a job
Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are
Figure out what jobs align with your personal abilities and your personal & professional goals
Figure out what opportunities are closely available to you (ie. school network, campus recruiting, personal connections, etc)

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Mona’s Answer

Your interests can be applied to a variety of career paths! At a high level, you can consider learning more about about Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising, Communications, Language Arts, Customer Service or Customer Success. You may want to identify mentors in these areas and have exploratory calls to better understand what made them choose their career path. Your university should have resources to do this, or you can even look up folks with titles aligning to the above careers on LinkedIn and send a few notes, you will be surprised how many folks are happy to help and chat!

A quick note about Speech Pathology — there are some math/science related requirements and courses for this major so it would be a good idea to identify the coursework needed if you want to pursue.

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Kiirsten’s Answer

Hi Meg!

From the looks of your question/info about yourself, you are a creative and fun person! With you loving to make people laugh and helping others I definitely think that hospitality would be a potential industry for you to get into-- times right now in the industry are tough to say the least, but we will be bouncing back soon enough! That's wonderful that you already have your interests (which is really half of the battle), my suggestion for a next step is to take some classes at your school or local community college to learn more about your interests. I see that many other professionals suggested that you volunteer which is also awesome, but definitely reading up and learning in a school setting could provide you a different insight into what you're seeking.

Good luck and great job!

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Melisa’s Answer

Hi Megan (and fellow Chicagoan)!

Great question. Finding a career you love and will excel in may take some time, research and trying things out, as others have suggested, but once you find it – you’ll know.

I majored in Music my first two years of college, but then completed my BA in Organizational Management. I 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, because I have an interest in making people laugh too – I took a local workshop with the Chicago Improv on “stand-up comedy.” I learned a lot and had fun in the process. That workshop also helped me in delivering more interesting and fun presentations at work, volunteering and more. It also helped me build further confidence in speaking to groups of people. Even if it isn’t your profession, you can still connect with others who have the same interests and Chicago is especially a great place for this!

I like how Maya suggests volunteering and shadowing others in careers that interest you. It might be hard to do in person right now, but you can still set-up video calls with others, or informational interviews.

Your interest in “giving people advice… and being creative/improvisational and connecting with others” also made me think of a corporate training role where people are often teaching something but have a chance to keep it entertaining and educational at the same time.

Best wishes for success in your education and career goals.

#career #career-choice

Melisa recommends the following next steps:

Seek out a mentor or individual in a career that interests you and learn more about their job, what they like, dislike about it.
Check out not for profit groups like “Funny Women in Comedy” online and in Chicago. They have events and also promote empowerment, advocacy and connections for women interested in comedy.
Here’s an older article, but interesting approach to “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/

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Megan,

Have you tried taking a career interest quiz/test? This will ask you questions based on your interest and let you know what careers most align with you. I would also recommend going and shadowing some of the jobs that you think interest you. There is no better way to determine if you like or don't like something is by trying it! Hope this helps!

Thanks,
Blake

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Ashley’s Answer

The short answer: you don't until you try! I don't know how old you are, or if you have begun studying a subject of getting a degree. But give yourself time to explore and use your favorite skills. Personally, in my job searches, I have focused more on the tasks (you mentioned you love communicating, giving advice, etc) rather than the actual job title. You may find that by focusing on tasks you enjoy, you might find a career you didn't know existed. Try out opportunities, and never be afraid to be honest about not enjoying something you thought you would love.

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Carrie’s Answer

Hi Megan-great question! There are so many options out there I think it's hard to believe that there is just one career that you are meant to do that will be fulfilling to you. My advice would be to expose yourself to as many options as possible to see if one of the areas you've expressed an interest in feels best. But I wouldn't work too hard in finding THE thing. The great thing about your interests and many companies today is that they allow opportunities to pursue passions beyond just your day to day job. For example, I work in insurance. I like it but it isn't my life's passion. Trying to find ways to help improve the world around me is and my job and company has afforded me the opportunity to volunteer, create a Diversity and Inclusion team and lead that so I have a good job that I like and I'm doing other things that I LOVE! Whatever you decide, you're ahead of the curve by asking questions and thinking about this. Maybe I'll see you on TV someday!!

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Carrie’s Answer

Hi Megan-great question! There are so many options out there I think it's hard to believe that there is just one career that you are meant to do that will be fulfilling to you. My advice would be to expose yourself to as many options as possible to see if one of the areas you've expressed an interest in feels best. But I wouldn't work too hard in finding THE thing. The great thing about your interests and many companies today is that they allow opportunities to pursue passions beyond just your day to day job. For example, I work in insurance. I like it but it isn't my life's passion. Trying to find ways to help improve the world around me is and my job and company has afforded me the opportunity to volunteer, create a Diversity and Inclusion team and lead that so I have a good job that I like and I'm doing other things that I LOVE! Whatever you decide, you're ahead of the curve by asking questions and thinking about this. Maybe I'll see you on TV someday!!

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