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What age should I know my career path?

Very organized and quick thinker, goal oriented just haven't found the 10+ year goal. #age #career

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Subject: Career question for you

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Lydia’s Answer

Hi Tyler!
I don't think there is one correct age to know how you want to spend the next 10+ years of your life. It can be really daunting to try to imagine your life so far in advance at a young age. I'm not sure how old you are now but I'd say it's always a good idea to be continuously thinking about your interests and skills and how that could translate into a career. If you are in college, or a senior in high school, it would be nice to have a general idea about your major or a job you'd want to get after graduating, but by no means do you need to have it all figured out. I would say to keep thinking about what you enjoy and what you're good at, research different industries and focus in school. If you do all these things and stay motivated you'll find a career that you're interested in. This career path may not end up being very long term but that's okay. As long as you stay curious and motivated you will figure things out.
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Kiirsten’s Answer

Hello Tyler,

Good question that many people wonder, at all ages! There have been a lot of great answers already to your question so the biggest takeaway I could give to you is to not compare yourself to others. You seem goal oriented and a real go-getter, so it's easy to push yourself and perhaps exhaust yourself mentally/emotionally-- you might see others in their dream jobs at an early age and want to push yourself to find yours but you need to just take a deep breath because life and our futures are always changing. When I was in high school I didn't even know a job like mine that I have even existed-- and I love my job/where my career is headed! My recommendations to you is to continue to be driven, but to also keep an open mind and be flexible with change.

Good luck!
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Katya’s Answer

Hi Tyler, I would t say that there is a specific age when ones understands their career path because so many times people have chosen one career path, worked at it for numerous years and later changed 360 and went onto doing something else.

What I would recommend when thinking about your career- start by writing down what you enjoy doing and think can do for a long time, what are your hobbies, and what you don’t enjoy doing.

Then, try to search those do’s and don’t and apply to jobs or skills-then start thinking about the skills that you have and have the passion for. Also, there are many career path free evaluations available-take those and see what are some results based on your answers. This way you will have few resources already available for you from that point you can begin thinking what your next steps.

When you think of your career- think and evaluate about the subject matter that you enjoy the most learning , discussing with friends and what are your personal interest-dont try to think that your career is detached from who you are-it’s all a one cycle.

Keep in mind, that your career-means you will spend enormous amount of your time doing and you want to make sure you enjoy otherwise as time goes by-it will only bring negativity into your life.
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Melissa’s Answer

I agree with Lydia - I don't think there is a set age to know what you want to do in regards to your career.

I would say that what worked best for me was being open to new opportunities, networking and asking lots of questions whenever I encountered someone that did something that peaked my interest. I originally started with the idea that I would be a veterinarian, then a lawyer, ultimately entered into College thinking I would pursue Accounting and when I started taking Accounting classes - I realized that it was NOT for me.

I did discover through my experiences, internships and volunteering/groups I was apart of that I liked leading people, being engaged in collaborative discussion and the general business courses I was taking felt right for me. I ultimately landed a summer internship and I wound up doing something as an entry level job with Verizon that I never even thought I would do... I was a supervisor of technicians that worked in what they call Central Offices... I did not know the technology day 1 when entering the job but I learned it and knew that I enjoyed leading people and driving change. I now am a Director of Operations and have done various jobs from a 'functional' standpoint but it always came down to my interests which were leading people, driving collaboration and change and always learning...

I give you my path as an example because I am now going on 36 years old and have held various jobs and am considering myself a Business Leader but my career continues to evolve and change.

Best of luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. A lot of students have doubt and feel anxiety on their future career path.
In fact, there is no definite age you need to have a career plan. You may not require to plan it for too long. There are a lot of variance in our life. Your career path may change due to a lot of factors, e.g. your interest, family, home location, etc.
Having said that, I suggest you can choose your careers in high school before entering the college. It may affect your choices of major in the college. Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about your interest and favorite subjects and identify the related careers
2. Find out more on these careers and choose a few your have interest on
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek advice from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of the relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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William’s Answer

Hi Tyler!
Career guidance and counselling should commence as early as possible as a child is developing from age 2 - 3 as such could have much influence in an individual.
So many things would influence your choices in 10+ years in advance even if you are gifted in a particular area.
I was gifted in a particular area from about 2 - 3 years of age, but that was not my career choice 10+ years later. Although I did not get career guidance early enough that could have influenced me then. I chose that natural gift as a hobby instead of career choice, although it significantly contributes to the success in my chosen career as well.
I only started developing my career path after 13 years of age and continued to modify it until age 16 as per discipline of specialization. Further modification later came at about age 22 as I started self discovery, developed capabilities that were hidden in self before and understood my bigger picture.
At teenage age (12+) is when individual's start to develop or choose pathways in life even if trainings and coaching are given earlier. There are few cases when individual's choose their career path below age 6, like some of The Jackson 5 kids and they started their career immediately in that case, not waiting until 10+ years in advanced as there is evolving life priorities and choices that could redirect an individual to other paths.
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Nathaniel’s Answer

Never say never. Your taste will ,hopefully change through your life. I went from surgical assistant, ER nurse, to a doctor of chiropractic as my "Life's work" became more clear. Be the best you can be at any carreer but keep your eyes open for oppertunities which will come your way. A dedicated employee is very attractive to upper management and to othedrs outside of the field.
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Kess’s Answer

The earliest I figured out what I wanted to do was at 18 years old. I knew I wanted to be an Army medic. Then I left the Army at 28 and wasn't sure what to do.

Figured it out at about 34 and decided to go to medical school.

Point is, even if you do figure it out, it changes and the ages change. There is no hard requirement to decide by.
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Eric’s Answer

Hi Tyler,

I think that everyone is different and it may take time in order to find the right career path for you.  I would suggest honing your skillset for those positions that you are interested in.   Being open to new positions and change will help you find something that you excel in and you enjoy.  Think about what you do well and what you love!  You can always enhance your skillset that you already do well.  

Your areas of interest can change throughout your career.   So I would think about industries that have different opportunities that look appealing to you.

Best of Luck!

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Kate’s Answer

Excellent question, Tyler, and you've already got a lot of great answers! I agree - everyone is on their own timeline for identifying their career path. I spent a good portion of my 20's scared that I would never find my way or my place (SPOILER ALERT: I did). I think there are fewer students than you imagine who knew exactly what they want to do out of the gate and ended up doing it.

My philosophy has always been: Keep my eyes open and my head up! Everyone you meet (at school, on a train, at a restaurant - anywhere) and every opportunity you have will help give you insight into options as well as the "work things" you enjoy doing. My defining position was right out of college for a web video streaming startup. I was one of about 20 employees which gave me the opportunity to dabble in everything the company did: sales/contract negotiation, project management, QA, tech support, relationship management - just about everything except payroll. :)

What I learned from that experience gave me the key activities that energize me in my work:
1. Building strong relationships - I learned that I love working with people. I passionate about getting to know people and building strong relationships and working partnerships both with coworkers and customers. I'm not a person who will thrive in a solitary setting.
2. Problem solving - I love being given issues to fix, helping quell frustrations, and setting people back on the "happy path".
3. Making a visible difference - As much as I cringe sometimes saying this, I want to make a difference and I want to be a visible part of a solution/project/activity. Part of what gives me energy is knowing the things I do matter and that I have made an impact on my customers or team.
4. Fast-paced ever-changing day-to-day - I learned repetition drains me, so I needed to find something that would present new tasks/activities/challenges to keep me guessing and on my toes.

Knowing and understanding those motivations lead me down the path of becoming a Customer Success Manager in tech. I spend my days helping my customers troubleshoot issues, solve their business problems with available products and services, supporting customers with high profile programs - and no day is ever the same! :)

That said, why stop now?? I'm learning about new jobs and careers everyday and regularly find myself saying (in my 40's), "Oh yeah! I'm definitely going to do that when I grow up!"

Try thinking through things that you enjoy doing and what excites you and write those down to keep them at the front of your mind! Keep the focus on that and less on the age - the career will come! :)
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Dirk’s Answer

Hy Tyler by High school you should know what interests you and if you are a hands on type of person, like numbers guy, designing etc. Ask people in their fields what motivates them and what their tip cal day consists of to see for common interest. High School you should have a feel of your general interests.
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