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How did you decide your career path/ was there any specific moment where you realized what you´re passionate about and wanted to pursue?

Im a junior in high school and I don´t really have a set idea on what career path I want to take. I am passionate about different things but I dont know exactly what I would like to pursue, and I´m wondering how I can get to the place to make that decision. #career-paths #career-path #college-majors

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rachel’s Answer

Coincidentally I just received an email from my college alum on a Jump Forward Series that helps prepare high schoolers for college preparation topics and exploring potential degrees and careers. This was at University of Wisconsin- Madison starting this summer virtually. Consider checking local colleges or trade schools in your area to see if there is something similar available. Network and talk to people who work in the fields that interest you. Ask questions like what do they enjoy about the job and what are their challenges so you get a well rounded idea of the job you're interested in. They can also provide some valuable insights on training or education they found helpful to succeed in their current profession. Strength finders suggested above is a wonderful idea. Also ask people around you or your current employer what they see as your strengths - you may gain some valuable insights to lead you in the right direction. Consider if you had free time, where would you spend that time? What areas of interest do you often tend to gravitate towards? Is there a potential career path to follow there or transferrable skills into other careers? For me, I loved law and I stumbled across insurance that uses law every day. I would not have thought about insurance if I didn't happen to take a job while I was attending paralegal classes. I realized there were many skills that I could use in insurance, and then some , that played to my strengths. Now is the time to try new things and see what speaks to you. Best wishes on your success. You're on the right track just by asking your question!

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

Also try Clifton Strengths by Gallup. You can take a strength's assessment. There are also other strength finders out there too.
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Simeon’s Answer

Most of us never settled on our one passion. I entered undergrad as a music major, switched to a writing major, and then switched to Business Management because it was a safer option (which turned out to be really helpful). I've been in a lot of different industries since then too. Honestly, the passion might switch from year to year; the only real way to find out what you like career-wise is to get exposure to the real thing through talking to people, watching videos, and hearing what an honest day is like in the life of the careers you're considering. You've probably heard of the "What color is your parachute?" book series. Many people swear by it as having been super helpful for finding their passion, so you might find it useful. I'd also go to the Department of Labor website and see if there are careers mentioned that you never knew existed. That website will also give you a good idea of what careers are in demand. If there's not a market out there for what your passions are, I'd let it be a passion pursued off work hours.
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Terence’s Answer

This is a great question and one that I recommend consistently thinking about. There are very few people who know what their true passions are at an early age, but it does happen! I believe that one's passions are shaped by exposure and their development as a person. There may be hobbies or interests that you have in your teens that completely change when you're in your 20's, and then again in your 30's and beyond. These may simply shift or become "more refined" - say an interest in basketball becomes an interest in sports, which becomes a more specific interest in health and peak performance, which could lead to sports medicine or technology. Or, things could completely change in the opposite direction. This is pretty normal!

When I work with people on developing a career path, I focus on 3 areas:

1) What do you like to do?
2) What don't you like to do?
3) What're you good at?

The first 2 ("like/don't like") are a focus more on your personality - do you love large problems or specific issues? Do you like to be highly organized and structured, or are you comfortable with less/no structure that you need to build? Do you like to build new things or generate new ideas, or do you like to make existing things work better? In your case, you may have a pretty solid list of the things you DON'T like to do. What're the things you DO like to do? Is it working with people or working alone?

The 3rd is more around what you're good at in the workplace, your professional skillset if you want to think of it this way. Perhaps it's photography related, or some other things. Take some time to think through this. The skills you have can be applied to many areas.

Blending these things help develop a career path that you can build on. You can tie in your passions as they grow and and develop, you can course correct as needed. It's an evolving process, but thinking about what drives you and motivates you will always help in determining what you want to do.
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Kendall Paige’s Answer

Aloha, Juliana.

I'm probably one of the lucky ones... I knew from a very young age "what I wanted to be when I grew up" and I never strayed from that. I'm now approaching 19 years in the career which I'm passionate for, I'm blessed!

However I, like you, am also passionate about different things. I love to learn! If I could be paid to be a lifelong student, that would probably be another dream job for me. If anyone knows if that job is a reality, please reach out to me - I'm interested! ;) In that regard, I would encourage you to embrace your different passions. Continue to learn & grow because your education - whether it be formal or informal - is something that can never be taken away from you.

I echo what Simeon shared in that speaking with individuals first hand about their career experiences is often the most beneficial way to learn about different paths moving forward. Network, network, network! Volunteer, seek out internships and mentorships, any opportunities that may be presented to you. Be open to trying different things, especially early on in your educational and professional career. You may end up trying things - whether it be classes or jobs - that aren't your dream or passion, but you may also end up discovering something you end up falling in love with. ALL of them are valuable experiences to have! I can honestly say I've learned as much, if not more, from some of my more challenging educational or work experiences than I did the ones that felt natural and went smoothly for me. Any time you're willing to take a chance and try something new, you're pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. That is often where the greatest growth, personally and professionally, comes from.

Best of luck to you, your future awaits! :)
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Kim’s Answer

Hi Juliana
You have been given some excellent advice by mentors already. One additional thought for you to consider is to gain an understanding of your natural strengths and build your educational and career goals with those in mind. There are several assessments that will help you with this discovery process. My favorite is Strength Finder. It focuses purely on strengths and gives insight into what comes naturally to you. But, find the assessment that suits you best.
Best wishes to you.

Kim recommends the following next steps:

Research strengths assessments to find best fit for you.
Take the assessment and review the resulting report.
Retain the report for reference as your path continues.
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Juliana! You definitely have some time until you decide to settle on a career choice, but I would recommend picking a major you find to be interesting in each school (are the opportunities good there, does their program make you excited, etc) and go from there. Sometimes just seeing what the school has to offer and seeing how those opportunities will help you grow makes the decision easier for you because you might find yourself gravitating to it. When you're in college, you have so many chances to switch career paths and explore new and different things. As you take different classes that pertain to different careers, you might find yourself really enjoying a certain class or thinking, "This isn't right for me." And that's perfectly normal! Just keep researching and seeing what you connect really with. Good luck with career searching :)
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