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How do I know what is my passion?

I am in class 11 and I don't know my passion. I personally feel I can be a good lawyer or a good doctor but for some reason, I feel like it's my duty to become an engineer. Could you please help me out? I am so confused. #career-counseling #higher-education #school

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Alexa’s Answer

Hi Rakhi. It sounds like you've done a lot of thinking about your career and this decision is weighing on you a bit! I think it is completely normal for you to be confused about your passion because it is my belief that people find their passions through experience. It would be hard to say you are passionate about being a doctor, when you have never actually been a doctor, right? With that being said, maybe ask yourself how you can find ways to get experience in some of the fields that interest you. Maybe there is an internship you could complete with a law firm, or maybe there is an opportunity to shadow a doctor and learn what their job looks like day to day. If you start putting yourself in a position to experience your interests, you will naturally start to figure out what you like and don't like. Then from there, you can start to alter your path and align your career with what drives your passion. Just remember, no decision has to be permanent. You are at the perfect age to experiment and try all types of passions. So good luck to you and happy exploring!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much, Alexa! This is really helpful and insightful. I will surely try experimenting. Though I feel fascinated by the thought of a lawyer, I can feel my inclination towards it. Rakhi
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Karen’s Answer

Look within yourself to recognize your natural talents. Building on those talents (what you are good at) and abilities help you to continue to evolve! You will know you are finding your "passions" when you love what you are doing , feel confident, optimistic, focused, and consistently have near perfect performances in some very specific activities. Don't feel committed to any 1 career choice now! Yes, there is sometimes pressure to "pick" a sector or a field , but it is OK to be open to keep evolving. You WILL most DEFINITELY change jobs and even shift careers in your lifetime! Pursue your passions, for sure. Here are some good strategies and an assessment link to learn more about WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU LIKE, YOUR PREFERENCES regarding life's pathway...
(My strengths are: Connectivity, Positivity, Developer, Communication, Woo)

Karen recommends the following next steps:

What are my strenghts? https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/253715/34-cliftonstrengths-themes.aspx
Positive Personalit Profiles Free Book - https://sites.google.com/a/dicles.date/merrickgladwin/positive-personality-profiles-discover-personality-insights-to-understand-yourself-and-others-0964108003
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Courtney’s Answer

Hi Rakhi! I completely sympathize with the pressure you may feel to find your passion. Finding your passion is a life-long journey, and you don't need to have it all figured out right now. It will likely be a continuous discovery, which has the potential to be a great one, but can often feel threatening by the looming fear that you will make the wrong choice. When choosing a school or major, there can be a lot of people telling you that there is a right or wrong choice, but no one really knows what the future will look like or how that decision will work out for you, so you should pick the choice you are most excited about! If there is not one thing that you are already most hopeful for, pick anything and then put in the work so that it becomes a good choice.

Courtney recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of things you like to do or are interested in looking into more
Ask friends and family what strengths they see in you're personality
Set a series of little goals that you can then achieve and use to make bigger goals
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Andrew’s Answer

It is perfectly fine that you have not found your passion in high-school years. In fact, your future career plan may evolve over time. Therefore, do not feel bad about being “confused.”

It is important to keep in mind that no matter what you want to take on in the future, the most important prerequisite is a strong academic background. In any case, a strong STEM education would be helpful in the career paths you mentioned.
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Janardan’s Answer

Hi Rakhi,

It is easy to find your passion. Start by listing your interests. It could be listening to music, astronomy, law, sports. It could be anything.

Then from list of interests, find one that satisfies below criteria:
1) What is that activity that energizes you?
2) What is that activity that makes you feel good and like to do more?
3) What is that activity/hobby that you can do for long stretches of time? You don't feel bored or tired.

While most successful people had their career and passion tied, in reality all it may not be the case for all. And it need not be. It is great to have both passion and career align, but don't be disappointed if your first job is not.

With the new economy emerging (gig economy) and job market changing, people will be able to balance career and passion as separate tracks. For example, you could be working as an engineer and also pursue your passion working in NGO (Non-Governmental Organization, non-for-profit). In future, your job need not be tied to 9am to 5pm for complete year. There will be choice to work part time as per your financial needs.

My example - Till my 12th standard, I didn't know my interest or passion. My father asked me to do engineering. In first year, I liked computer programming. This was back in 1992 - 96. Access to computer was 1 hour per week. Internet had just started. I found programming so interesting, I used to read programs in many languages (FORTRAN, COBOL, C, C++). I read 6 to 8 books just on C++ language. That landed me in first job as APTECH faculty. My current job doesn't need me to code. But, I still like to do hobby coding. I built community of web developers. I cofounded JavaScript Meetup, where we have 9000 members from 13 countries.

Janardan recommends the following next steps:

List your interests
Find your passion based on above criteria
Follow channels and people on YouTube related to your passion
Connect with role models on social media
Take advice on how to apply knowledge, apprentice, projects
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