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How to explore multiple careers before committing?

Similar to college majors, are there ways to explore your options before committing to one? What's the best way to do that? #communications

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Gabby’s Answer

Hi Phuong,

Great question!

A great option is to look into various internships/ practicums during your last few years in high school and in college. Apply and interview for a variety of industries that interest you and "try it before you buy it." Having exposure to various industries will help you decipher what you enjoyed, disliked, work hours, working conditions, compensation, commute, travel, etc.

I would also suggest connecting with others who are in industries that interest you via LinkedIn or other professional sites. Having a quick 15-20 minute phone/video discussion about what someone does can give you great insight into that industry. If you don't already have a LinkedIn profile, I highly recommend creating one. It's a professional networking site and can help you build connections easily.

Also talk with family and friends about where they work. You may be surprised with what you find out, which could help you make the best decision for yourself.

Good luck!
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Serena’s Answer

Hi Phuong,
You can certainly explore multiple careers before committing to one.
You can either experiment while you are still studying,
Or you can try out different careers after you graduate.

I would suggest the former option - to explore while you are still studying,
This way you can save time and focus on your desired career right upon graduation.
The best option to apply for internship or job shadowing on your few area of interests,
Having first hand experience on how it is to work in that field is not only great for your resume,
But it is also a great tasting experience to see if you like to establish your future career there as well.

Alternatively, you can speak to people who are already in that career and ask any questions that you have,
And evaluate whether you would aspire to be like them in the future.

However if you prefer to explore after graduation, this is perfectly fine too;
Sometimes you need longer than a summer to evaluate whether you like that career,
And you can always change career whenever you want.

Good luck!

Regards,
Serena
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Victoria’s Answer

I agree with everything Gaby said! The only thing I would add would be to look into your school's alumni center and set up calls with alumni in different areas that you are interested in. Alumni are always so eager to talk to students who go to their alma mater and it could provide you with a great connection that could eventually lead to a great opportunity (plus you are never too young to start building your network).
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Jayne’s Answer

Hi Phuong,

I agree with everyone's advice above -- look into internships in different fields and think about trying different industries. Even if your function or department is the same, you may run into an industry that you want to learn more about. Connecting with alumni or mentors in different careers is also good advice.

I would add that starting out in your career is the best time to explore! The earlier you are, the easier it is to switch to different departments or functions or try new projects. And remember that there's no getting "stuck." Yes, some careers require more commitment (schooling, experience investment), but finding something new you want to switch to doesn't negate any of the work or experience you have in another function. People switch careers all the time.

Personally I started out in Journalism, moved to Corporate Communications, then did PR and branding, and now I'm in B2B Marketing. All the experience in my previous roles has helped me in some way in my current role.
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David’s Answer

Phuong this is a really great question. I think one great way to explore is first think about the things in life that you love most and how you want to integrate those passions into your work. Once you've identified some areas you're most passionate about, offer to volunteer or intern to explore what a real "day in the life" might be. What you will find is that as you explore these roles and organizations, you will like find new things that you're passionate about. I would also encourage you to think about the culture of the organization or the people that you work with and how that will impact your journey.

Good Luck on your Journey!
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Diana’s Answer

A great way to explore your options is by doing different internships while in college and post graduation. Hands-on experience will help you realize what you like, what you don't, your strengths...and will also help you identify where you want to continue to grow your skillset.
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Carlotta’s Answer

Hi Gabby. Volunteering is a great way to gain exposure to a field or industry. You can devote as much or as little time to it, without a long commitment timeframe.
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Chiquita’s Answer

I agree with all the advice provided. Internships offer you first hand exposure to working in the field of your choice. Communications is a very broad field, so I would suggest narrowing down to maybe 2 or 3 that you are really interested in and focus on finding internships in those areas.
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Kelly’s Answer

Networking with peers in similar fields
Finding a company that offers rotation programs
Volunteering in the field you are interested in
Follow "a day in the life"
Certifications/Workshops are available to gain more insight

Always remember, you can always pivot your career at any point. You do not need to stay in one place.
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Jolene’s Answer

Choosing a consulting career initially will help with exposure to multiple roles and opportunities.
Internships will help open up multiple doors.
Build your network by attending Career Days, speaking with multiple people about their jobs.
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Nathalia’s Answer

Hi Phuong! You already have great advice here, but I would add starting a side project. Something that you are passionate about - it can be one of your own interest or even partnering with a non-profit. For instance, if you are passionate about animal rescue, you can start a blog and build a strategy for different social media channels. In that way, you can experiment with multiple fields in communications/marketing and figure out what you like doing the most.
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Kelly’s Answer

As many have stated, networking, volunteering and internships are a great way to find out more about career path options. Also, I would encourage you to consider companies that have rotation programs for new hires, which will give you exposure to different organizations and roles within a company before you decide what team you'd like to work in long-term.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. This is a good question. I believe many people may have the same question as well.
Below is my suggestion :
1. Given you have already had chosen your major & minor, there is already a number careers that are relevant to your major or minor.
2. You can explore more on these career and determine which one you have interest on
3. You can speak to the alumni or someone who are working in these careers. Also, you can seek advice from your mentor, professors or career counselor in the college
4. Choose 1-2 career that you may interest on and explore any intern opportunities. This can help you to acquire better understanding on the career.
Having said that, our interest may change from time to time. You may not necessary to commit to one single career in your life time.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Nathalie’s Answer

Hi! I think the advice already provided are pretty spot on.
I would say to not be afraid of change. Keep trying new things and searching for the next opportunity. I think looking for a job that allows you to be versatile and work in multiple departments with the same company. I had this opportunity at my previous job and it allowed me to realize what aspects of marketing that I like the most. I took this new found information and channeled it when looking for my current job and I am so happy with what I'm doing and who I'm working with.

Looking for a new job could be difficult so I think finding something that is kind of versatile would be perfect for you. (Obviously this would only pertain to jobs that are similar to one another, such as marketing. There are so many avenues one could go with marketing so its nice to have the experience of a little bit of everything to narrow down what you actually like.)
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