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What should be my first step to choosing the best career path for myself?

I am currently a junior and I have no idea what career path to go for in the future. #career

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Fernando’s Answer

I'd recommend starting by thinking about your hobbies or passions. You'd be amazed at the variety of career fields there are, and how they can line up with something you're already doing or are just passionate about. Once you have list ready it's all about researching the career fields and the studies required to be a part of said career fields. Don't let anyone rush you when it comes to making a decision. This takes time, both in the research aspect and when selecting which career field you're drawn to the most. If at some point you feel like changing your future plans don't worry, most of us did the same thing. Whatever plan you set out with remember to be flexible and adaptable. Things never go exactly as we plan it.
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Dominic’s Answer

A career path is something that you will be engaged in for the most part of your adult life, and therefore I understand the need for one to get it right. You do not want to look back years from now and wish that you had chosen a different path. Right now you have the flexibility to choose which path to follow, but it will ultimately be tied to what your college major is, what your interests are, and what opportunities are available. As a junior in college, I would advise you to figure out what interests you the most, try to get an internship in that area, and then evaluate if it is a great fit for you. Sometimes you may not have the opportunity or time to participate in internships. In that case, you can leverage the experience of others who are already in the industry that you are interested in. Ask specific questions in a forum such as this or on LinkedIn and evaluate from the answers if that is what you really want. Although careers are important to us, they are not life-long commitments. You can always change your career path down the road if your interests change.
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Samantha’s Answer

Look inward what things do enjoy doing? What things could you see yourself doing for a life time? Like if you like clothes and makeup maybe you should try fashion. Or maybe you like to help animals so going into a career to be a vet would suit you.
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Alejandro’s Answer

Hobbies and passions should change during the time, so I will highlight what things make you happy and get fun? then try to find an area where you can have both. I recommend you to read IKIGAI is a good lecture that might can help you to start think different when we are talking about select the "perfect" career path.
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Emily’s Answer

Hi Alondra,
The world of work is changing a lot - where previously people would have one 'career', potentially with the same job in the same company, there is now a lot more flexibility and it's a lot more common for people to change job, to work part time, to work more than 1 job or to work for themselves for example. New jobs are emerging all the time as well. You might end up working in a job in 10 years time that doesn't even exist right now.

I wouldn't put too much pressure on yourself to map out your entire career path from one decision. Think about what interests you, your hobbies etc. Look for jobs linked to those and see if there are any specialised requirements. Some jobs will have specialised requirements so if you are really passionate about following one of those careers you will need to be more directional in your choices. However, even if you focus on law (for example), that doesn't mean you'll necessary end up being a lawyer all your life! Think about what makes you happy and topics you are enthusiastic about. You will spend a lot of time at work so it's important that it's in a topic you find engaging.
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Mariam’s Answer

I would suggest you consider your talents and skills, and assess which of these may be useful in a future career. For instance, are you a strong writer? Do you like public speaking, or programming, or art? Then figure out which of these skills can be the foundation for a career. Once you have a general sense, it is helpful to speak to people within those fields to get their guidance on what their actual day-to-day jobs actually entail, and what types of people thrive in those fields.
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Dina’s Answer

Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place and there is no right or wrong path in your journey. Every path you take will leads to another choice and some choices can change everything. you might start with a job and switch drastically to a different one and you might end up doing something completely dissimilar.
I would suggest you follow several steps in order to make a good decision:
First, start by assessing yourself: think about your skills, passions, interests, aptitudes, personality type. Then think about your goals, whether life goals or professional goals
Subsequently, think about jobs or occupations you like to work on when you are older and search about them... you might eliminate one of the options you have ever thought about. The better you know the better you can take a decision. Conduct a wide research on your options. Let the research you did about required education and career be your guide.
When you have information, you can start by narrowing down the list you have created. However, The most important thing is don’t stress about it. Its totally normal to change your mind daily. And remind yourself that every decision will lead you to a path but doesn’t mean that you must abandon one for the sake of another
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Jeremy’s Answer

Hi Alondra!

I think one of the neatest things about the state of the workforce today is just how fluid it is. Unlike past generations, your career is not something you necessarily choose 1 time and are then locked in until retirement. In fact, a majority of the Millennial and Gen Z workforce have fairly fluid understandings of "Career" many of them switch careers multiple times and many do not stay in the same job past 5 years.

So, it's okay if you don't know what you want to do -- it's not a decision you only get to make once. My best advice is to find that thing or things you're passionate about. It might be a certain skill, or an industry or even a certain activity/movement. Find whatever gets you excited, and then find roles/positions that do the work you're excited about. If you're missing certain skills go learn them. But I would always invert the question of a career: It's not "how can I make money/a career with the skills I have?" but rather "What career would make me happy? What skills do I need to do that?"
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Jessica’s Answer

Hey Alondra,

I think the best start is learning by doing, because theory is one thing and practice is another.

I would suggest opting for internships and training programs if available.

Otherwise, choosing bey elimination may be a first step. A second step is identifying your passions and things you enjoy the most, for example, do you enjoy talking to people for 7+ hours a day? Would you consider a customer/client facing job?

Or do you enjoy math and physics? So you prefer an engineering type of a job for example?

Working your way through such questions, would help in determining, eventually, your first career steps. Though, it is worth keeping in mind technology and the boom of tech related jobs for example.

Hope this helps
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Mirna’s Answer

Your career path should be related to your goals, future plans and personality type. Think about these steps and questions when preparing for your career path: Think about your personality type, your interests and passions, identify your core values in life, review your previous education and professional experience, general goals (life or professional goals). Once you write down your self-reflection ideas, start your research because imagination is different from the real world. Make sure that your goals are achievable and aligned with your interest and don’t worry about changing your mind frequently or being confused because it’s part of your personal and professional grow.
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Qaysar’s Answer

I asked myself this exact same question when I went to college and I changed my major twice to finally find what I really liked!

My first choice was based solely on what I was passionate about. It wasn't a bad idea but I found out that it was a very competitive field that will require me to go live in certain places to move up.
My second choice was based on what's the most wanted major at the time. I liked that one too but it didn't seem to be a perfect fit for me to do it as a career for the rest of my life.

So by the second year in college I made a list of my top 5 majors with three factors:
- Majors I like
- They pay well
- They are in-demand

That list then became only two majors and I eventually picked the one I liked the most.

I don't know if this will work with everyone but it helped me explore all my options and also knowing more about myself because I didn't just want to work, I wanted to enjoy what I do!
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Sean’s Answer

Hi Alondra,

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU Stern, has an interesting viewpoint on this. Despite mainstream advice, he says you shouldn't try to follow your passion, but rather follow your talents. What are you good at? Is it a particular subject in school or extracurriculars? Are you an excellent communicator or teacher?

If you follow your talents, you'll have an easier time adding value to the world and thus being compensated for that. Plus, even if your talent doesn't align with your passion, when you dive in deep to a subject and are constantly praised for doing a good job, you start to develop an interest in that and it becomes your passion.

Also, keep in mind that you can always change careers as you go, and if you work hard and are nice to people, opportunities will always pop up. Brynn Putnam was a ballet dancer, turned fitness instructor, turned tech entrepreneur. Preet Bharara was a lawyer turned podcaster. Oftentimes you'll find that a skillset from one career can help immensely in another career that at first seems completely unrelated.

Good luck!

Sean recommends the following next steps:

Take a look at his advice here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVWyqlJK93Q
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Simeon’s Answer

In general, I would go to the department of labor's website (https://www.dol.gov/) and see which fields are growing quickly these days. If you're drawing a blank on what you'd like to do, see if any of the fast growing fields call out to you. This will give you a lot more structure than trying to get a vague sense of your passions and trying to brainstorm a way to turn it into money. Most people don't have a passion that they are aware of right away. Also, passions tend to change from season to season. Lastly, look at videos on YouTube of people in their careers talking about what they love and hate. See if any of their descriptions sound like a good fit for you. It's just as important to figure out if you can deal with the downsides of a job as it is to figure out what you'd love about a job.
Thank you comment icon I think this is an interesting answer as most people starting out are not clear what their passions are, nor how to apply those passions to real life. If you work at something you are good at, I think you can build passion over time. Diarmait O'Reilly
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Diarmait’s Answer

I think this is an interesting question and a lot of answers refer to looking to what your passions are, but I think most people starting out are not clear what their passions are, nor how to apply those passions to real life. If you work at something you are good at, I think you can build passion over time. So maybe also look at where your skills are currently strongest, math, history, science etc. and see what sort of roles would these be relevant to.
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Eric’s Answer

I have several bits of advice I've given to my kids.

- First, you're still young and growing. There is a good chance that you will change your mind over the next few years, and that's ok. It's all part of the process.

- I tell my kids to form three career lists: (1) those things you really enjoy, (2) those things that you are good at, and (3) those things you can eventually do to support yourself. Now look for the careers that appear in all three lists; those might lead you to the best choice for you.

- Shadowing is a great way to learn more about a career. It lets you see what "a day in the life of ..." is like, and it also helps you build relationships with professionals in those careers you are considering.

- As you research, shadow, talk to professionals, etc., keep in mind it's ok to figure out that you DON'T like a career. Crossing something off your list can be helpful, too.

- And finally, nothing is cast in stone. Even when you are done with school and in the 'adult world', it's ok to change careers.

Good luck!

- Eric
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Will’s Answer

You might consider reflecting on what you are passionate about and what you like to do in your free time, Nowadays there are career paths in almost anything so you could probably find something you really enjoy doing. I never really knew what I wanted to do so something that was beneficial for me was trying different courses to see how I liked that career path. Through this you can gain perspective on what you do and don't like along with what you might possibly want to do. The worst scenario you could be in is working a job that makes you miserable, even if you're making good money from it. You just have to find what makes you happy and pursue a career in it.
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Christel’s Answer

Hi,

Choosing your career can be very stressful. It is a hard decision you need to make at a young age. It is important to take your time and know your interests, your values, hobbies, Soft skills, what motivates you, what activities do you most enjoy. Make a list of the fields you are interested in, Find job descriptions and educational, training requirements, Lifestyle requirements for each of the careers in you list and you can start narrowing it down. You may also take Online career assessments, Seek out career coaches- Interview some people in your field of interest, Seek internships. Consider your salary needs however It is important not to seek only money and salaries as the good money will come with the success in your career. Imagine yourself in 5 and 10 years. Do you see yourself happy in that path?
Try different things, different options, think outside of the box and most importantly Take your time.