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When choosing a career, how do you know that's what you want?

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Subject: Career question for you

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7 answers

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Mayank’s Answer

I'll be very honest with you, often one doesn't really know what one wants. Having been in your shoes, I can suggest a few steps that helped me make a decision early on.
1. Think about your short-term and long-term goals. This may not be easy or crystal clear, but start with where you would like to see yourself in the future.
2. Create a list of a few areas or functions that interest you. This could be things you're passionate about or are leaning towards.
3. Reach out to people with those particular jobs and network with them to understand what a day in their job looks like.
4. Assess what skills would be required to perform those jobs and try to add those skills to your bucket.

Understand that nothing needs to be set in stone and at any step of your career (with varying difficulty), you can make a career change if you want to. But the aforementioned steps are a good way to start so that you're able to make a well calculated decision when choosing a career.
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Sofia’s Answer

Hi Kayse M.,

I’d say that choosing a career don’t happen overnight with one decision.
My aproach to a career it’s like a journey. Be in the present and do what you like to do now. If you don’t know what you like/love it’s not a problem. Start by writing down what you don’t like.
Have you ever traveled? How would you know the trip would be awesome? When I travel I experience a lot of different things - culture, food, people. Every experience makes me know more about myself, what I like and what I don’t like.
And at my job I feel the same. Every day I discover more about myself, what I like, what I dislike, my values, limits and what makes me happy. And do you know what? If I don’t like I always can change.
Enjoy the process and don’t be afraid of starting something new even if you’re not sure!

Life is a journey,
Choose yours
Knowing you can decide

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Mounia’s Answer

You can start by assessing your personality, skills,interests...
You can also make a list of all your skills.
There are lots of online Quizzes that also guides you towards what you like.
I would also like to add that your personality can affect whether you like a job or not.
If you have some experience and worked many jobs before you can assess all the jobs your had and check if you have a preference.
You can also research and read about different careers and interests that will also help you gain more understanding.
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Fred’s Answer

The world is different than it used to be. My father worked in one career, and basically at one location, his entire professional life. I'm on at least my third, each in radically different fields (theatre, education, IT). So even if you choose one now, you are not locked into it for the rest of your life.

Think about what you enjoy doing, what kind of challenges you like (or don't like), and the various tips others gave to narrow it down. If you are still in college, take some classes in each area - that's kind of the purpose of your first year or two at college, and all those random "one english, two science, two humanities" requirements. You may find something you love, or learn that you hate something else. Use this time to learn about both the fields and about yourself.
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Jerome’s Answer

It is all about your personal preference.

I take a blended view and use the US department of labor statistics to show me the fastest growing careers for the next 20 years and tie that into what I most enjoy doing. The benefit of choosing this way it gives you the most market momentum (i.e. qty of jobs) while doing something you enjoy. If you are struggling while in an internship or job, if you don't like what you are doing - just network and train to get another one. This has done very well for me the past 20+ years and highly recommend this type of approach.
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Whitney’s Answer

I agree with Mayank in that you might not know what you want to do, even once you've begun your career! If you're not quite sure but are ready to start your career somewhere, I recommend you choose something that interests you, but also that has a broad array of exit opportunities. If you choose a field with many different areas of focus, you can try multiple areas out before deciding what you really want to specialize in.
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Kandace’s Answer

You definitely have to do something you are interested in. Pursue something that gets you motivated, gets you excited, and challenges you. Don't just think about the money, because once you're doing what you love, the money will come.

However one thing that I've learned throughout the years is that you aren't tethered to 1 career choice. Take your experiences and run with it. Once you've done what you can with one - if it isn't something that you can picture yourself doing for long-term - figure out other paths that you'd like to take.

You only live once (that's the motto, yolo)! :)