4 answers

How would I actually know what type of career I want to do or that will fit with me as an individual?

Asked Woodbridge, Virginia

I am asking this because I find it challenging to figure out what careers would fit me. Although, I have an idea on what studies I want to do...but they are not similar because they are on different parts of the spectrum of careers, starting from business management to clinical psychology to criminal justice. #management #career-counseling #career-choice #career-path

4 answers

John’s Answer

Updated Gainesville, Florida

Susan, I changed my major seven times in college. I got my degree and have a successful career unrelated to it. Although it is important to do well in your studies, they are not the end-all, be-all for your future. What they do absolutely show is your capacity to learn something new. In many industries today, there are procedures, databases, processes, systems that are unique to the company themselves and if you show a propensity to excel in learning in school/college, then that shows you can learn what they need to teach you fast and efficiently. You will hear "Do what you love and you won't work a day in your life" and that is true to an extent. Do something that you ENJOY, something in your soul you are passionate about and you will be a better employee and person for it. Good luck in whatever you choose!

Best Regards,

John

Paul’s Answer

Updated California, California

Susan -

Ken's response is spot on. A few things I would add:

  • You're probably closer than you think to finding a career you like given you have some identified along the "spectrum" you described.
  • The subject areas along your spectrum can help identify your passion, but consider the mode of work you feel most suited for. What do I mean by that? Consider criminal justice (one of your considerations). I happen to have two people in my life in criminal justice careers. One's in law enforcement, the other is in statistical analysis. Person-to-person daily activity, or back-office researching and recommendation? Of course there's a lot of overlap but you can see how your personality probably already gravitates toward one (or repels from the other...). This is where a personality test like Myers-Briggs (or the free Jungian tests, google for it) can help.
  • Internships! These are a great way to get exposure. You've probably heard it. But it's an easy way to avoid the next option:
  • Being in the USA, it's socially and professionally acceptable to make shifts in our careers. If you start into a career and 2 years in you get the exposure you didn't get in an Internship (see above ;) you can make a change. Always remember that.

Good luck!

Paul

Susan’s Answer

Updated Woodbridge Township, New Jersey

You seem to know what interests you - at least from the outside. As the others suggested, understanding better what type of work fits your personality is also key. Given a choice of people contact or back-room analysis is a very simple choice for me - I'll choose people every time! However, that may not be you.

I also strongly agree with the idea of internships to allow you to gain firsthand experience in these fields. As the fields are not mutually exclusive, an internship could give you concrete ideas of how to blend them into a promising career.

Moving from one career path to another is perfectly acceptable, too, which makes the initial choices less daunting.

Katie’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

I'm going to echo all the folks above and say don't discount a liberal arts degree! I went to a school that really focused on them and they are great. There are also lots of schools these days where you can craft your own degree, which I think is great. You can take a little bit of your interests and put them together. The key to show most employers is that you are capable and willing to learn and that is what those more general degrees show. Definitely internships will help, but also volunteering at different non-profits or even informational interviews and shadowing can be helpful. I know a lot of folks who have shadowed someone for a day to get a feel of if they wanted to do that job. Just know that whatever you choose is not the end of the world, a lot of us in the working world aren't working in jobs that are not what we studied.