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What was most helpful in helping you choose a career path?

What classes did you take that helped you pick your major? What clubs or activities did you participate in in college? How/when did you know you picked the right major and career for you? #college #career #college-major #career-choice #career-path #choosing-a-major

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Debra’s Answer

First of all - your college major does not necessarily determine your career or job, What is you get an undergraduate in Communications? English? History? Business? etc. A college major doesn't make a career. And many adults today switch careers multiple times throughout their lives. That's much more common than staying with the same company or job for 30 years. It didn't used to be that way - but now...? You should consider the need to adapt... not knowing what the future might bring. One of the best ways to experience different fields is internships or/volunteering. While some majors include an internship as part of the degree plan - most don't. So go out there and talk to people who work in fields you think you might be interested in. Volunteer at different places to get a feel for what's it's like to work in different settings. Not just different jobs - but different SETTINGS. Being a nurse at a large public hospital is very different from being a nurse at a small private pediatric office. Go experience the places and business/industries/settings you think you might be interested in. And as others suggest, think about what's important to YOU. Money? Lifestyle? 9-5? (which is increasingly rare), being creative? feeling important and valued? Being internally motivated or needing reassurance and validation or recognition? etc. I chose a field I knew I would be good at - but that I also knew would not make me wealthy. And while I have worked in Education my entire life, I have worked in many different settings with all ages. I also recommend doing your homework in terms of occupational outlook. There are simply some jobs that won't be around as we move into the future. It would be silly not to consider that fact as well.

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Rachel’s Answer

Collegeboard.org is a great resource for this! I poured through the pages of universities all over the U.S. when I was a senior in high school. Collegeboard was my go-to site! They put all of the information in one place and it is very easy to use. They even have various filters you can apply to see only colleges that have programs you are interested. To determine academic rigor, look at the admissions requirements, G.P.A. of past admitted applicants, SAT/ACT scores, class rank etc. This will give you an idea of what scores and grades you need to be accepted. However, don't be discouraged your application will be reviewed based on the full picture! College-board will help you get an idea of what is most important to the specific school you are applying to.</span>


This professional recommends the following next steps:

  • Chat with your Guidance Counselor
  • Create a Collegeboard.org account
  • Start using CollegeBoard as a resource to look up schools.
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Kelsey’s Answer

It really helped me to take generals. I was able to complete graduation requirements, but I chose classes based on what sounded interesting. The classes I enjoyed the most helped guide me towards my eventual major. I also spent time talking with my academic advisor about what I enjoyed and what options were available. You just need to try anything and everything to find out what you enjoy doing/learning.

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christine’s Answer


  1. Define Your Own Success


Before you go out and choose a career path, it’s important that you take the time to determine what success means to you. Chances are you have been bombarded with messages from your parents, family, society, and friends about what success means. Generally speaking, it looks like this:



High paying job
Big house
Kids
Nice car
Two or three week vacation



Etc…


You know, the “American Dream.”


While this may work for some people, now more than ever people are waking up to the fact that making a lot of money and working crazy hours for it does not equate to being happy in life.


The first question you must ask yourself is this:




  1. What do I want?




  2. What makes me happy?




  3. What does success look like to me?




A simple way to help you come up with this answer is to talk to your future self. Visualize yourself a couple of years away from death and ask that version of you,


“What matters most in our life?”


“What does success mean to us?”


Then write whatever comes up and play with those ideas for a bit.



  1. Create A Lifestyle You Love


The biggest mistake most people make when they choose a career path is that they tend to just focus on survival needs (i.e. making money). Very seldom do people actually take the time to think about the lifestyle they want to live.


And I am not just talking about your comfort level and stuff you can buy with money.


I am talking about how you spend your time each day. Many people assume that when they choose a career path that they automatically have to succumb to the 9 to 5 Monday through Friday regimen.


This is not true.


There are many creative ways to develop your career that compliments your lifestyle. It all comes down to what you want. If you are not a morning person look into opportunities that allow you to work in the afternoon or evenings.


So spend some time thinking about what you want your day to day life to look like first.



  1. Become An Expert


When choosing your career path, it’s important that you have the mindset of becoming the best at what you do. The only way you will be able to create leverage and have more negotiating power with the company you work with is by establishing yourself as an expert in your field.


This means you are going to have to eat, sleep, and breathe the information that makes up this industry. Therefore, it’s very important you choose the right career path to ensure it is authentic to who you are. The last thing you want to do is become an expert at something you really don’t care about (which makes up more than half our society and is why so many people are miserable.)


By increasing your perceived value, this will allow you to increase your earnings, work less, work flexible hours, and the company will treat you with more respect. High level team members want to surround themselves with other people who are at their level or at a higher level. Therefore it’s important that you be perceived as their equal. And the best way to do that is by establishing yourself as an expert.



  1. Love Your Industry


When you choose a career path, you will now become part of an industry. The people who make up this industry are now your community and tribe. You will be seeing them at conferences, talking with them via email, and constantly engaging with these people about your subject matter.


Since you are going to spend more time with them then you will your own family, shouldn’t you care about the industry you are a part of. Your industry is part of a collective group on this planet that is producing a product or service that (hopefully) is improving our culture. Just look at all of the industries out there and you will see they all have a common message and “vibe” about them.


Whatever career path you decide on, make sure you love that industry because it will become your second family.
5. Tap Into Your Natural Talents


When you are trying to figure out how to choose a career path, it’s important that whatever you do taps into your natural talents. Each one of us has a set of special talents and its important that your job accentuate those talents and give you an opportunity to improve upon them.


This does not mean you will not have to learn anything new because you will. But rather than trying to force yourself to become something you are not, just be your natural self and find something that aligns with your existing set of skills.


[bctt tweet=”Find a job that allows you to be your natural self” via=”no”]



  1. Be Appreciated & Acknowledged


Whatever you do, make sure you find something where you will be appreciated and acknowledged. As human beings, we all need to feel love and respect. Without it, we will become miserable human beings.


Notice how unhappy people are at work?


That’s because they are doing something they hate or not being appreciated for the work they do. Having to go to a job day in and day out where you are never acknowledged or appreciated will make you feel bad! If you are reading this right now then you are at a great place where you still get to choose what path you want to take. Make sure it is one where you will feel appreciated.

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