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How did you discover what you were passionate about?

I would love to hear your personal story about how you first got involved in your field and what about it captivated you! college career college-major career-counseling career-choice career-path career-development non-profits undecided

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Subject: Career question for you

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Marjorie A.’s Answer

Hi Albert,


Thanks for your question and interest! As a third generation college student, the last career of interest to me was education. You'll laugh about this later. My maternal grandparents were educators, as well as aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides. A few others were in STEM fields.


I've got a strong "got-to-know" personality that was gnawing at me in ninth grade with an urgency to discover my career. Now this was 1968 when all career info was in print or "word of mouth." I was reading a "Junior Scholastic" edition that featured a detailed summary of about 15 careers. Remember, I was on a mission not to be an educator. So, I cut each career, separately, and placed them in a jar. I decided the career I pulled would be the one to research and seriously consider. So, dental hygienist was it.


Again, due to the pre-computer and online era, I researched dental hygiene and colleges using the Encyclopedia. This search started in 1964 and my choices were limited due to segregation. So I followed up in Fall '67 by applying to Howard U and Meharry Medical College. By the way, my parents weren't optimistic about my career choice and insisted I volunteer in a dental office for two summers (after 11th and 12th grade). I was basically a dental assistant, since hygienists must be licensed, and I did some bookkeeping for them also. Great experience for my college applications and resume.


I worked in the field for about eight years; clinical dental hygiene, five years, and public health dental hygiene, three years. Both areas were rewarding but I later desired something different.


Fast forward...I later earned a degree in psychology and master's degree in mental health counseling. Since we relocated and my two sons were school age, someone suggested school counseling; however, I'd never taught school. So I had to work at a private school for two years (they don't require certification) and was later able to work in a public high school in Montgomery County, MD. Collectively, I had 30 years of school counseling.


Several years before retirement, I decided to start a part-time private college/career counseling service for MS/HS students and HS grads. I'm still doing it but with a reduced load.


So that's my story. Former students always found some of the historical data amazing. No regrets with either career and I obviously still have interest in the latter.


Hope this helps!

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samantha’s Answer

I fell in love with teaching when I was 12 and now I'm a foreign language teacher! In college I tried higher education (working at a college or university) and I like that but I knew I still liked teaching more. You have to try out different careers by doing internships and volunteer work. You never know what you could love if you don't try.

Thanks for your response, Samantha! I love hearing about how passionate people are about their work and how they got into it. :) Albert P.
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Ethel’s Answer

Hello Albert,

This is a very insightful and important question to consider as you identify the right job role and career for yourself. The very first step in finding the right fit is really understanding yourself and what "captivates" you. if you can find that in a career, you'll be more fulfilled, more productive and most likely achieve high performance.

I am in the health insurance industry. I got started in the industry while I was still in high school. My high school arranged part time jobs for students in various industries, and I selected a job with a health insurance company.

I enjoy working in the industry. It is highly regulated and I love to read, learn and attack new challenges. I also attribute my tenure in the industry to the fact that I have worked for a stand up organization for the past 25 years! They have strong company values that align with my personal values-- integrity, caring , excellence and inspiration!

The field also has provided me with opportunities to work in many different roles and departments. I love the job diversity within my company. I've worked in various roles and various levels and I have learned many new skills in the process.

Although your question is about the passion of others, I encourage to spend some time thinking about your own passions, values, likes, dislikes, skills, interest and talents. Look for a career and job roles that are in alignment with these personal preferences and you won't go wrong!

Good luck!
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Alex..Alejandro’s Answer

No matter what...this is what I want to do. My passion is not about money or fame. What ever happens, this is what I choose to do.

Thanks for the response! Could I ask you what you are doing, and how you got into it? Albert P.
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Simeon’s Answer

I'm in IT audit for a large accounting firm. I enjoy learning new skills, but I wouldn't say I have a passion for my field. It's more like I have been thankful for the business and career opportunity. I tend to pursue my passions as hobbies on my own time. Not every passion can be made into a career.
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