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how did you figure out what you wanted to do?

#undecided #major #job #career #work #college-major #jobs #job-search #careerpath #future

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Subject: Career question for you

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Parshva’s Answer

Hi Randi! That's a great question, something that I ask myself more often than not. Personally, what I did when I was in college was expose myself to different groups and experiences. For example, joining different student organizations, meeting new people in formal and informal setups to learn about what they do and what drives them, case competitions etc. It was through case competitions that I found that consulting was the way to go for me. If I need to summarize this in 1 line - talk to people firsthand, and ask them what exactly drives them to do what they do. This will definitely give you a lot of clarity while thinking.
Best of luck!
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Mike’s Answer

I always knew going through high school that I wanted to do something in the Finance world - Accounting, Corporate Finance, Banking, etc. - because that's where I assumed I would make the most money. It took getting into a quality business school for me to actually decide on majoring in Accounting and pursuing my CPA license. My college experience definitely pushed me more toward this path than anything else - which is now a corporate finance role that requires a lot of cross-functional communication (though I have a degree in Accounting, I learned quickly in college that a career as an accountant is not what I truly wanted to do, but the degree and CPA nonetheless have helped my career path greatly).
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Frank’s Answer

Thanks for your question "How did you figure out what you wanted to be?" The requirement for me when I was 15 years of age (year 10) was that the earliest date I could leave high school was when I had reached my 15th year birth date and had an indentured apprenticeship to go to.

Frank recommends the following next steps:

1. Ask your Class Teacher for help and advice.
2. Ask your parents Father & Mother for help and advice.
3. Ask your Uncles and Aunties for help and advice.
4. Go to your local government employment office and find an indentured apprenticeship opportunity.
5. Stay at high school until you have reached your 18th birthday (year 12) then go to university of your choice and train to be Scientist; Engineer; Teacher; Educator; Technologist; Mathematics instructor; etc.
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Jonathan’s Answer

Hi Randi,

I thank you for posing this question and it is one I believe all of us pondered at one time or another. This is an important topic and as such recommend the following steps (in order below).

For context, these steps help you pursue a job that aligns with your personal and career aspirations. That, while giving you the flexibility to discover on the job whether or not it is truly something you enjoy over time. You do not know what you do not know. Therefore, give yourself some grace if you are in a job that you no longer enjoy and pivot to something else which aligns to what brings your joy and what you want to do.

Hope that information helps!

Kind Regards,

Jonathan recommends the following next steps:

Learn what makes you happy (e.g., interacting with people, creating, public speaking, helping people, etc.)
Identify what you want to do (e.g., life/career coach, analyzing data, etc.)
Recognize what job(s) allow you to do what you want to do
Pursue the job(s)
Discover on the job
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Heather’s Answer

Hi Randi. Everyone's experience is different, but when I reflect back, I think I didn't take the time to really consider what I was good at, and instead initially chose something that sounded like a cool career: architecture. It turned out I didn't have the right skills to do that--artistic talent, in particular. I sort of fell into my current field--public relations--when I was first starting out in the job market and it turned out to be a great fit. Looking back, when I was considering choosing a major for college, I hadn't paid attention to the fact that I was good at (and enjoyed) writing, so a career in communications would have been a better one for me to consider when I was deciding what wanted to do for a living.

So I'd suggest starting there: What classes do you really enjoy? What skills are you particularly good at? And how could that translate into different career options? Talk to your teachers, take a look at job boards for career paths that match your interests and skills, and do some research. There's something for everyone!

Good luck!
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Nicole’s Answer

Market demand played a huge role in my career decision. For example, when the financial crisis hit in 2008, Sarbanes-Oxley was implemented to make sure companies were stating their financials accurately. As a result, there was a large demand for auditors. Or another example is that as a result of the Internet boom, there is a high demand for engineers and data scientists.
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Anny’s Answer

Hi, Randi
It just took one college course for me to realize that I was interested in marketing, as a career. After that course, I read extensively about brands I admired. These books re-affirmed my decision, as did subsequent courses. The courses allowed me to knit together my interests with my capabilities. Suddenly, my hobbies like photography and graphic design, my interest in new products, and my aptitude for business came together.

I hope you are experiencing something similar as you try to figure out what you want to do.
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Stacia’s Answer

Randi,
I did not know what I wanted to do in high school and when I entered college I still wasn't sure. So I took a variety of classes to see which ones spoke to me. I finally decided that I wanted to be in marketing, as I truly enjoyed the subject and what I as exposed to in college. I graduated with my bachelors degree with a concentration in Consumer Behavior and Market Research. Did I go into the marketing field? No! I was already working at a very large company in an entry level customer service position when I graduated and decided not to switch fields. The values aligned with mine, the benefits were good (in particular tuition reimbursement) and there were so many different departments that I knew I would have the opportunity to expand my experience and grow in my career. That last part turned out to be true.

I say all that to say, not everyone knows exactly what they want to do immediately. Think about those things you are good at and what makes your heart sing and then start looking at areas where you can incorporate those 2 things.
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Chayla’s Answer

Randi, this is a great question. While I was in high school, I thought about all the things that I liked to do, along with my favorite courses. Then I researched careers that were related to those things. Once I identified the careers associated with the things that I liked to do or was interested in, I then researched what it took to get there. For instance, math was one of my favorite subjects. So I looked up careers for someone who loved math. I found careers such as engineering, math teacher, etc.. From there, I looked up how much college it took to become an engineer and math teacher and how much each career made annually. I made a list of all my findings and based on what was most important to me, how much schooling, earning potential, other classes, etc.., I decided. This was a very practical way of deciding. Looking back, I would do it the same way.

Hope this helps and best of luck!!
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Brooke’s Answer

Hi! To be completely honest - this is a question most people still ask themselves on a day-to-day basis. What I did, was follow what I thought would be the most successful in today's economy. One of my personal values is being able to provide for myself and survive if I have to live solo.

Currently, I work at a major telecom company, which suggests and empowers their employees to try different teams and different jobs around the company to see what fits best. If I were you, I'd suggest you looking for a larger firm where you'll be able to try a little bit of everything - or have the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. For example, I graduated college with an interest in Marketing. After college I had the opportunity in this company to do product marketing, digital marketing, and media campaigns! It's given me a little taste of everything, and I know what I do and don't like.

Brooke recommends the following next steps:

Figure out your personal values
Align your personal values to what can be supported by your future job
Look at companies who share your values
Apply and be your TRUE self!
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