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where can I figure out what I want to do for my career and what I want to do

#career-choice #undecided #career-path I need help because I am a senior in high school and will graduate. #stem #career #college

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Subject: Career question for you

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James’s Answer

Joceyln -

First you are not alone on this. Everyone including myself asks themselves that question and very few have an answer for it. As to where you can figure out what you want to do that would be looking online searching job positing's. To finding out if you would like that job there are several things you can do to narrow down you search. I've seen family and friends find their dream job through interning which lets you feel out the job and gives you experience in the field for future employment. Tag along with friends or family for the day and see how you like it, taking notes on what was good or bad. Ask yourself what kind of life style you want to have in a year, 5 years, 10 years. Lastly making a list of what you will not "settle" for, example: no overnight shift, working alone, long distance travel, hourly wage VS Salary, being away from family etc. This will help you focus in on your long term goals, just keep in mind that you might have to adjust that list starting out depending on the pool of jobs you get from it.

James recommends the following next steps:

Make a list of what you like and find intersting
search key words for potential job postings
put postings aside that having something on your "will not settle for list"
Research further into remaining list
adjust "will not settle for list" based on job opportunities
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Rick’s Answer

One potential way to help you figure out what you want to do is talk to your friends and family and find out what they or their parents do for a living. As you start to hear about jobs that are cool or peak your interest, talk to them and get a better idea of what they really like about their job and perhaps what they don't like. Then if possible, and I strongly recommend this, see if you can shadow them and see what they do first hand.

Most people take great pride in their jobs and love talking about them, or allowing people to shadow them to see what it is really like. You may be surprised.
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Tole’s Answer

Hi: That is an interesting unique question. I would suggest an old school book called, What Color is your Parachute? Read it and go through the lessons. In general, look for something that you like doing, you are skillful at and the people will value (pay you money for). Write all of these down in a list and compare them. See if there are any activities that match all three criteria. The other thing to keep in mind is the a career is a journey so you may not get a position that exactly fits all of your goals. But plan a path to get there. Along the way you may find that there are jobs and skills that you like and were not previously aware of. Good luck, enjoy the journey.
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Ashton’s Answer

I highly recommend attending a career fair at your school if the offer it. A ton of companies go to these events and you can learn a lot about what they do. I would also recommend finding out what your passions are and what you want to do for a career. I know that can be a hard question to figure out, but look at in small chunks. "For the next 5 years I want to do X", answer that first. Remember a career doesn't have to be at one company or doing one thing for the rest of your life. I am currently in sales and at any point could go another direction. Most people look at jobs based off of what they pay, I recommend looking at what the company is going to have you doing. If you don't like what you do, regardless of pay, it is going to not be a fun experience for you to wake up every day and do X just for a nice paycheck.
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Joceyln--

Everyone follows a different path and sometimes there is not a one size fits all approach to figuring out your destined path. However, I have found that the best way to figure out what you want to do is to get as much experience as possible in multiple different areas. Even if this means volunteering, shadowing etc. A lot of times you may think you would or would not enjoy something that turns out to be the other way around. Also try to do research on a company or position to ensure that you are interested in it and not just basing your decision off what you have heard or seen. Best of luck!
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Natalie’s Answer

Hi Jocelyn!

When I was a senior in high school I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career, and I was worried because it seemed like everyone else did. I ended up going to community college and it was the best decision. I started out majoring in general studies so I could take a little bit of everything. It allows you to get some experience and see what you're really interested in. I ended up graduating from community college with a degree in Liberal Arts and I'm now at another school majoring in graphic design. It helps to talk to an academic advisor or a career counselor. I talked to a career counselor at my community college and she helped me find what career paths would be best for me based on my interests. Talk to a counselor at school if you can. And don't worry if you're not sure what you want to do yet. It's a big decision to make right out of high school! Best of luck.
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Stacey’s Answer

Hi Jocelyn,

When it comes to choosing a career path, there is no wrong avenue to explore. I would recommend doing some research on topics and activities you enjoy and see what types of careers are associated with those activities. Another option is to speak with your school advisor or a college advisor and see if they can provide some insight into potential career paths based on your current class courses and performance. Lastly, you could attend a career fair, this would allow you the ability to speak to employees of companies and delve deeper into the ins and outs of the company to better understand what they do and if it is something you would enjoy. Be sure to do your research before hand so that you can ask questions and have a basic understanding of the company.

Enjoying your career is important to success.

Good luck in your search!
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Carlotta’s Answer

Hi Jocelyn,

First of all, you live in my favorite US city, San Francisco! I hope you love it. Regarding finding your career path, I would write a list of everything I enjoy doing. Dont worry about editing it or thinking how likely it is to find a job doing it, just let your interests flow. From there I would do some research. Understand the fields that may have your interests as an underlying theme. For ex. You could write down that you love horses. From there you could explore being a veterinarian, or a blacksmith, or teach riding lessons, or work in equine therapy. Once you learn about each of those you will then start to cross out things that dont make sense or that you really dont enjoy. For ex. you may get queasy at the sight of blood or hate needles, so being a vet may not be the best option.

Also, sometimes a career finds you so be open to new ideas and experiences as they can lead you to places you never thought of.

Dont put too much pressure on yourself to figure it out at this young age, take classes you enjoy, participate in activities and groups that inspire you...you will find what you like and what you are good at. Good luck!
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Anita’s Answer

There are many tools to assist with this. My favorite is https://careerquiz.org/.
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Dakota’s Answer

Hello, this is an excellent question. I don't have an answer that says you'll find the best thing for you if you do a, b, and c. The truth is, for some people, there is no best thing. In my experience, it doesn't matter what you do. There will be hard work and sacrifice to be great. So I have seen some of the other answers saying make a list of what you're interested in. Make a list of what you're willing to sacrifice and work hard for. Those are the thing to pursue.

Above all else, contentment and happiness are choices that happen every day. Not something you achieve. Find the paths that allow you to choose happiness.
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Carl’s Answer

This is an extremely difficult question to answer for each and every person here. One of the reasons for this is that many of us were afraid of making the wrong decision, choosing a direction, and then later regretting it.

Most people (myself included), attempt to answer this question by asking ourselves: What do I enjoy doing? I believe that this is the wrong question to ask. Instead, ask yourself: Where does my skill set lie? This question forces you to be honest with your self-assessment, but also sets you up for success. Becoming a teacher when you loathe public speaking, may not be a good move. But if you enjoy academia, you may potentially want to get into curriculum development instead! Understanding what skills you possess is a very important starting point.

Good luck!
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