Skip to main content
15 answers
Asked Viewed 257 times Translate

How do you find out what career/job you want to do?

I am currently a student in high school and I have absolutely no IDEA what I wanna do. student career

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

17
Pros
17
0

15 answers


Updated Translate

Anthony E.’s Answer

You are not alone. That is easily the most popular subject I have worked with my coaching clients, of all ages, to tackle. The short answer is to spend the time to figure out what you really love; what excites you, fulfills you and gives you purpose. Then you figure out how/where you can get paid to do that thing.

Anthony E. recommends the following next steps:

If money and time were not a consideration (you had plenty of both), what would you do for free, for the pure enjoyment or satisfaction.
Research companies and organizations that offer, or have the opportunity to offer that activity.
Narrow those opportunities that align with your core beliefs.
Introduce yourself to them and let them know why they should consider you.
Thanks for your answer :) Kaanchana S.
My pleasure. Enjoy your journey, perhaps the most important advice I would offer. Anthony E. Baldwin
4
Pros
3
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Reid’s Answer

I remember even when I was in university I was very narrow minded about my potential career path and what options I had. It took me about 6 years into my professional journey to realize there is a multitude of different directions and paths to take. I just needed to expose myself to those. A few ways I did this:
1. read through job postings at companies I thought were interesting to learn about what the day to day activities of different types of jobs were and think about if I would enjoy that
2. conversations with other professionals, either some of my parents friends or people I met at work (typically higher up than me). I found it really interesting and valuable learning about their career paths and previous roles they had to get to where they are today.

tldr: try to expose yourself through research and conversations with experienced professionals to learn about what is out there. There is a lot out there you don't even know exists.
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Marta’s Answer

I was in the same spot as you are around 10 years ago - finishing high school with zero idea on what to do next. In the end, I decided to go to college for computer science for two reasons: because it would be easier to transfer from a more demanding program to less demanding one if I changed my mind and because almost everyone needs an IT person in their company, so I could switch ans choose fields.

I'e been working as a programmer for 7 years now and I touched on so many different fields: medical, finance, social media, music, technology, fitness, just to name a few. So, if you're a person that likes many different things and you would like to have an opportunity to change jobs and fields frequently - I cannot recommend IT enough.

Also, remember that whichever patch you choose - you can always change it. It doesn't matter if you spend a year, five or twenty in your chosen field - as long as you want to learn something new and have financial means to do it - there is no shame or failure in switching professions.

Good luck!
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

David’s Answer

First thing, don't put pressure on yourself. So many kids are told they have to know what they want before they get to college so they can get right into their program and start down their path. This pressure pushes a LOT of kids into a career they hate and an unfulfilled life. There is no reason you need to know what you want to do with your life at 17... or 21... or 30.

Second, try things. If you can take a few years at a small cheap college or something (I'm not sure how it works in the UK) to take a variety of classes, it would be a good idea. In the US, we don't have to declare a major until year three so we have some time to try a few things out. If there is a way to do something similar there, it will really help narrow it down.

If all else fails, get your degree in something that can translate to many areas; business, psychology, marketing, etc. This way you can still use your degree once you decide which career you want to pursue.
2
Pros
1
0
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Racheal’s Answer

Hello,
One of the greatest ways to determine this is completing a career assessment. It can be found online. You can also do a personality assessment to see how your personality would mesh with the type of career you are interested in from the assessment.
Remember that you will change and grow often so so don't beat yourself up is you pick a career and find out its not what you want once your start on that path.
Thank you for this idea, I might try it some time :) Kaanchana S.
You're welcome Racheal Noble, LMFT, LPC, NCC
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Victoria’s Answer

You’ve already gotten some great answers but I think it’s also a good idea to take a moment and stop thinking so hard. Take a breather. If you’re going to college, you can go as undecided for now and take classes that interest you. What you’re meant to do will find you one way or another. Talk to people you admire and ask them how they got to where they are now. It’s very rarely a straight line. I thought I wanted to be a surgeon and now I’m in software. It’s always best to take things slow. You don’t have to have life figured out right now. Mystery is part of life’s magic. If you’re not going to university, see if it’s possible to take the summer off to collect yourself. If that’s not possible, some great minds have been known to take jobs they aren’t passionate about until they find their passion.
A lot of the time, we have this imaginary timeline in our heads of where we need to be and what we should be doing but life is that thing that happens when we’re making other plans. Just be here. Now.
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Rebecca’s Answer

I believe many people may have the same question. I would suggest you try the approach below to see whether it helps:
1. Think about any subjects or hobbies that you are interested with
2. Identify any careers that are related to what you are interested. For example, if you like mathematics, would like to be mathematician, maths teacher, accountant, etc. If you like to do sports, would you like be an athlete, sports teacher, coach, sports journalist, etc.
3. You can further explore the careers that you may have interest, e..g reach the information online, etc.
4. You can then shortlist a few careers. Then, you can try to speak to someone who is working in the industry, seek advice from career counselor in your school, etc.
5. Then, you may identify further shorten your list to 2-3 careers. You can then find out the entry criteria from the college and determine which one you would like like to take it as your major in the college.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Lisa’s Answer

Like many of the other answers cover, find something which excites you, something you are passionate about and something which uses your natural strengths and talents.

I did have a plan - I wanted to be a translator for the UN and move to Europe - I did neither of those things - but in my efforts to achieve that plan, I found something else I enjoyed doing and that became my new focus - I also found I was good at it, moved up into other roles and positions and now I do something not related in the slightest to my original plan. My point is - don't worry if you don't have a plan or set idea about what you do - discover what interests you and be flexible about how you can get there - try things, work experience, internships. See each opportunity to test out if it is something you want to do longer term - or maybe your plan is to experience a wide variety of roles.

It's also important to know what are the things you don't like - whilst all roles have some elements we would rather avoid or put off, you want to find a career that minimises the need for the things you don't like or that is not a natural strength. I spent a couple of years supporting the sales organisation - it was a great learning and experience, it provided me with wider knowledge of the business, but it also showed me it wasn't my thing.
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Kathleen’s Answer

I recommend that you reach out to people in different career areas and ask them about the projects they work on, what a day in the life is like, as well as things like like and dislike about their jobs
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Isabel’s Answer

Definitely agree with what Anthony shared! Figure out what you are passionate about and what you absolutely love. I remember thinking I had the mind of a mind of a nursing student, and realized that the medical field was not for me. I am now pursuing a career in marketing and LOVE where I am at currently. You will find it!!!

I'd also say to use resources around you. Does your school have a career counseling center or therapist/coach of some sort? Try to ask your friends or teachers! Is there someone that you look up to or admire career-wise? Network and connect with them to listen to their stories. This will also help in the future during and after college! It's important to build your network early-on.

Hope this helps! Rooting for you!
Thank you for your response :D Kaanchana S.
Of course!! Isabel Calabig
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Peter’s Answer

my answer may be bias, so take it with grain of salt. I always thought I would be an engineer when I was in high school but do not know which field, I do know I would go to college and may be grad school at the time. those were confirmed when I was in college. I have worked for a boss that has high school degree but that is really rare. college is not always necessary but it gave you fundamental that allow you to have more flexibility in your choice, so if you've not decided, then go to community college and give you more time to figure it out.
1
Students
1
0
Updated Translate

Katy’s Answer

You can be an undeclared major or enter into college with one major and then change it midway. The best way is to try a bunch of electives, like one or two each semester and see if anything grabs your interest. Then talk to those professors about majors and career paths in that particular field of interest and they will be more than happy to help you!
0
Updated Translate

Marissa’s Answer

I also had no idea what I wanted to do at your age, and truthfully, there are many adults out there still trying to figure out what they want to do. Don't put pressure on yourself to figure out what career you want to pursue as that can always change. For now, make a list of things that interest you and see what types of careers you can pursue from those interests. When entering college and choosing classes, you can choose particular classes for electives that interest you so you can get a better idea of any particular major/career path (i.e. hospitality, business, bio, etc). From there, if you have the opportunity to talk to an advisor at your high school or in college, utilize their services to help get a better idea on what career path opportunities you have.
0
Updated Translate

Keirston’s Answer

Hi Kaanchana,

It is ok to not know what you want to do starting out. To gain an idea, I would say start out with a list of things that you are passionate about, things you enjoy and things you are interested in.
Do something that makes you happy and something that you find meaningful. If you’re at a job or in a career that you don’t really care about then that is bound for burn out. That is not a sustainable situation. Instead, decide on something that you find meaningful and that will bring you some kind of joy and satisfaction knowing that you are doing what you’re doing. To sum this up: know your why. Your why is your reason for showing up every day. If you can connect what you’re doing to a larger purpose, you will be fine in whatever you’re doing.

As for some practical steps you can take now to decide, I would say the following:
1.)Write a list of things you are interested in, things you’re passionate about, and things you could see yourself doing.
2.)Ask professionals and people in the fields that you’re interested in about what they do in their day to day lives.
3.)Do a quick google search online for the professions you’re interested in and take notes on the pros and cons of being in each profession, then see which one seems most aligned to you as a person.

Another thing to remember is that you can always change your career later down the line. There are no limits. As you grow and change so will your career prospects!
I hope this was helpful.
0
Updated Translate

Brandon’s Answer

Look to see what you are interested in doing and what you hate doing. Make a list of those options and then I would recommend looking at careers that are within the parameters of what you like vs dislike. Another way is to talk to a advisor or counselor and ask for their own opinions of possible career options that you might want to pursue. In some places, a career might be more sought out then others, so seeing what local options might be useful, assuming you are not trying to move away from your current living location.
0