Anthony E.’s Answer
Anthony E. recommends the following next steps:
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.
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.
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.
Racheal Noble, Ph.D., LMFT, LPC, NCC
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.
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.
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. 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!
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!
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.