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What do you do, when you don't know what to do with the rest of your life?

How do you know when you are 18 and starting to think about your major what you really want to do with the rest of your life? What if you are unsure? Did they talk to you about careers in high school? Mine didn't. It was accelerated, average, and vocational, oh wait and farmers. Maybe I should get a career in guidance counseling and sit in an office and hope I make it through another year (sarcastically speaking). #interviews #recruiting #guidance-counselor #career-guidance #undecided


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Nick’s Answer

There is two ways i would go about it. One, its not work if you love what you are doing. Try to find a way to marry something you love, with a career. The other, take some general classes to start off with in college and that might lead you to a career you did not think of. Plenty of people change their mind in college anyways. I wanted to do radio, but had to change that when the program went away. College is a time to discover what you are passionate about.

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Thomas’s Answer

Not everyone knows what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. For some people, it takes a few tries in different fields before they feel comfortable in a career choice. I read the other responses, and one things stands out for me. It is something that my parents told me over and over growing up.


"Find something you love doing and a way to make money doing it."


Personally, I would suggest something in the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) industry. We need more in this field. I decided at a young age I wanted to be surrounded by computers and its developmental languages. I love coding and puzzles. I work for one of the best companies in the world and also have my own company on the side developing mobile games. Also, because I love doing what I do, I do not see my job as a hassle or stressful.


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Angela (Angie)’s Answer

Hi Melissa, I was not given a lot of direction for career or college major, so I feel like I just went where the wind blew me. Now, I would recommend taking career assessments, doing volunteer work or internships, and interviewing people. The career assessments will pull out your strengths and make recommendations. It is not an exact science and it won't always suggest things you like, but rather what you have an aptitude for. For example, mine said I would be a good Historian, but I don't want to be a Historian. However, it also said I'd be good at pretty much any kind of counseling or training, and I love those. The career assessments will at least give you some direction and help you narrow down your options. Doing volunteer work or internships in fields that sound interesting, this allows you to find out what it's really like, and not just the rosy idea of what those career fields are like. For example, many people love the idea of healthcare because it's noble, helps people, and pays well, but they don't think about the challenges of the field. Interview people in fields that sound interesting to get the real behind the scenes details of things that are great and not so great about the field. Do your research, what fields are growing vs declining, what do they pay, what education or certifications are required? The military is also another option, whether full-time or part-time in the guard (as an example,) and they will pay for most if not all of your education/training.

Angela (Angie) recommends the following next steps:

Take a career assessment, or two! Career Assessments: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/best-free-career-assessment-tools
Do your research about various career fields: www.bls.gov (type in a career field and then go to the link for Occupational Outlook)
Is the military right for you? https://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/top-10-things-you-should-know-before-you-join-the-military.html

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Dennis’s Answer

Hi Melissa, college isn't for everyone nor is college necessary for every occupation. An alternative option to consider is to get a full time job, preferably doing something that interests you. It will give you real life experience with how much money you can make, how hard or easy it will be to support yourself and help you to focus on what is important to you. In the mean time, you can save money for college instead of spending it (or worse yet accumulating student debt) on course work that you may not need. You may find that working full time is hard, the money you can earn is limited and the opportunities to grow are few. That can help you to focus on what's next for you and how you are going to get it. Some put off college and then pursue it once they find a direction in life or a career that they want to pursue. Other people start college and then decide to stop because they are not sure of their direction. Some go back to college later. My wife did. She went to university for a year, stopped and went to work. After about a year, she decided that going to college made sense, so she did and got a college degree in a field that interested her. After working in a better job for 5 years, she decided to purse a Master's degree and then finally a PhD. I'm not trying to discourage you from going to college right away if that is what's right for you. I just want you to realize that there are options and you do get to choose your path. I wish you well!

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Cristina’s Answer

Hi Melissa!

This a great question! I would like to share a little of my journey with you. I feel like in high school, I was pushed to choose a major and go to a 4-year university. That did not work out for me because I ended up not wanting to pursue the major I had chosen. I stopped going to the 4-year university and went to community college. At the community college, I took a career exploration class that was suggested to me by a counselor. That class changed my life! I was able to take career assessments and explore different careers. I was able to determine that I wanted to become a college counselor to be able to help other students through their academic journey. I have suggested some steps for you to take in no particular order. Good luck :)

Cristina recommends the following next steps:

Look into career exploration courses at your community college.
Make an appointment to see a college counselor.
Take career exploration assessments found online.
Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and the O*NET websites to do your own research on careers.

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Jordan’s Answer

Hi Melissa-


When I took the career aptitude tests in high school they led me down a similar path. A path of questioning what I thought I wanted was something I was capable of doing, simply because the results didn't align with my goals, what I thought I wanted for myself, or anything that actually interested me. For many people these are very useful tools, and others will look back in ten years laughing at the suggestions.


Make time to try new things. Dip your toes in waters you are unfamiliar with and when you find something that peaks your interest, learn. Being successful and finding fulfillment in a career is all about trying new things. It is OK to try something and decide down the road it isn't something you enjoy.


What are things you current enjoy doing in your spare time? The best career is one that doesn't feel like a job. Give yourself time and know that you are not the only person to feel this way, and that eventually everything will fall into place.


Good luck!


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Debbie’s Answer

Life is about doing different activities. I think you need to be active in finding different club activities and events in order to experience whether something fits your interests or not. It's okay to do many things and change your mind if something no longer fits. The important thing is you are doing something about finding what you truly want to do.


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Zaneta’s Answer

Hi Melissa,

I can see how this can be a confusing subject for you! Let me first say this, as you grow and evolve as individual you will consistently crave the urge to do or explore different things. My advice is go for things you love to do the most and find a career path in that. There is no right or wrong path to take! Its important to know what gravitates your energy because no matter what you decide, if you're not emotionally attached to it, you won't be eager to complete it. Life is all about choices that you make and no one can actually direct you to whats the best decision for you. What I usually start with is my dream job/career choice which is usually a security question you're asked for a profile you're creating which is an answer only you should know. That always grind my gears and keeps the idea rolling. Write out things you love doing and find careers associated with it! Once you figure out those urges do your research on those careers and see if you would be interested for a long term or short term goal. Create a 4 year vision board of where you would want to see yourself and that too will help you make the best choices for yourself.

Zaneta recommends the following next steps:

Get inspired to create yourself an vision board! https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-scientific-reason-why_b_6392274

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Robert’s Answer

I hope you are doing well! That is always tough when you are getting ready to enter the workforce and don't know for sure what you want. I would suggest looking at what you are passionate about, enjoy and translate to careers. I was a late bloomer - I was in a job I really didn't enjoy for almost 10 years because I thought based on growing up my career should be getting a job with a large company and moving into management - regardless of it was a fit - I was miserable. I finally learned that you spend almost 1/2 your time at work and you have to enjoy it to be truly successful. I love what I do as a career! Let me know if that helps....

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Cristina’s Answer

Hi Melissa!

This a great question! I would like to share a little of my journey with you. I feel like in high school, I was pushed to choose a major and go to a 4-year university. That did not work out for me because I ended up not wanting to pursue the major I had chosen. I stopped going to the 4-year university and went to community college. At the community college, I took a career exploration class that was suggested to me by a counselor. That class changed my life! I was able to take career assessments and explore different careers. I was able to determine that I wanted to become a college counselor to be able to help other students through their academic journey. I have suggested some steps for you to take in no particular order. Good luck :)

Cristina recommends the following next steps:

Look into career exploration courses at your community college.
Make an appointment to see a college counselor.
Take career exploration assessments found online.
Visit the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) and the O*NET websites to do your own research on careers.

0
Updated Translate

Robert’s Answer

I hope you are doing well! That is always tough when you are getting ready to enter the workforce and don't know for sure what you want. I would suggest looking at what you are passionate about, enjoy and translate to careers. I was a late bloomer - I was in a job I really didn't enjoy for almost 10 years because I thought based on growing up my career should be getting a job with a large company and moving into management - regardless of it was a fit - I was miserable. I finally learned that you spend almost 1/2 your time at work and you have to enjoy it to be truly successful. I love what I do as a career! Let me know if that helps....

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Richard’s Answer

I was not sure when I was in college. When it came time to decide, I thought "What interests me?" I was always interested in advertising. I enjoyed print ads, commercials, catchy billboards. The combination of graphics, photography, and delivering an effective message was something I thought I would be good at. There was no Advertising major, so I decided Marketing would be the closest major. I took one Advertising class that I loved. But, really did not share the same passion for Marketing. It was good to have that knowledge, but I really did not have a deep passion. When you are not very passionate about your major, it can be a grind to get through. I did graduate with a Marketing degree. But, I still did not know where to go next. I tried Sales for a couple of years. I realized that was not for me. Then I had a college friend help me get a job in Purchasing. That turned into a Contracts Administrator role. Those were interesting, but I was still not very excited about it. In that Contract Administrator role, I had the opportunity to work in Hawaii on a technical project. While that was interesting, what interested me more was playing golf. I had a passion. I started reading books about it. Everything from how to play to the history of golf. I TOOK A CLASS on golf club repair and custom clubs. Long story short...I started buying trade-ins from golf shops and reselling them online. I did that for three years or so and rented a warehouse to stock inventory. Now I had to do my own Marketing. I wished I could build a website and wished I was better at graphic design. I knew I had the instinct, but I did not know how to utilize the tools. So, I TOOK A CLASS in Flash. Then HTML and CSS. That really interested me. And, that was a doorway to other tools like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator and InDesign. I bought a book on each and took a 10-week PHOTOSHOP course and a CD course on Lightroom. I was so interested that studying and reading books on them was effortless.

While I am doing something totally different today, each attempt at taking a career step may not always work out. But, the step that you take may need to be that step you needed to take to get to a place where you are passionate and happy with what you are doing. It is a journey.

In conclusion, where is your interest or passion pulling you? I tell people all the time, if you don't know what to do next, then TAKE A CLASS in something that interests you. It does not have to be related to a career or anything else. Is it poetry? Music? Film?

When Steve Jobs dropped out of college, he TOOK A CLASS on Calligraphy. It was just what was needed before he took his next step and we all benefited from that.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2016/03/08/the-trappist-monk-whose-calligraphy-inspired-steve-jobs-and-influenced-apples-designs/?noredirect=on

All the best!


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Dennis’s Answer

Hi Melissa, college isn't for everyone nor is college necessary for every occupation. An alternative option to consider is to get a full time job, preferably doing something that interests you. It will give you real life experience with how much money you can make, how hard or easy it will be to support yourself and help you to focus on what is important to you. In the mean time, you can save money for college instead of spending it (or worse yet accumulating student debt) on course work that you may not need. You may find that working full time is hard, the money you can earn is limited and the opportunities to grow are few. That can help you to focus on what's next for you and how you are going to get it. Some put off college and then pursue it once they find a direction in life or a career that they want to pursue. Other people start college and then decide to stop because they are not sure of their direction. Some go back to college later. My wife did. She went to university for a year, stopped and went to work. After about a year, she decided that going to college made sense, so she did and got a college degree in a field that interested her. After working in a better job for 5 years, she decided to purse a Master's degree and then finally a PhD. I'm not trying to discourage you from going to college right away if that is what's right for you. I just want you to realize that there are options and you do get to choose your path. I wish you well!

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