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How do you know what career is the one for you?

I'm interested in two different careers but I don't know which one to pursue because both careers have some pros and cons from my perspective.

Thank you comment icon Hi Ana, I believe it depends on what is really important to you. Is it the money, is it the success, being famous, feeling fulfilled as a human being? There are many factors that drive us to choose a specific career and sometimes life happens and we don't get to choose. Reflect on what your hard and soft skills are, make a list, what are your passions, do you like to work with people or not, etc. Also seek advice from career counselors, there are also evaluations that you can complete. Bottom line, all careers have pros and cons, require effort, sacrifice, consistency, integrity, etc. Good luck! Gaby P.

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Khushi’s Answer

Hi Ana,

The best way to decide which career is for you it to research it and try to gain some experience.

I would advise researching online the two careers you are interested in: what does the job involve, whats the day to day regime lime, prospects for career growth and if you can try to network with people already in the profession the gain some more insight.

Ultimately, in my opinion the best way to decide if this career is for you is by experiencing it first hand. If you can try and get some work experience where you can shadow the career and have the opportunity to ask questions/

Its all about exploration, research and envisioning if this is the career for you! Don't be afraid to ask questions and network with the professionals as this is where you will gain the most insight.
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Jason’s Answer

When I was a young man I wanted to learn to weld because I thought it was neat and I loved working on cars. I learned to do both. I’ve had jobs where I welded all day, I’ve had jobs where I worked on cars all day. Far and away the coolest jobs I had involved doing both. Building race cars from raw material to complete car ready for track duty used every skill I had plus a few more I had to learn along the way. I saw you hashtagged business and criminal justice. Big law firms are businesses. Is there a way you can be hands on in the criminal justice system AND do business related things? In my experience, being a hybrid of skills has served me well, and I don’t worry about being able to find work.
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Sarah’s Answer

You may consider visiting the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website and exploring the short- and long-term outlook for the two careers you're interested in. It's obviously important to choose a job you will enjoy, but it's also important to choose one where you will be able to be employed, now and in the future!

Here is a link: https://www.bls.gov/audience/jobseekers.htm
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Ashleigh’s Answer

Choosing where and who to work for is a huge decision! This choice should be heavily researched and asking questions is always the best way to figure out how comfortable you are jumping into the role. I would recommend you take some time to write down your priorities when it comes to your career such as salary requirements (minimum amount needed & what you could live comfortably off of is a good start), work schedule, benefits desired from your employer (401K, health benefits, etc), work environment (this can be work from home, full-time office, hybrid or even just where the office is located), etc. From your priority list, you can align the pros and cons you've identified for both roles and hopefully makes the decision easier to make! Good luck!
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Ana,

I also had a lot of questions as to which career was right for me. After all, there are so many interesting careers to choose from in the world! In order to help decide which career is best for you, you can ask yourself many questions to shape how you want your life to look. Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself:
1. What type of work environment do you want to be in? Do you want to work in teams, alone, etc?
2. What excites you the most? Is it solving mysteries and crimes? Is it learning about the way that the business/corporate world works?
3. What type of impact do you want to make on the world? In what areas?

The list goes on. Additionally, you can also speak to people in each of the career fields by reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn. Many people are willing to share their experiences and this can help you decide if you also want to have a similar career.

Good luck on choosing your career path!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi Ana,

I think the best way in determining this is getting your feet wet instead of watching from the sidelines. You can do all of the research in the world and it be so different once you're in the field. I have been with my current company for 13 years and have held numerous positions during that time. There were job titles that were super challenging yet rewarding and there were others that I was anxious to get out of from the first month in role. I remember taking a position that I worked years to qualify for only to find out after a few months that I didn't enjoy what I was doing. I took that as an opportunity to grow while I looked for something different. I was able to learn a lot through that position and recommend you get some "in the field" experience as you make your decision. I also would encourage you to jump in and not stress too much about the "right" decision. Life is all about experiences and how we respond to circumstances we find ourselves in. If you choose one path and decide it's not for you then be ok with that. You can always do something different. Yes it will be challenging but it can also be very rewarding if you allow it to be. I wish you all the best!
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Jo’s Answer

Hi Ana! Great question! When I was studying in college and getting ready to graduate, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for my career. I decided to focus on the skills that I was good at (for me it was writing and working with others). I spoke with my professors about my skillset and many helped connect me with different types of professional writers in my area. I met with them and asked alot of questions about their day to day work. This helped me realize I wanted to find work that blended writing, teamwork, and creativity. Today I work for a large marketing technology company writing content for them and I love it. Good luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

These 2 careers are very different. The question is which one you have more interest and it suits your personality.
I would suggest you can consider approach below :
1. You can find out more information on these 2 careers online
2. Attend the information session of the universities of these 2 major. You can discuss with the professors to under more on these 2 careers and find out the entry criteria of the colleges.
3. If you know someone working in these 2 careers, you can also speak to them to find out more information.
4. Explore any intern opportunities in these 2 careers
5. Seek advice from your career counsellor in your school
Hope the above can help you to find out which one suits you better! Good Luck!
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Carol’s Answer

What a great question. The cool thing is there's more than one great career for each person. I would reflect on what types of things interest you now; write them all down, no matter how odd, unique, wonderful or silly you might think they sound. Then start to do some homework (internet, friends, family, etc) and see if there are any jobs that line up with your interests.
Yes, money is important as we all need it to live, but be sure to include passion and interest in your search!
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Lindzie’s Answer

Make a pros/cons list- look at what you value most and what you canNOT live w/o and what you CAN live w/o [money, time, impact, etc]
Ask around to shadow someone in both of the jobs- nothing helps you decide more than actually doing it [some jobs may be difficult to shadow in, but if you really show interest, people will go out of their way to help you do it]
You can do anything if you put your mind to it!
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Andrew’s Answer

I think the best way to figure it out is by having first-hand experience in the field. Try to volunteer or apply for a temporary role in both areas and see if one feels more appealing than the other. Another thing people usually do is research. There are countless sites with helpful information, such as Reddit, to aid you in the process. I wish you the best of luck finding your career!
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Annie’s Answer

One helpful activity you might try is looking up a list of classes you have to take to get a degree in either of those careers. Most university websites have lists like this. Whichever one has more interesting sounding classes to you will likely be easier to study and more enjoyable for you.
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Virginia’s Answer

It is beneficial to do some soul-searching about what reflection about what you find satisfying vs. not. All jobs and professions have pros/cons and other factors that may affect satisfaction (environment, culture, peers, boss, workload, motivational fit, individual contributor vs team, etc) it's important you take the time to consider the personal benefit to you in each one and how you will feel mentally and emotionally spending a significant amount of time in your career life dedicated to whatever you choose.
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Anthony’s Answer

Please, note the following concerning the two careers :-
1. Examine them one by one.
2.Consider your INTEREST and
KNOWLEDGE in each of them.
3. Consider how your studies or
courses are related to each of
them.
Best wishes to you.
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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Ana! I see that you’re interested in both business and criminal justice, and while they may seem like very different fields, you actually don’t have to pick one! I was also very interested in both business and criminal justice and decided to become a forensic accountant, which mixes both business/accounting with investigating crimes. I think this could be a really great middle ground for you if you can’t decide which direction to go in. You can work in Forensic Accounting at an accounting/business firm or you can even work for the government (FBI, CIA, IRS, etc). I would recommend reading more about forensic accounting and finding professionals in the industry you can talk to or shadow. Getting a better understanding of a day in the life of a forensic accountant may help you better understand if forensic accounting could be a fit for you, or if you are leaning towards one of the industries more than another.

Samantha recommends the following next steps:

Research what forensic accountants do
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Kim’s Answer

Ana,
Jason nailed it! Find the intersection of these two fields, and you'll be happy! Also, understand that it is fairly common to change jobs, and careers, every five years or so. One is a stepping stone to the next, and you will learn to showcase your experience on your resume in a way that highlights how it applies to the position you are seeking. It's called "transferrable job skills."

In the meantime, I'd try to narrow down what aspect of criminal justice appeals to you. There's the judicial system, prosecutor's office, criminal defense, penal system, probation, working to acquit those wrongly convicted, advocating for victims, law enforcement, etc. The list is endless.

In business, there are companies that offer security systems, background checking services, litigation support services, companies that sell furnishings and equipment to prisons, etc.

It's not uncommon to work first in a government position (police, prosecutors, probation) and then take that experience and transition into a private sector job, as mentioned above. If that is something you are considering, you may want to pursue your education in criminal justice at this time. Use your time on that job, AND the tuition assistance program most of them offer, to pursue a business degree. That degree, and your knowledge of business practices, will then be "current" (trends and thinking change over time) when you start looking for that business position.

Hope this helps!
Kim
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