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Unsure about future career?

Hi, I'm currently a sophomore in High School and I'm very indecisive on what career I want to pursue in life because my main interests are split between science and writing. How can I decide? #career #science #writing #english #undecided


You can take a career test to shed some light on what your skills may be. You can volunteer or intern in that specific area. For example, if you like to write you can join the school paper . For sciences you can volunteer in a hospital or do research in a lab. Good Luck! Rachel B.

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Bryant’s Answer

Hi Josephine,


In addition to the fact that you have a while to decide, another thing to keep in mind is that you may find something that combines your interests. There are many different types of writing (and scientific research for that matter). As an example, my wife got her Masters in molecular biology, but found out she didn't like working in a lab as much as she thought she would. So, she used her experience writing grant proposals for the lead lab researcher to get a job in medical editing; it was a dramatic career shift, but she didn't feel like she was starting over.


Similarly, my degree is in English because I thought I wanted to do creative writing when I was in college. I later found a passion for the type of writing that goes into marketing content and branded blogs, and I've found that having an English degree as opposed to a marketing degree hasn't hurt me very much; especially with more content-focused marketing roles.


I would also spend some time just planning the TYPE of job you want to do. What does it look like? What days and hours would you work? Would you want flexibility in the type of work you do? Would you be a manager type of person or an employee? This may help you decide because you'd be able to narrow down your choices by which types of positions in each field would match your ideal - for example, if you wanted to be a manager type in science, it would likely mean running your own lab, which also means a strong demand to publish papers related to your research. In a more writing centric job, that could be anything from self-published author to public relations and communications manager type roles.


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Jonna’s Answer

Hi Josephine,


Great question! Since you're still in your second year of high school, you have plenty of time to decide what type of career you want to start out in. I would encourage you not to think that you have to pick one career that you have to commit to for the rest of your life. You're not marrying your first job out of school!


If you want to start exploring potential careers, start with thinking about those interests in science and writing. Think about what you like about each area. Talk to professionals who write and do science on a daily basis. There are many different types of careers that you could start in either of those areas, so do some research.


One resource that you can use is this: https://www.mynextmove.org/
Also O Net, which is an online database full of descriptions of different types of careers: https://www.onetonline.org/


Also, does your school have a college counselor or guidance counselor? If so, make an appointment and try talking to them to see if they have any advice for you as well.


Don't worry -- you have plenty of time to decide what you want your first job out of school to be!


Best of luck.


Jonna


I so agree with the comments made by Jonna and wanted to add that you may wish to volunteer for organizations that have meaning to you. For instance if you love animals, volunteer at the local Humane Socitey. No only will you be giving back to your community, you will be meeting people that share similar interests and may help you navigate your career path. Randi Kretchman

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Lissa’s Answer

It is very impressive to see that a sophomore in high school is already considering a future career!! If I had only been that mature at your age. But, thank goodness it worked out for me (smile).


My advice to you is to consider what you love and what makes you happy. There's a saying (and I'm paraphrasing...) "If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!!"


Take advantage of career questionnaires, your school counselor, etc. to help you hone in on what it is that you really want to do. Consider internship opportunities to get "hands-on" experience in your chosen career field to see if you really like it.


I have no doubt that you will make the right decision. Don't worry...your first job is usually not your last. You will change jobs and/or careers throughout your life...and, that's okay!


Good luck to you...


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Rainie’s Answer

Very good question, Josephine!


In my opinion, you may never know what you want to be when you grow up. I started college thinking I wanted to major in Communication Disorders. I then switched to Social Work, and now here I am selling travel insurance (and I love it). For myself I've learned "the base" of what I want to do is help people.
I'd say find that "base" or underlying nitch for yourself. You could change careers many times in your life. Regarding college, it's best to start with general / generic classes that give you a nice foundation of knowledge.


**If you're not sure of your major by the time you graduate high school, my personal opinion is that you don't have to start college right away. Maybe take one year to work, or go to a tech college taking your generals. I feel students are so pressured to start college right after graduation, and I feel it wastes money in the long run especially if you're unsure of what you'd like to do.


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Irina’s Answer

You don't need to decide now but you can always double major in college. In your freshman your of college you should start taking classes for both subjects and you'll soon realize what you like more. After that, you can major in one subject and minor in the other. You might even decide that you just want to focus on one subject altogether.


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Kim’s Answer

Josephine,


You have gotten some excellent advice! People really do not stay with one company, or one career, anymore. In fact, many younger professionals move around about every 5 years, and, those who stay too long are sometimes perceived as stagnant, afraid of change, staying in their comfort zone, etc.


Most decisions in life are usually not strict either/or decisions. So, why not find a way to do both? The technical writing idea mentioned above is one way to do that. Or, you could do feature articles for National Geographic, or edit a scientific journal.


You usually "commit" to an educational path about half way through college. The first two years are basic courses. I would encourage you to look for a school that offers both a good science program and a good writing program. That way, regardless of which path you choose, you will not have to change schools!


Best of luck!
Kim


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Jamie’s Answer

Hi Josephine! I 100% agree with all the other comments but just to add a more specific note - you might want to consider technical writing as a career field. It pays relatively well and is a solid choice.


https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm


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Nancy’s Answer

You may be able to combine the two things you like best by looking into jobs where you can do scientific writing! Talk to your science and English teachers to get their ideas, and your guidance counselor. When considering colleges, look into those where you may be able to get a dual degree in English and one of the Sciences, earning both a B.A. and a B.S.
Good-luck!

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