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What career path should I follow?

I don't have a career goal yet, I'm looking for advice. I know that I'm creative and I like being independent. But when it comes to choosing a career, there are so many that it's overwhelming. What if I choose the wrong one for me? I think I might like to be a fashion designer or a singer and actress, but I don't know.

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Harish’s Answer

Make sure to do your research on the job market, and on which careers/skillsets are in demand from employers/companies.

Fashion, singing, and acting are all tough industries to break into; the top 1-5% of fashion designers/singers/actresses make all the money, while the remaining 95-99% are forced to compete for scraps. If you're in the top 1-5% of fashion designers (have designed clothing lines etc), top 1-5% of singers (have created several songs with tens/hundreds of thousands/millions of views/streams), top 1-5% of actresses (have already acted in good roles in TV/Movies/Ads .etc.), then go for it. But these 3 jobs are a lot tougher to become successful than you think, so perhaps do another career for your full-time job and do fashion designing/singing/acting in your free time.

Tech, medicine (doctors, nursing .etc.), law, engineering (STEM .etc.), management, finance/econ/business are pretty strong career options; if you have interest in some of these, perhaps look into those. There are other options too, though, so do your research on incomes/job opening/strong majors before you commit to a career field.

Ask your parents and other adults on which career fields look strong and mesh with your skillset/interests.

The last thing you want to do is regret your career choice 10 years in the future. Make sure you pick a strong college major; there are millions of Americans who picked a major that's hard to get a job in, and are thus unable to find a job because of that.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. I love your idea about choosing another full-time job while keeping fashion/singing/acting on the side! maddie
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Raisa Anan’s Answer

Hi Maddie!

I understand the feeling one gets when countless options for a career are seemingly there in front of us. I have suffered from this conundrum and many people I know have as well. While there isn't a ready solution to this issue, I think the best you can do now is to think extensively about your career interests and resist from making any impulsive decisions.

Concerning extensive thinking, I would suggest you look at the data for job opportunities, availabilities and salaries of your career interests in your area or the area you want to work. These are very important factors to consider and, personally, these were the first factors I considered before I chose my program in university.

Adding to the point on extensive thinking, you should also do a lot of research on the advantages and disadvantages of your career interests. It's probable that you'll find disadvantages to every career and, ultimately, you'll have to decide which career you'll be alright with.

You pointed out that what if you made a wrong choice. To reduce the probabilities of that, I suggest:

- You do extensive research (Google is a fantastic piece of human invention; utilize it to its fullest capacity)

- Think through rigorously before making any decision.

- Have patience if you still don't know what career to choose. Realize it is a hard decision, probably the hardest for a youth, hence be patient with yourself.

- Don't rush alongside peer pressure. You might find that some of your peers are already set for their chosen career. Don't feel hurried to choose your career. If you are still indecisive, take your time, think through, and avoid making impulsive decisions.

- Talk with people. This list might include your teachers, instructors, peers, neighbourhood folks, community members, family and friends.

Hope that helps :)
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Raisa Anan for the advice. maddie
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi maddie

First of all, there are wrong thing. There are only learning experiences. You are going to have to choose something to start with and it may not be the best fit for you. In many ways, you really need to do something before you really know it works for you. Go into everything with a focus on giving one hundred percent to learning and really think about if it is something that you want to do for the rest of your life.

When you think about your natural gifts or your favorite hobbies, what are they? Oftentimes what we are good at and what we love to do are starting points for what your ideal career would be. I have been a writer since I learned to write. I loved to tell stories. I thought that I would be a published author or a journalist. Now I tell stories but with a learning focus. I am an Instructional Designer. I write leader-led, web-based, and video-based training programs.

Let's take one of your careers. Fashion designer. How do you see yourself in this field? Do you want your name on a label or are you willing to work say at a clothing company helping them create the latest in fashion for sale? You could be self-employed, creating cosplay outfits. You could work for companies that try to use recycled materials in clothing. For some people, getting a job in an industry can tell you what skills you bring to industry. You may start as a fashion designer, but find you are better as a modeling agent or a photographer or a planner of events. You just need to consider that your dreams might come true, just not exactly how you imagined it.

Gloria
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Atul’s Answer

There are many students who are not sure of what path they want to take as a career.
Many times, the answer to the question lies within themselves vs asking others.
If you want to become a singer or want to pursue acting or become a fashion designer, there are schools that specialize in that area.
You can also ask your high school advisor (if there is one - most schools have one or ask your favorite teacher who knows you well).
Know your attributes, and know what subjects you enjoy. For instance: I spent most of my life in the Software industry, I always enjoyed solving Math problems whenever I was bored.
Do not let someone tell you what to do, listen/hear but make your own informed decision.
As a starter, if you join state universities, the first two years are common subjects and the last two have specialized courses in the major and minor you want to pursue. But set a goal that you want to earn an undergraduate degree.
I have seen a History Major who was teaching in the school, became very successful in the high-tech industry because he could articulate the message. He was worth in 10-figures by the time he retired. I have seen a few kids who received an Engineering degree to pursue Medicine to become a doctor. Know your passion and as you go along you will know what makes you happy and it also puts food on the table.
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Laurie’s Answer

One technique that has worked for me, and I used with my adult children as well, is looking at majors or jobs and making a list of the ones that spark some excitement. As you get your list, look at the common themes and reflect on what about those areas interests you. When I want to find out more about a type of work or area of studies, I follow my instinct and do more research in that area, and try to find people to talk to that work in that area. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming, but if you listen to your inner self, you will find some answers and as you make decisions and go a direction, don't be afraid to shift if you find something that triggers your passion. I remember when I was sharing with a group of people a story about an idea that I had and afterwards a woman came up to me and encouraged me to follow my heart, she could see how excited and passionate I felt when I was talking about my idea, and how my eyes lit up. That advice has stayed with me, and I have always done work that brings me joy.
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William’s Answer

I think this is a great question. Honestly most people switch careers multiple times in their lives so chances of picking one and sticking with it are not in your favor. I would recommend reflecting on what's important to you and what are your goals. If you want to help people, make money, move up a corporate ladder, open a business etc. Once you know your goals you can narrow down the choices. Do you want to follow your passion even if it means you may not make a lot of money or do you need money to survive etc. Ultimately there are a lot of careers and you do want to do your research. Not all careers require a college education but many do, so again depending on your goals and your situation may limit some options. Ultimately though follow your heart and come up with a plan to reach your goals that are important to you. From there research options that allow you to reach your goal, and don't worry about making a mistake or bad choice. Life is a marathon, not a sprint so you will have ups and downs but you can always switch paths and try something else. Don't add more pressure just follow your heart and your instinct and research your options and you will not go wrong.

William recommends the following next steps:

Set goals what's most important to you right now? financial independence, college, making money fast... etc.
Then research options you think will help reach your goals. Goals change so this may change one day but all you can do is follow your heart.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! maddie
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sunitha’s Answer

There are many students and young adult who have not decided on their career path. Best way to identify your career path is to list your interests

As you mentioned you interest list is
1. Fashion Designer
2. Music
3. acting
Within each category try to list what you would like to pursue and also make living from there. For example Music. Do you like teaching music, do you like performing for events, do you like recording music etc. Depending on the sub category you can prepare yourself in the path. Take classes, or invest initially as a business investment. Also do research on the income so that you can be independent and pay your bills

Hope this helps
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. A lot of people may face the same problem.
I suggest you can consider approach below :
1. You firstly put down all your interest / hobbies, e.g. singing, art, acting, etc.
2. Think about which lessons you have more interest on, i.e. music, art, drama, etc. Alternatively, if you have time, what is the first thing you want to do? Put down the ranking among all your interest.
3. Attend some classes (if possible) on the top few items on your list if possible. Seek advice from the class teacher as well.
4. You may be able to shortlist 1-2 items in your list.
5. Find out the entry criteria of the college on the relevant subject, e.g. Design, Performing Arts, etc.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! maddie
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