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What made you do this Career?

What was your motivation? What education and/or training helped prepare you for this job? What is the working environment like? When did you decide to pick that career and why? How often do you get paid? What classes would you recommend to take?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Hannah’s Answer

Hi Nicole. I think you've asked an interesting question. There is a lot that goes into choosing a career, but I would suggest first starting with figuring out what kind of lifestyle you want to have, how much that lifestyle is going to cost you, and figuring out where to go from there. My father talked to me about this before I went to college at 18, but I didn't fully put it into practice until after I had already graduated with a degree in psychology that I no longer use. The reason I am giving the advice above is that passion can be a good way to go, but if the careers that align with your passion will limit you in terms of what things you are able to afford/have time to do outside of your career, you will need to be okay with that. For example, if you really want to be a preschool teacher, but you also would like to be able to go on expensive vacations, wear designer clothing, or eat in expensive restaurants regularly then you may need to rethink your plan because it will be very hard to support that lifestyle on a teacher's salary. Additionally, if you want to be able to take time off regularly to pursue personal passions or spend time with friends/family then you should consider that as well when choosing a career. I would say think about the things that you value most in life and this may take time to figure out, but think about them and use those desires as a path forward when making career choices.

Personally, I work as a Technical Support Engineer and my company has provided me with the money to enroll in a school that is teaching me how to program as I would like to be a Software Engineer very soon. As I said above, I graduated with a degree in psychology, but if I could go back, I would have taken a few years off from school to figure out what I really wanted because going to college right after high school really didn't give me enough time to figure that out and I got a degree that was easiest for me because I've always found psychology to be an interesting and easy to understand topic. I ended up in tech because of my grandfather who saw how I was struggling to find a job in psychology that would be fulfilling for me. He encouraged me to get some technical certifications to see if it was something I might want to pursue and once I got one (CompTIA A+), I kept going back for more (CompTIA Security +, Azure Fundamentals, AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate). I found that the field of technology provided me with much more opportunity for not only career growth, but I also became much more confident in my own abilities. When I was in high school, I really didn't think I was smart enough to work in technology. I thought my destiny was to study the humanities or business, but I was wrong. I now work at a company that I love that encourages a growth mindset and I am surrounded by colleagues who are kind, capable, accountable, and profoundly intelligent. These people inspire me to continue striving to be a more capable version of myself. I am also able to travel and make time to pursue personal passions because the company encourages a healthy work-life balance. With all of that said, the path to choosing a career is not a straight line. There will be twists and turns on the way, but as long as you stay true to the things you value (and they may change) you will figure out what you want to do and how to get there.
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Antonio’s Answer

Hi Nicole,

Great questions here. As for my path, it is a constant process of elimination. Exploring to see what works and what doesn't.

I knew I liked music and I simply wanted to get better at it. I joined band, choir and play productions in High School & College. This then led me to circles of people to do music for work, so this inspired me to look deeper.

Following my passions had led me to some beautiful experiences. I am an internationally touring beatboxer and vocalist with Disney Records, I've performed on national Television & radio. I collaborate with artists on projects, I create music for corporate events, I'm also a music producer and session artist (creating music in a studio). And a bunch of other random jobs as a freelancer musician. It can be challenging to create consistency, which is why following passion is important, however being business savvy is much more important to create longevity, sustainability, as I establish my value (what value I bring to each job I'm hired for... aka compensation rate) for each job.

At the end of the day, my hope is that you discover something that sets your soul ablaze with fulfillment and joy. The only way to discover that is to go out and do it. Audition, try out classes/courses, and keep asking great questions.

As for my motivation, that has evolved overtime. Putting it simple, my motivation is to make a living making music and impacting as many people as God places in my path.

Regarding education, exploring my above mentioned classes in school prepared me and having great conversations with my teachers. Depending on your situation, I would start by writing down things you're interested in learning more about. Then depending on what education platform you have access to, you can see what's possible to dig in to. From learning on Youtube, to signing up for online course (i.e. Monthly, BBC Maestro, Masterclass...and other similar online resources), or even going to physical schools that offer programs in your field of interest.

Above all, be patient as you discover what path works best for you. It takes time. Discover ways to gain inspiration from people you admire, and carve your own path.

Best of luck on your journey ahead!

-Antonio
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David’s Answer

Im going to say something different here. I see my Career as a journey. I started off in one industry with one set of skills and moved into other industries and learnt new sets of skills, and so on. Along the way, I could see opportunities of new roles that interested me and enabled me to develop further. I still apply for new roles and I still look for ways of making myself better.
A general piece of advise I give is to do People Management courses. Learning how to manage/develop/motivate people will help you in your career no matter the role.
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Zahra’s Answer

Hi Nicole! Starting off, careers are usually based on what you like to do and what you feel motivated in. If you don't like something enough to do it for your whole life, then I would suggest finding something new. My career is working in Corporate America in Business. I chose this because I knew I didn't enjoy science related subjects but I thrived in math/reading a lot when I was in school. From knowing the subjects I did well in, I was able to figure out the path I wanted to go into and then in college I took classes based on that path to figure out my industry. It is definitely not the same way everyone figures out what they want but if you figure out a basis you can work up from there. Another good way I figured out what I wanted to do was networking! I was able to meet with individuals in the industry I was looking into and talked to them about their experiences. In most cases, I was able to figure out if I liked that job or not based off of that. In other situations, I needed hands on experiences so I applied for internships geared towards industries that I wasn't sure about. The last way was to take classes and educate myself as much as I could to prepare myself for what I would be working in. When you figure out where you want to go, you will be able to figure out what classes and networking opportunities that are available to you.
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Davidson’s Answer

What motivated me to get into sales was my hobby of collecting sneakers. I started collecting sneakers in 5th grade and soon realized there was an opportunity to support myself by reselling the sneakers I was collecting. Throughout my education in middle school, high school, and college I found new ways to grow this business while expanding my customer base. I studied international business in college once I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career so took a step back and soon realized sales was my calling based on the skillset I developed while pursuing my hobby. I would recommend taking classes in business along with exploring any clubs or extra-curricular activities that support entrepreneurial experiences.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Nicole,

I am a Consultant in Corporate Finance. Daily activities include project management, data analysis, collaboration with team members and partners, summary analysis reports and presentations, etc. The majority of my responsibilities center around telling the story behind the data and utilizing visualization tools like Tableau and Qlik to achieve this goal. Compensation is every two weeks for most companies.

My undergraduate degree was a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Master of Business Administration (MBA - Management). My career first started out as a Computer Statistical Analyst for a Market Research firm. Through the years and changes in the economy, various positions were held from Customer Service, Resource Management and Data Analytics.

Working for a major corporation, there are opportunities for one to take advantage of for professional growth and development. Job shadowing, tuition reimbursement, position rotations, etc. will provide one to learn more about the various positions within the company, network, learn what is required from experience to education, etc. My current company encourages advanced degrees, certifications and other means for professional growth and development.

If you are interested in data analytics, I would recommend taking courses like Teradata SQL on how to pull data and Tableau on how to visualize the data. One will need to know how to utilize other tools like Qlik (Visualization); Microsoft Suite (Excel, Word and Powerpoint) and/or Google Suite (Gmail, Drive, Meet and Sheets). Colleges and universities offer majors pertaining to Data Science, Data Analysis and Business Intelligence.

Best wishes in your future endeavors and career goals!
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Gabriela’s Answer

I started helping as a volunteer in a Public library while my kids had story time. I got hooked and was able to get a part-time job. There I learned more about the inside working areas and my interest got bigger. It really helped me develop a career and learn more about it. I enjoy helping and learning at the same time. It's always an adventure working there.

Gabriela recommends the following next steps:

Try volunteering at your career of choice
look into other job related opportunities.
Ask co workers in their input of experiences
Get information from your advisor
Enjoy what you do.
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