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What can I do to figure out my career?

#EOY22 how do I figure out what career I should pursue? Because I have been trying to figure it out for some months now

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Subject: Career question for you

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Jeanette’s Answer

Hi Aishat,
There are a lot of great answers here already so I'll try not to repeat too much of what others have said because I agree with it all. But the thing I wanted to tell you is - don't put too much pressure on yourself to have the answer right now. You're young, you have plenty of time to figure it out, but it's great that you're thinking about it already. At 16, my daughter was so stressed out about not knowing what she wanted to do in life because her high school was filled with over-achievers that were set in what they wanted to do in life. I had to remind her often that it's ok not to know when you're a teen. Most teens do not know. At 26, I still didn't know what I wanted to do! For most people, finding your career is a journey. You might start on one path and decide to change directions halfway through and that's ok to. We often need to experience what we don't like in order to know what we like. So go with a major that interests you, study stuff you think is cool, and get a part-time job to start seeing what parts of a job you like and don't like. All these things will help you find your path. The most important thing is to end up doing something you enjoy because you'll have to spend many, many hours every week doing it! Good luck to you!
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Teresa’s Answer

Hello Aishat
I would focus less on "figuring out a career" and more on areas of interest and as others have suggested, speak to those in the role and see if you can try it out. I would say that figuring out a career is a journey where you find things you like to do in a role and build on them. I started my work like in marketing. I learned a lot and was able to identify things I liked about the role (and what I didn't like). There was then an opportunity in sales, and so I leveraged the learnings in marketing and tried the sales role. The background from marketing was a good launch pad for sales, since much of marketing is focused on how to speak about the value of a product. I used that knowledge as I moved into sales. I found that sales was a good fit, since I liked interacting with people and the challenge of closing a sale. So, I stayed in sales for many years. After that I moved into sales operations and now general operations. Your path may be different, but at each stage, take what is best for you from any experience and see if you can apply it to the next role until you find work that you love to do. All the best!
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Diane’s Answer

Find something you are interested in. Here are my tips:

Try and fail at a million things -- just go out and do stuff. Get involved with as much as you can. The more you try things, the more you will find what you like, and then follow that path -- you will eventually get pointed in the direction of what feels right for you.

It’s okay to change your mind, your career is not static, it is ever evolving. The people who really thrive and create meaningful careers, create careers based off of the intersection of what they are truly good at and what makes them happy.

Try not to conform to the norms.

Ask adults in your life what their day to day looks like in their jobs and will hopefully give you more direction and insight. Ask them how they got to where they are today. They will tell you in their own words their story, their successes and failures that shaped them to where they are today.

I hope this is helpful!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Aishat
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Shubhankar’s Answer

There are 3 simple steps you follow

1. Find out your interest areas like programming, communications etc.

2. Check the available careers in your interest areas and the skills required.

3. Check your proficiency in the required skills.

Now the most important of these points is point number 1, where in you need to spend more time on finding what really interests you.

Hope it helps !
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Aishat
Thank you comment icon Glad to hear. Feel free to post more questions. Shubhankar Keluskar
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R’s Answer

Aishat,

Great question!

I will answer this question by telling you what I did. Don't feel pressure to figure it out just yet. It is really good that you are thinking about it though. That is where you start. Before I completed college, I though my career was going to be in Sales. After I graduated from college, I went into Sales and after a year or so, I realized that it was not for me and I needed to do something else. I did not know what would be next. I took on a manual role with a moving company to pay bills and try to figure out what would be next. The next step found me, rather than me finding it. I kept in touch with college friends and let them know to keep me in mind, if anything opened that may be interesting. I had a friend in an entry-level Purchasing at NASA and happened to run into him. He was able to get me an interview and I was hired. I really liked it and I was promoted to a role in Contract Administration. Once I learned these things, another door opened with the world's largest telescope in Hawaii. I lived and worked there for over a year. I picked up golf there and thought there may be opportunity there to have my own business. So, I studied to become a certified Class A Clubmaker and passed my exam. I started reaching out to golf pros to do repairs and build clubs for them. I learned about name brand clubs and I expanded my network with golf shop owners. I ended up doing regular buying of name brand clubs from the golf shops and reselling them online. I had a wonderful time doing that and even rented offices and a warehouse to expand that business. Unfortunately, after several years the market for golf equipment fell, and once again...what do I do now? Well, I had learned a lot along the way. I had an understanding of 1) Sales 2) Purchasing 3) Contracts 4) Golf 5) Retail 6) Managing my own business. Again, I reached out to my network, which was mostly college friends. One of those friends had an open opportunity to start up a staffing office in Tucson, Arizona (which was a small market) for an international staffing company. I would interview with a strong recommendation that I had the fundamentals to tackle this, but I would need to convince interviewers that I had experience related to what would be required to succeed. I would have to study and learn a lot on my own. I did that by asking a lot of questions to people working there or in the industry. That was a success. The success was not all of my own doing. I worked hard, but the company won some big contracts in my territory. This led to a management opportunity and I hired a few recruiters and administrators. While a great opportunity, guess what? I really did not prefer managing people. I loved recruiting more than managing. It took me that long to finally figure out what I loved doing and knew I was was really good at it. So, I joined another company as a Recruiter. After working for years with a staffing agency, I had the opportunity to join a tech start as a (Recruiter) contractor on a short term contract. That turned in to a full-time role. They ended up becoming a successful public silicon valley tech company and I am still there and absolutely love what I do. It's better than I could have ever imagined.

So, in conclusion, I always had to pursue something that I thought I might be interested in for starters They did not always work out, but some did. I took chances and experimented. If you are not sure, you might just try it. You actually need to try it to see if you like it. It's a journey with ups and downs. But, if you have determination and GRIT, I believe you will find it and succeed.

Basketball Great Michael Jordan quote:

"I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

All the best!

Richard
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Richard for the advice. Aishat
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Erica’s Answer

This is a fantastic question and one that I am still working on well into my career. Similar to the recommendations above, you just have to get started. Find what you are interested in and research and reach out to people that are in jobs that are related to that interests. Also keep your mind open and just start asking folks you meet what they do. Try to learn as much about what they do from them as you can. You never know what may spark an interest. This will also help you expand your network. Having a bigger network will help you have more options in your career. Ever heard "it's not what you know, but who you know"? While that isn't always the case, I have found that in a lot of situations that is the best way to get a chance at different jobs.

My best advice is Just get out there and start trying things and most importantly meeting people in the areas you think you might be interested in!
Good luck!
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Nivedita’s Answer

Hi Aishat,

That's a great question and I'm glad that you have mentors here to guide you :) Most of us had to get this answer the hard way :D

First, you need to sit and analyse yourself.. try thinking and recollecting what all made you happy as a child.. and connect them with your values.

For instance, if someone likes drawing / painting then most probably their values would be "patience", "empathy", "creativity" and so on..Wondering how? See.. making a piece of art requires lots of patience and a good understanding about materials involved in the process ..so naturally they will have the same values as a person. Such people can opt for an artistic career or some might even become life coach (depends on individual interest) All I mean to say is, you can associate your interests with your core values and understand better about yourself :)

Second, you can ask your parents/friends/any other person who knows you well to give feedback about your qualities. (Sometimes, others know us better than we do 😅)

Third, you can use internet constructively and
***Learn multiple things just for the sake of learning.***
*DON'T JUST INCREASE THE NUMBER OF COURSES IN ORDER TO FIND A CAREER* - as you would just be hunting for the right one instead of absorbing what you have.

Fourth, Sometimes you need to have the "Fake it till you make it" attitude -
Don't start long courses and leave it midway because you lost interest..
Take up multiple short courses (1-2hr) and make sure you finish them. This would boost up positivity and you'll have the feeling of accomplishment. Learning is an advantage.

If you're genuinely interested in learning, you will easily find out your "Inner calling" because you'll actually be focusing on the knowledge gained.

And anyways,
**Career is not a one stop destination**..
it can change time to time.. that's how we should be exploring!

(Even I am trying to figure out my calling.. I love helping people in every possible way so I just signed up here to explore and help. Simple 😃 Identify and execute)

One general advice I would like to give - "Don't select a career because many people exist in that field...select the one which feels right for you, coz you are the only person who knows you best 😇"

Hope I've helped you in some way. Feel free to come up with more questions, if I have the answer, I'll be more than happy to help 😄

Thanks and regards,
Nivedita (aspiring mentor 😁)
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Aishat
Thank you comment icon You're welcome 🙂 Nivedita Balaji
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