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What are your major motivations helping us out on this platform?

I have asked some questions at career village and the answers I got were extremely helpful and supportive as well. I am very grateful for the help from all the people who answered my questions. I am really curious about what prompts you to help us out in this way, and why you choose to help us here. Thank you in advance!

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Ryan’s Answer

My curiosity in high school and shortly after did not have a sounding board where I could safely ask and listen to perspectives about the world, career, and education.

That curiosity died a little because it was rarely fed. So, if these messages are just little morsels for someone, somewhere with a curiosity to explore the world and consider their options before leaping in, then we have more people aligned or becoming more aligned with their career, purpose, and goals in life.

It's a scary feeling not knowing which path to go down but it's frightening to not know of any and think you don't have options. This platform is a chance to shine some light on both. I've also realized that apart from aligning or taking action towards a career, this platform also can share perspectives and is a collection of viewpoints from individuals who have been in the same or similar shoes as someone who needs help. And it feels going knowing you're not on an island and that there's a community out there of total strangers that are willing to offer advice, counsel, and share their experiences - good and bad.

All to show that we've been there before, it's going to be ok, and it's going to work out but here's a little insight and information to keep you curious about yourself and the world around you. A career can be many things but it's not all things. But that's a unique journey for everyone to balance and play with.
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Tracei’s Answer

There was a time when I first started in the corporate world somebody took the time to help me and sit with me and answer all of my questions. The how, the when, the how much will I make type of scenarios. I am very happy to be able to assist in any way that I can to help you achieve your employment goats and dreams.
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Courtney’s Answer

Great question!
This is a fantastic forum for all involved. It is fascinating to see that many of the same questions that we all had along the way are still being asked today.
For those of us who either did not have the resources such as this or did not heed the recommendations from other resources at the time, we likely hope to help the trajectory of those like yourself who have come after us.

Ok, short answer: "Let us not re-create the wheel." We want you and your peers to have a smoother ride to your destination than we did.

Go get 'em!
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Tina M’s Answer

I wish when I was a high school senior or a college freshman there had been a platform like this - to ask questions and get ideas.
I strongly believe in the saying - "It take a village to raise a child".
I want to help students with real world advice that can help them make educated decisions.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Tina! We are very grateful for your help. Qinglin
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Jim’s Answer

Hi, Qinglin! For me, it's recognizing that I had many of the same questions all of you on Career Village have but had no forum to seek advice or information (especially in the Dark Ages before the Internet). I pretty much had to figure things out on my own, learning by experience and , yes, making quite a few mistakes. I would have appreciated a service like this when I was in high school/college as much as you seem to. Knowing that, I want to contribute whatever I can to people who are in the same situation as I was. Maybe I'll get the chance to answer another of your questions some day!
Thank you comment icon Hi Jim, thank you for the answer! What you do is truly meaningful and greatly appreciated. Looking forward to your answers ;D Qinglin
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david’s Answer

Thanks for asking that. I contribute because I made many mistakes myself and hope to share some of that to others. The years from age 18 to 22 are probably the most critical years to establishing a life direction. By the time a person is 25 or so, the desire fades, as it often seems too late. Now, it's never too late, but the motivation isn't as strong when a person reaches late twenties. In this forum, I see a strong desire to quickly find the perfect career, but the real goal should be to keep moving forward. The right career will find you. The real goal is success in life, not a specific career. I discovered that, but it took years. Again, thanks for asking.
Thank you comment icon Hi David, thank you for the answer! What you do is extremely meaningful and greatly appreciated! I have been inspired by professionals on this platform when they share their career paths. I really wish that I was acquainted with this platform earlier in my undergrad years. I spent four years learning a major that I was not interested in at all. However, I now I am trying to move forward by taking a grad program in edtech and data science which I like a lot. I was also curious if you have any advice on coping with the difficulties when trying to switch to a whole new field? Qinglin
Thank you comment icon So nice to hear from you. The challenge is that you know you're going through a discovery phase a second time. Others around you are younger and enthusiastic that they have the perfect career. You know better, that discovery comes with life. There is a desire to share all this wisdom with them, but they are not yet ready to hear it. You do best by focusing on your own direction, making realistic plans on what is achievable and what is no longer relevant. david kirk
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, David. I will keep my goals in mind all the time. Have a great day :D Qinglin
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Suzanne’s Answer

Thanks for asking, Qinglin. I have always enjoyed teaching and mentoring. Now as a retiree, having this virtual platform allows me to continue to (hopefully) be relevant to young people and share whatever wisdom I've gained over the years of my career. If this intrigues you, you may find that even as a grad student now, you too, can start to be of help to those coming up behind you in the pipeline. Perhaps there are mentoring programs in the Pittsburgh K-12 system or at Pitt or other local colleges or organizations who would welcome what are called "near peers" (people just a bit older than those they are mentoring). I would guess you would find it an extremely satisfying way to take a break from your studies and keep yourself motivated. Best of luck with your new endeavors.

Suzanne recommends the following next steps:

Check out this Pgh middle school mentoring program: https://www.pghschools.org/mentoring
Thank you comment icon Wow, thank you Suzanne, for the information. I will check that out. You are right that receiving help from you at this platform is making me want to involve in the pipeline as a mentor as well. Qinglin
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Jessica’s Answer

So glad to hear this platform is valuable to you! I actually started volunteering to answer questions here on CareerVillage during the pandemic. My company gives us 16 hours of leave/Personal Time Off (PTO) that we can spend on volunteering and, during the pandemic, there were no options to volunteer anywhere in person. My company provided CareerVillage as a virtual option to satisfy volunteer hours and I really fell in love with it, so I do this for every volunteer day now! I love doing this because I can really relate to high schoolers who just have loads of questions before deciding what they want to do for the rest of their lives or going to college. I'm the first person in my family to go to college and get a degree, so I didn't really have anyone who could guide me on what to do or not do. I wanted an Art degree and my family was really unsupportive about it. They thought I'd waste a ton of money and end up broke, working in a coffee shop, but it was my passion and I knew I was a smart and hard worker to make myself successful. Now, I'm making six figures at a Fortune 500 company and I'm so proud of all the work I've done and continue to do. I want others to follow their heart and passions as well. Don't let others hold you back, but you have to work and fight for what you want.
Thank you comment icon Hi Jessica, thank you so much for sharing how you get involved in this cause! It is my first time hearing about the PTO for volunteer work, and I wonder if other companies have similar offerings as well? And also, thank you so much for sharing your personal success story, it is truly inspiring! Qinglin
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Nivedita’s Answer

Hi,

A good question. When I was young, back while transitioning from school to college/college to job, I didn't have much of mentorship. I just went following my instincts at that point of time. Now I'm at my job as a software engineer which doesn't satisfy me. I feel I have to be in a better place than where I am and trying hard for the same.
I don't want younger people to take such random decisions and want to change it later. Yeah, it's only you who can decide for yourself but when we (me and other mentors here) can guide you, then why not help you?

The moment I answer some question, I feel grateful for my experiences..that which is helping someone to learn and understand 🙂 Helping people is always my nature and I love it.
If someone goes through my advice and sends a thank you note.. it makes me happy and I feel valuable (boosts me further to check and respond to queries). Even I get to learn something by reading other people's answers/advice. So it's a form of collective learning.

Everyone should share their experiences as and when required with people at some point of time. Only then society would grow as a whole:)

All the best for your future 😄

Best regards,
Nivedita
Thank you comment icon Hi Nivedita, thank you for the answer! I am very grateful for the helpful advice I got from here. It also alleviated a lot of anxiety I got from the uncertainty of the choices in my future career path etc. What you do is very meaningful we appreciated it a lot. :D Qinglin
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Qinglin 😊. Your positive words mean a lot to us!! Nivedita Balaji
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Michael’s Answer

Everyone deserves a safe space to build skills and ask questions without feeling uncomfortable. I was not willing to ask questions or admit to my weaknesses due to potential outcomes that impacted my career and family. This is a great oppotunity to gather different perspective, connect with professionals in different spaces, and confirm/deny personal thoughts. Thank you for creating this space, and I hope more people decide to participate and assist others.
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Ryan’s Answer

I'm sure I speak for most of us here, but it's because we have a passion for teaching and leading. Most of us are significantly older than you, and when we were going through high school and college, we didn't have an opportunity to learn from professionals. But now that these opportunities are there for you, we want to help as much as we can. Sometimes having just a little bit of insight or a nudge can help greatly.

I'm glad to hear you're getting a lot out of this. That's all that matters.
Thank you comment icon Hi Ryan, thank you for the answer! Your support is greatly appreciated :D Qinglin
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Qinglin,

My guiding principle is a Christian Ethic, often referred to as Good Samaritan behavior, which involves serving the needs of others. Consider this - without the guidance we provide at Career Village, numerous young individuals would struggle more with training, studying, and securing employment. This could lead to a higher rate of unemployment or homelessness among our youth.

Here at Career Village, we are committed to creating a unique plan that perfectly fits the individual's specific needs. We maintain a record of our advice, leaving it as a valuable resource for future students with similar questions, parents, and colleagues to refer to in the years to come.

Furthermore, volunteering helps shift our focus from the money-centric mindset that pervades our society. The goal is simple: help others.

May God bless you!
James Constantine Frangos.
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