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How do you decide what to do?

How do you decide what to do with your life? I don’t know what I want to major in and do with my life. How does one determine what they’re passionate about?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Maria’s Answer

Great question!!
1. Start with your short term goals
2. Think about things you enjoy doing, e.g. taking pictures, reading, helping others. Topics you enjoy spending your time could be a way to identify your passion. Look for create positive impact
3. Be adaptable
4. Do some research on the different carrer options and courses available now
5. Do frequent retrospects to assess if you are in the right path, do you like what you are doing or do you feel a change is needed.
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Tania’s Answer

Hi, Laura!
What to do with my life?
It is an awesome question that any person ask themselves when they want something different, they want to feel new emotions, they want to change something...
Maybe it is difficult to find what you like more... Help yourself self-asking: What I am using more? What are you passions? What amazed you? If something is arriving to your heart or you like using it, it will be asy to guide your proffesional development towards that...
As my example: I am passionate of using my mobile for any activity... I decided to redirect my proffesional career to the mobile apps and software development...as a heavy user, I know super well what I want to show to the world... I love travelling...and when you are creating a worldwide app, you should travel around the world and the different cultures...this is called design oriented in the users! After 6 years, and parterning with friends, we have developed our own mobile app and it is available in Android and iOS.
My passions and needs are converted to my job! :)

Tania recommends the following next steps:

Reply: What I am using more?
Reply: What are you passions?
Reply: What amazed you?
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Jaycee’s Answer

Hi Laura,
First things first. Don't feel like you absolutely have to know what to do. I am 28 and I am now just getting into a groove on what I believe I want to do. I have changed my line of business 3 times. First starting in marketing then I wanted to work in the Dental Health Field and now I am in Business. Just know that at any age you may not know what you want to do and remember if you see someone that looks like they have their stuff together and they know exactly what they are doing just know that 9 times out of 10 they don't. I didn't even know that I wanted my degree until i was 25. I was a late bloomer but just know that it's okay to not know what you want to do. Just take each day at a time and every now and then write down what you think you like to do and see if any careers align to that.
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david’s Answer

This is actually easier than you think and my daughter is in exactly the same boat !

1) Do what you enjoy! Typically your good at the things you like and not so great at the ones you don’t.

2) If your not sure write the ones you don’t want to do down. My daughter doesn’t want to work in an office- that rules out a lot of things !

3) Stick to what you’re already good at but choose a (flexible/ broad topic to major in) - from here you have a choice of job roles (my daughter is now looking into a career in mental health or helping children with special education needs)

4) Don’t always go for the career that pays the most. There are lots of people who end up spending 40-50 hours a week for 40 years doing something they don’t actually enjoy or find fun and feel they’re stuck in Groundhog Day !

5) Take a year out. My daughter is doing this and using the time to volunteer and travel. At the end of the day she is hoping to have more direction and options and choices

6) Be open minded and flexible- be willing to get out of your comfort zone!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. A lot of student have similar question.
The most important is what you have interest.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Think about what you have interest, your hobbies, etc. and identify the related careers
Eg if you have interest in
mathematics, would you like to be an accountant, banker, engineer, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc
If you are interested in music, would you like a singer, musician, music composer, music producer, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and identify what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school
career counsellor, your parents, etc
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Jeff’s Answer

Hi Laura,

Really good question! Many people have the same concern.

You have already received great advice but I want to reiterate: You do NOT have to have your life figured out at this point. It will come. Now is your chance to experience, learn, and begin to figure out what you want. The huge advantage to undergraduate learning is that you get exposure to many fields and areas. Some will be less than interesting but others will catch your attention. Now is the time to be exposed to many areas.

One thing to keep in mind is that whichever field you enter will probably not be the field you retire from. Most people change careers and interests as they progress in their career. I began as an application programmer, switched to test engineer, then firmware developer, professor and ended as a firmware developer. Your career will take many turns and twists but that's part of the fun of the journey!

Please, don't put that pressure on yourself! Enjoy the journey!

Best of luck!
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Elliot’s Answer

Figure out what you LIKE to do. What is fun for you? What are your passions, interests? This can help point to you to your PURPOSE in life.
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David’s Answer

Many people feel this way so don't let it overwhelm you. Also, many people start college with one thing in mind but as they learn and grow change majors or career paths (as I did). It's essential to choose something that you can enjoy. You will hear people often say to find your passion, but that in and of itself is a journey. If you go to a liberal arts and science program, you often have a year of general education requirements to learn about areas of academic interest and can go from there. A common mistake is that people get too focused on what majors will make the most money and choose an academic path that simply doesn't suit them for the long run. If you are passionate about English or history, which are not typically seen as big career builders, go down that path and see where it takes you. The skills and competencies you gain will pave the way.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Laura
Thank you comment icon Always Plan-Do-Check, Great advice! Ben Ng
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Delaina’s Answer

Agree with the answers already shared. What I would add is perhaps looking into skills assessments and tests to see what you are good at. There are several online that would be helpful like the Gallup Assessment. I would also do some research on areas of interest even if those areas are hobbies. Some questions you might ask yourself:

1. What was I good at in school that I enjoyed?
2. What made me stand out in High School and/or College?
3. What skills have I learned that I would enjoy showing others?
4. What area of life are you most confident in?

Take the answers to these questions and start looking up careers around these topics and then networking with individuals who already do these things. Network, network, network. Make a list of what you enjoy and what you are good at. Talk with your friends, family, classmates, work mates and see if they have ideas of careers in those fields. I believe our best chance of professional success is finding the balance of what we're good at and what we enjoy. Best of luck!
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Greg’s Answer

Dear Laura,

Really great question! First, do not feel like you have to go to college right away to succeed. Getting a job before going to school might reveal what you like and do not like to do for work. Having this experience could help you be more focused in college or it might even inform you that college is not necessary for what you are passionate about.

Getting practical experience through shadowing people or being mentored by someone willing to mentor you can help you shed light on what a certain job or industry is like.

Aptitude tests can also be useful for helping you see what your strengths are, which might or might not align with your passions or interests.

Also, it is okay to not know what you really want to do. Sometimes you embark on a career path only to find out in a short amount of time that it is not what you enjoy doing. That is okay, and it is okay to pivot. Further, give life a chance. There are few people who work in their profession for their entire career spanning 30-40 years. Be open to changing at some point as your interests change.

Finally, it is important to consider the potential earnings in the field in which you intend to study. College can be expensive. It is not uncommon to hear about regret later in life from people who have significant debt to obtain a degree that never had the potential to earn enough to pay it back and enjoy life.

All the best!
written on behalf of a group of volunteers at HPE
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Jasmine’s Answer

Here are some tips written on behalf of a group of volunteers at HPE:
Identify your passions/interests in life.
Talk to professionals in your areas of interest.
Set short-term goals to help achieve large, long-term goals.
Watching videos to reading books related to your interests.
Stay up-to-date with industry trends.
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Jan’s Answer

look what is most interesting for you and where you are good in (map the key ideas down on a paper); out of this: see what career directions are in these areas that may interest you, and look also for advice of friends of parents/relatives that are working in this segment to share their experience and what to expect day-to-day in this role that you aspire to go for; look if there are any internships during vacation breaks for a week or 2 in a company to test out the role that you may be interested in;
find out what are your goals in life (what are your strengths and what you enjoy doing as then you will be good in it and succeed: remember "that this is what you will do then in your life") - what is important to you, and then a plan how to get there
- written on behalf of a group of volunteers at HPE
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Traci’s Answer

Hi Laura! Great question!

Looking back at my own experience, I wish I wouldn't have been so hard on myself and force myself to figure out a career path for myself. In college is switched majors probably four times because of my anxiety! When you are in your late teens how are you supposed to know what you want to do for the rest of your life? It was a daunting question I really didn't need to pressure myself with.

I wish I would have first and foremost considered all the things I love. In my case when I was in school it was animals and architecture. What's more is I wish I wouldn't have listened to my parent when they discouraged me from becoming a vet or an architect. I wish I would have pursued what I really loved right from the start, no matter what anybody else said.

You know you the very best, so listen to yourself. You will be so happy if you choose a career that you love. And it doesn't need to be figured out in your late teens either. Sometimes, like me, it takes awhile to figure it out. Be open to trying and experiencing new things and it will become clear to you.

Good luck! :)
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Amber’s Answer

Hi Laura,

First of all, don't worry. Everyone experiences this feeling.

At a high level, you can figure out what you don't like. This will slowly narrow your choices. Moreover, at many schools there are tests available to find out with which jobs your interests align.

Furthermore, talk to peers (parents, teachers, other people in your environment) to find out how they found their passion. Also, you might listen to motivational videos. Plenty of them available on YouTube (e.g., Ted Talks).

Life is all about to keep on learning! This is a process that tikes time. Figure out what you like and what you don't like. And enjoy the ride!

Good luck, Laura!
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Charanya’s Answer

This is a great question, I would suggest first thinking about what your strengths are and go from there.
Example: My strength is analytical thinking and problem solving. I love solving puzzles and I found software development gave me the space to use my strengths
Another example I have a friend whose strength is communication she gave excellent seminars in my college and loved talking , she chose a career as a teacher
Just take your time and think about what is really your strength, what are the things you do that gets people to appreciate. Sometimes it might be hard to think of what your strength is ask for feedback from people around you they can help you identify your strength.
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Edmundo’s Answer

It's absolutely natural for your mind to change multiple times throughout high school and even after graduation. The crucial key to discovering where you want your career to go is being proactive and inquisitive. Reach out to people who are already successful in your dream jobs to learn the pros and cons of each career. Additionally, make use of career surveys to help identify your strengths and passions, which can guide you towards a fulfilling and successful career. Remember, this is a journey of self-discovery, and you have the power to shape your own path! Embrace the process and trust that you'll find the perfect fit for yourself.
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Teresa’s Answer

Hi Laura,
You are definitely not alone on your journey to find what brings you joy and gives you purpose in what you do. I work in the tech industry, but selected my major based on where my interests were: so, I enrolled in Arts and majored in French. However, I also took computer courses and business courses as part of my degree - I wanted to know more about those topics as well. I ended up marrying the two areas in my first internship where I worked for a tech company that was expanding internationally, so got to use my languages.

I also changed jobs along my career path as my interests evolved. It turned out that some things I thought I would enjoy, were not as fulfilling as I thought they would be. So, I tried them for a year or so. As I looked for my next role, I identified the parts of the job that I liked and looked for those elements in my next role.

Even now, I'm still on a journey and I adapt as am exposed to new projects, people and opportunities.

Good luck