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How can I decide what I want my occupation to be if I have so many ideas?

Hey, my name is Eva and I'm starting high school next year, ever since I was in Elementary school I've been thinking about who I want to be in the future, and I have sooooo many ideas! I can't decide!
Some things include: singer and/or actor, artist, writer, DJ or any type of music artist in the EDM genre, English teacher/professor (for new speakers), tourist, photographer, and interior design.
If anyone out here can help me, please let me know :)

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Subject: Career question for you

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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Eva!

That's a wonderful problem to have; it's still a problem that needs to be solved, but one that's rarer than those who have no idea what they want to do.

Can I ask you a question? Lets say you're at a potluck or a party and you see a spread of delicious smelling foods. You want to eat it all, but your stomach can only hold so much food. What do you usually do? Are you the type to commit to trying to eat a few of the best looking/smelling ones? Or one that needs to try a tiny bit of everything before committing? Or maybe the type that wants to eat about an equal amount of everything? I would imagine that how you solve the food problem above will be the only satisfactory way for you to approach your career problem.

If the first path, then you can do the research and interviews with friends of friends who have those jobs to determine the career that'll best fit your goals in life (in terms of career progression and life style it'll afford). Then from there, you can simple choose one or a few, then play this game of elimination until you find the one you'll be happy with.

If the second path, then you can use volunteerism and simulations to best "try" all the different career progressions that you're interested in, then choose the one that you're most interested in. The only thing to watch out for with this approach is that all human being change over time, so a few years (or dozens of years) later, you might change enough where you'll no longer be satisfied with your career and want to switch over. And that's totally okay. I have had many friends change careers in the same and totally different fields—for the majority of them, it was the right choice and it made them happy.

If the last path, then you're going to be busy. You might have a primary career that best fits your lifestyle needs, but you'll have tons of hobbies you'll be juggling. You're going to have fun, but I can totally imagine you "working" your weekends away DJ-ing or photographing a wedding, teaching ESL classes, or helping clients design their homes. I think this kind of path is really for those with lots of energy, but I bet it'll bring you lots of joy, especially as you pick up more hobbies as you experience more in life.

I hope this was helpful and I wish you the best!

--
Dexter
Thank you comment icon I change my mind this was definitely most helpful, I would choose the last one, however, I think I should narrow down my choices a bit more so it's not overwhelming, and I do have a lot of energy I would say. But this also leaves me with another small problem. See, I'm an extremely empathetic, caring, social, and loving person, I always have a ton of friends and I love spending time with them. And if I'm too busy, then that leaves me little to no time to spend time with them or to help them and give advice in their darkest times. I may have to either narrow it down as little as I can to 1 or 2 occupations or decide if I can commit to everything. Eva
Thank you comment icon Maybe some of the things you do on the weekends will be for your friends and family (and if you're lucky, maybe with them). Maybe some of the weekends, you'll be volunteering your skills to nonprofits. :) Another way to think about it is maybe you'll dance around different weekend professions as you see fit. It's all a hobby, so you don't have to commit to one; you can easily switch from one to the other, as your mood strikes you. Dexter Arver
Thank you comment icon I really needed this, thank you! <3 Eva
Thank you comment icon You're welcome! Wishing the best for ya. :) Dexter Arver
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Ellen’s Answer

Hi Eva
You have quite a range of interests, and this is not unusual with kids your age. Our education system encourages students to have a broad area of interests. Good for you that you are thinking about your future! Happily, since you are just starting high school, you have time to figure out what career path you want to follow. One way to help you decide is to think about your interests and where and how they play a role in your life right now. Which ones do you really enjoy, and which ones do you feel the most confident in doing?

You mentioned your interest in music, so how does this interest show up in your life, do you sing with a group at school, or do you play an instrument? How much of your spare time do you spend with music? Same thing with art, are you taking art classes, and do you do artwork in your spare time? How about acting, are you in a drama group or a theater arts class at school? Do you enjoy going to plays or to the movies? Do you enjoy writing outside of school assignments? If you were to be marooned on a desert island and you could only bring one of the following with you, what would you choose: a sketchbook and art supplies, or some device to listen to music with, or a musical instrument, or a journal to write about your experience, or a book to read, or a camera? Hard choice, or an easy one? How you answer, might help you narrow your choices, but don't get too caught up in thinking you have to decide your life's direction at your age. You might find that your interests change as you go through high school anyway. So, keep an open mind and enjoy the experience of high school. At some point, after you narrow things down, you might go to your school's career center or library and do some research on careers in your areas of interest.

Best wishes! I hope this helps.
Thank you comment icon To answer your questions, No I don’t play an instrument, I’m in a choir. Yes I paint in my spare time, mostly simple scenery and geometric shape designs and I took an online art class. No I’m not involved in any drama/theatre club because unfortunately I just started homeschooling. Yes I enjoy creative writing, in fact I am currently working on a book called Alternative Reality. Easy answer, if I was stranded on an island I would pick the music, I listen to it almost constantly, and I can’t imagine my life without it. I think my biggest passion, however, would be a career in the EDM music industry/genre. I found your response most helpful so far, so thank you, Miss/Mrs Rosenthal! Eva
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Pan’s Answer

Hi Eva,

It's absolutely amazing to see how you have such a diverse range of interests and ideas for your future career! A wonderful way to start filtering through these choices is by diving into various activities or hobbies related to each interest. While discovering more about each one, take note of the ones that bring you the most joy and get your passion ignited.

You can also reach out to professionals in each field to get an even better understanding of the daily work routine and what it takes to truly flourish.

Keep in mind, it's totally okay to switch things up and pursue different paths as time goes by. Many individuals experience numerous careers throughout their lives, and what you're inclined towards now might not necessarily be the same later on.

Always stay curious and open-minded – don't hesitate to take risks and explore new horizons. Your future is incredibly promising, and I'm genuinely excited to witness the remarkable places your passions will lead you to!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! 😁 Eva
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Amalya’s Answer

Hello dear Eva

Your situation is challenging, but every difficulty is also an opportunity: Be optimistic and positive when it comes to making a decision.
Don’t try to be everything, but the best version of yourself!
Although you are still uncertain about your future professional choices, it is obvious that you consistently try to find yourself which I am sure, will give its great results.
We can group your different preferences into these categories: Art, English language, teaching, and tourism.
Based on your interests, feelings and motivation, try to tell 3 of your preferences apart and then decide which one of them is the most important for you. Also, after doing it, try to find some apprenticeships or internships if possible related to your finally-chosen fields: The practical experience will help you make a relatively right decision.
If you had to live in an isolated island, what instruments or things would you take with you associated with your professional interests? It can be a piano, English books to read, opportunities to sing, act or paint. Without which you can’t imagine yourself in the future? Develop your mental horizon, read fiction and other types of literature, participate in academic or self-improvement events. They will contribute to your personal development, and as a result, to your decision-making skills. And finally, remember that it is a self-discovering journey which is a difficult, but also an interesting and rewarding process.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Amalya! Eva
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ANDI’s Answer

I'd start with a Career Aptitude Test... a test that helps you hone in on your areas of skill and/or interest. A test like this can show you which fields may best suit you and may begin to steer you in the right direction.
A second step would be to take the "year off" after graduation to explore a few entry level jobs before deciding which field to jump into college or trade school for, or before going straight into the "real" work force or military.
If you are truly lost, a third option may to be to speak with a military recruiter and/or to take the ASVAB which is just a Career Aptitude Test for the military that helps them decide which jobs you qualify for before enlistment. The military has a plethora of options ranging from aircraft and vehicle maintenance, to dental hygenists, to cooks, to cryptologists, to xray techs. A simple 4-yr contract may give you the aid you need to attend college afterwards or drive you towards a career field you choose.
Thank you comment icon Haha, not sure about the military option. But my dad is currently in the US army Eva
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Kristina’s Answer

Hi Eva,

you remind me a lot of myself at your age. I was a lot into music and attended piano lessons for a long time (my passion for electronic music showed at a later stage though, when I was in my twenties :). But I also liked to draw, loved literature and reading and was naturally good at math and sciences. So I also wandered a lot what my future path would be.

The breakpoint for me personally happened when I took a photography class in my Junior year at high school. I really fell in love with the media, my teacher was really good and supporting. He also gave me the best career advice when seeing my photos - he told me that because I loved creating unique settings for my pictures and manipulating the subjects/people I shot using props etc. rather than documenting what already existed a career in graphic design might be more suitable for me. I took that advice and in a couple of years I started studying graphic design at university and here I am now with 12 years of experience in the design field behind my back.

So my advice is to try and dabble as much as possible in every area you are interested in by taking classes, attending events etc. and see what truly clicks for you. Meet with professionals that might give you an interesting perspective and food for thought. Also go with the flow and don't overthink it as nothing is final nor is it fatal and when the time comes for you to make your career decision you will have the gut feeling to lead you in the right direction.

Sincerely,
Kristina
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Sandra’s Answer

I realize this is an "older" question with some great responses.

Something that I think should also be considered before choosing a career path is where you want to live. I realize it's less of an issue now with all of the telecommuting options, however, it can still play a part.

For example, if you want to be a manufacturing engineer, you'll need to live near where the manufacturing occurs. If you want to work for a specific company, you'll want to live near one of their locations. This may seem like an odd thing to consider, but it can make an impact on the kinds of careers you want to pursue.
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Kremena’s Answer

Hi Eva,

To gain a comprehensive understanding of potential career paths and identify the one that is most fulfilling for you, consider taking several different approaches. The simplest and quickest method is to complete a variety of Career Aptitude Tests or online assessments. While they may not be entirely accurate, these tests can provide valuable insights into the areas where you may find the greatest satisfaction and success.

Additionally, it's essential to research and gather information about various professions and industries that spark your interest. This can help you understand the skills, qualifications, and experiences required to thrive in those fields. Online resources, articles, and informational interviews with professionals from those sectors can be incredibly beneficial in this regard.

One of the most effective ways to get a practical sense of a particular career is to "shadow" professionals, observing them as they go about their daily tasks. By spending time with individuals in specific roles such as finance, design or any other field that interests you, you can gain firsthand knowledge of the typical responsibilities and challenges faced by professionals in that industry. Reach out to your network - including family friends, former colleagues, or even your alumni community - for opportunities to shadow professionals or attend informational sessions and office tours.

Moreover, consider seeking advice from career counselors, mentors, and human resources professionals to gain further insights into potential career paths. They can provide invaluable guidance on identifying your strengths and weaknesses, as well as help you explore roles that align with your personality, ambitions, and passions.

Lastly, always remember that your career is a lifelong journey, and you will likely undergo changes in your interests and goals. So, be open to exploring new possibilities and never hesitate to ask for advice or help when needed. Taking these steps will not only help you find a career path that feels fulfilling but will also provide you with the knowledge and confidence to navigate your professional journey effectively.
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Sugumar’s Answer

Hey Eva, isn't it amazing how fortunate you are?! You possess such an incredible level of creativity, which truly sets you apart from others and even machines. Most young people prefer to take the already established routes in life, simply because they offer a sense of security and instant gratification. However, there are rare gems like you who dare to venture off the beaten path and show the world the endless possibilities that lie within the human spirit.

Your boundless imagination will empower you as you continue to forge your own, unique path. My heartfelt advice is to never stop exploring and to stay determined, even in the face of challenges. Out of the many interests you mentioned, one or more could potentially become your source of income, while the rest can help you lead a fulfilling and passionate life. Just remember, there's nothing more gratifying than pursuing and accomplishing what you truly love. Stay inspired and keep shining, Eva!
Thank you comment icon Thanks, I needed this! Eva
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