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How do I know what career to go into?

I'm enterinng my senior year in high school

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To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

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Kamal’s Answer

Dear Batool,

That is a difficult question, and the only person who can honestly answer it is you. Therefore, you need to think about and write down your interests, hobbies, passions, strengths, challenges, and most importantly, what makes you happy and content.

Kudos to you for thinking about your future while still in high school. You have time, so I suggest you try the following:

* Volunteer at an organization that piques your interest, like an animal shelter.
* Ask questions about things you are curious about.
* Talk to a school counselor.
* Visit companies that you may be interested in.
* Most importantly, don't be afraid to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.
You may change your mind a few times or make mistakes, and that's okay. You have a long life ahead of you, and it's natural to change your mind and stumble a few times.
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Joshua’s Answer

This is a great question, because there are a number of different ways to approach this! First of all, it’s important to know that most people will have multiple careers. It’s very common to try one and end up finding out that there might be others better suited to you or your ambitions, etc.

There are career aptitude/fit tests that you can take online, or that are likely available through your counselors at school, that might provide you a nice idea of where to start looking. Alternatively, if you’re interested in continuing education after high school, you might look into careers that often follow majors or focuses that interest you.

Bottom line - there’s many different ways to approach this and no one way is the right way. It can be daunting! But know that while this seems like an important decision, it’s not final. You can change, people do change, and that’s completely okay and normal. Explore the possibilities and enjoy all of the adventures that come with that! Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Joshua! aliyyah
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Daniel’s Answer

Hello there!

Choosing a career path can be a challenging decision, but with self-reflection, research, and exploration, you can gain clarity and make an informed choice. Here are some steps to help you determine what career to go into:

Self-assessment: Start by assessing your interests, values, personality traits, and skills. Consider what activities you enjoy, what values are important to you in a career (e.g., creativity, helping others, financial stability), and what skills and strengths you possess. Reflecting on these aspects can provide insights into potential career paths that align with your personal preferences.

Research and exploration: Explore different careers and industries that align with your interests and skills. Utilize online resources, career websites, job descriptions, and informational interviews to learn more about various professions. Attend career fairs, networking events, and workshops to gain firsthand insights from professionals working in fields of interest. Consider internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering opportunities to gain practical experience and further explore potential career paths.

Identify your values and priorities: Consider what matters most to you in a career. Do you prioritize work-life balance, job security, growth opportunities, social impact, or creative expression? Identifying your values and priorities can help you narrow down the options and focus on careers that align with what you find important.

Seek guidance and advice: Talk to career counselors, mentors, professionals working in fields of interest, and individuals who can provide valuable insights and guidance. They can share their experiences, provide industry-specific information, and help you gain a better understanding of the day-to-day realities of different careers.

Consider your strengths and skills: Assess your strengths, natural talents, and skills that you have developed through education, work experience, or hobbies. Consider how these strengths and skills can be applied in various careers. Think about what tasks or activities you enjoy and excel at, as these can indicate potential career paths where you can thrive.

Gain practical experience: Sometimes, the best way to determine if a career is right for you is to gain practical experience in that field. Seek internships, part-time jobs, or volunteer opportunities related to your areas of interest. This hands-on experience can give you a realistic view of the work involved and help you assess your level of interest and aptitude.

Consider the future: Research the current and projected job market trends to understand which industries are growing and offer potential career opportunities. Consider the demand for professionals in certain fields and whether the industry is likely to evolve or be disrupted in the coming years. While it's essential to follow your passions, considering the future prospects of a career can help you make a more informed decision.

Embrace flexibility: Remember that career paths are rarely linear, and it's common for individuals to change careers multiple times throughout their lives. Be open to exploring different options and remain adaptable to new opportunities that may arise along the way. Your career path can evolve as you gain more experience, knowledge, and insights about yourself and the world of work.

Take action and iterate: Making a career decision is an iterative process. It's important to take action and make choices based on the information you have at each stage. Take small steps, such as enrolling in relevant courses, participating in networking events, or seeking mentorship. As you gain more information and experience, you can refine your decisions and make adjustments as needed.

Remember that choosing a career is a personal decision, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It's essential to find a career that aligns with your passions, values, skills, and personal goals. Be patient, trust your instincts, and be willing to explore different paths until you find the right fit for you.
Thank you comment icon I really like this advice! I may use these ideas in the future. Thank you for writing! Tianna
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April’s Answer

Embrace the activities that bring joy and happiness into your life, and let your passions guide you. By doing so, you're not only nurturing your own well-being, but also making the world around you a little brighter. Keep shining, and remember that your enthusiasm and passion are truly contagious!
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Briana’s Answer

Hi, Batool,

It's great that you're thinking of career options. However, know that you in no way need to pick a career path right now. Many, I'd say most, people don't go down the career path they thought they would in high school, and that's fine. I didn't even know my career existed when I was in high school.

My advice would be to start thinking about your interests, values, strengths, self-care, and life goals before you start down any specific career path.

-What do you enjoy doing? Are there any classes that you find particularly interesting and that you've learned more about on your own time? If no classes have interested you, what about clubs or hobbies?

-What do you think is important? Do you like teamwork or independence? Physical work or more intellectual work? Working with people? Creating something new? Fixing things?

-What are you good at? Writing, understanding technology, talking to people, art, working with your hands, etc?

-What do you need to feel secure and happy? Do you want a big paycheck or would a smaller but sufficient paycheck be fine? Lots of guidance or lots of independence? Flexibility or structure in your work schedule? Work at a facility or from home?

-What do you want to achieve? Do you want to have a family, buy property, live in a small town, a city, etc?

Answering these questions can help you find out what kind of job, in what setting and with what structure, you would be happy doing.
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Mike’s Answer

You should not really know your career when entering your senior year of high school. Enjoy your senior year because you will not get this time back. Think about continuing your learning as that will give you more opportunity and choices as well as buying you more time in your decision process. Think about what you enjoy learning because that will or should still be a part of any career. Take some risks in trying things slightly outside your comfort zone. But sometimes chose to stay right in your comfort zone and define it. Use your power and expertise there to push the boundaries. Never fear because it's always going to be about the experience. You will find your career , or maybe recognizing your inquisitive exploring nature , it will find you.
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Marylou’s Answer

I had the great good fortune great philosopher, Joseph Campbell. Google him. He was a major influencer in the creation of Star Wars. And his bottom line was “ follow your bliss”
I did. And I have lived my life according to my dreams. And I’ve been very successful.

So follow your bliss. And I wish you happiness.
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david’s Answer

Hi, Batool,
Actually, that's the good news; you get to pick that as you explore opportunities in coming years. An early decision might be whether you are interested in developing a trade skill or a college education. My encouragement to you is to focus on your immediate objective, that of doing well in your final HS year. Speak with your guidance counselor, and try to visit some schools of possible interest during that year. There is strong peer pressure to define one's career while in HS, but it is not time well spent: identifying one's career is an exploratory process, so consider things you enjoy doing and topics that interest you for a start. I am not giving a straight answer to you, because there is not one. You will find your way and I wish you the best.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. The most important is to find out what career you have interest.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Think about what your have interest eg your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc and identify related careers
Eg if you have interest in Maths, would you like to be an engineer, accountant, banker, maths teacher, financial analyst, etc
If you have interest in music, would you like to be a singer, musician, music teacher, music composer, music producer, etc
2. Explore more on these careers and find out 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. Find out the entry criteria of relevant subjects in the college
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Barlara’s Answer

To make the process more actionable, follow these steps:

1. Grab a pen and paper, or open a digital document, to create a list of your favorite activities. Think about your hobbies, pastimes, and interests as you write down things like dancing, caring for others, working with numbers, etc.

2. Once your list is complete, spend some time researching professions that align with your interests. For instance, if you enjoy dancing, look into careers as a dancer, choreographer, or dance instructor. Similarly, if you like working with numbers, explore options like accounting, financial planning, or data analysis.

3. Create a second list, this time of professions that connect with your interests. Write down each career you've discovered through your research, such as Medicine Doctor, Nurse, Teacher, Financial Advisor, and so on.

4. Now, consider the financial aspect of each career. Conduct research on factors such as earning potential, job security, and growth opportunities in each profession. This step will help you strike the right balance between your passions and financial stability.

5. Eliminate careers that won't offer sufficient earnings or stability. Remember, it's essential to find something you enjoy, but it's also crucial to be able to pay your bills and have financial security.

6. With your shortlist of ideal career options, explore opportunities for personal and professional growth within those professions. Research educational programs, certification requirements, and networking opportunities that could help you advance in your chosen field over time.

7. Keep in mind that no career is set in stone, and you can change paths in the future if you desire. The key is to start by pursuing something you truly enjoy while also supporting your financial needs and aspirations.
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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Batool, this is a question that everyone asks themselves throughout their professional lives so you are definitely not alone in wondering this. Similar to what everyone else has said but I'll also add, don't stress over needing to figure it out right away. Most people will change their careers multiple times throughout their lives as their interests and needs change. Deciding on a career isn't something you have to figure out at 19 years old and then you're stuck with that choice for forever. You'll probably find as you enter the workforce that what you're passionate about will change or you'll be exposed to something new and want to pursue that, don't be afraid of taking a risk and trying something new. I personally went back to school and got a different degree after being in the workforce for over a decade.
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Carl’s Answer

Hello Batool! I encourage you to discover your true passion and figure out how to earn a living from it. As we grow older, we come to understand that life is brief. Some careers may offer significant financial rewards, but you might not find joy in them daily. On the other hand, there are careers that you'll absolutely love, but they might not be as financially rewarding. Here's something I wish someone had told me at your age: time is more valuable than money. If there's a hobby you genuinely adore, go for it! Make it your source of income. Many professionals on this board have a comfortable life, but I assure you that others relish the results of their hard work more than they do. Prioritize yourself, be passionate, be purposeful, and savor life—you only get one chance.

Warm regards,
Carl
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