How can I figure out what career is right for me?
I wanna make a lot of money, and I have knowledge in biomedical science, but am interested in music and philosophy. So I am not sure what to do!
When I was deciding my major, I actually looked up careers and picked a major with the highest salary. That was NOT the decision I should have made, and I ended up working as an engineer and was on call many weekends. Needless to say, I was pretty miserable in my first job and even though the money was nice, it was not worth losing my weekends and working all the time. I knew I needed to make a switch and I was even contemplating becoming a yoga instructor or getting a masters in data science. A good friend of mine gave me some advice that really stuck with me - Finding a career path is less about following your passion and more about focusing on things you enjoy doing that also give you some flexibility. It's very important not to hate your job but it doesn't need to be your end all be all passion. Find a job that you enjoy doing and focus on your passions like music and philosophy in your free time. I did just that! I really enjoyed working with people and driving some kind of meaningful change, so I became a consultant. I still get to duck out of work early to go to yoga and I have time to explore some of my other passions like cooking and traveling.
This is a great question and the main piece of advice I really want to emphasize here is that you do not solely need to choose, especially at this starting point in your career, just one option. As I began to think about what I wanted to do for a job and be financially secure, I was certainly overwhelmed and kept convincing myself that I had to choose only one thing or occupation and be that for 20-30 years to be successful. I have found, now about 10 years into my career, that it's much more about going for positions that look interested and when you interview you feel genuinely excited to hear on whether you made it to the next round. Money will always go up and down and all around and I would advise you to be cautious to solely look at financial outcomes this early, as when you start your career you have the most flexibility to try anything! It's okay to start in engineering and then take a position with a musical focus and then do something entirely different. It's truly all about communicating the skills you bring to each role, regardless of how different they may be. I have made many career shifts and continue to grow financially and developmentally in each unique role. try new things, hate some, love some, but enjoy the opportunities you have in front of you with all of your interests and not just one. Best of Luck!!
If music and philosophy pique your interest, enroll in classes related to these subjects. Investigate various career paths. As you become skilled in your chosen field, you can be confident that financial rewards will come your way!
All of these suggestions are fantastic!
Here are some practical steps to help you discover the perfect career for you:
1. Consider what your dream job would be if money wasn't an issue. This is crucial for finding a fulfilling career.
2. Reflect on your talents and strengths. It's essential to focus on what you're good at, as this will enable you to excel in your chosen field, work diligently, and feel satisfied.
3. Engage with numerous individuals from various professions you're curious about. Inquire about their daily tasks, working hours, and any other questions you have to gain knowledge. Remember, people enjoy discussing their experiences!
By concentrating on points #1 and #2, which involve honing in on your skills and passions, you'll be operating within your Zone of Genius. By doing so, you'll maximize your earnings potential since you're capitalizing on your strengths and interests.
Wishing you the best of luck!
It is important to remember that no decision or path is permanent and you can always explore options or change course throughout your professional journey. In general, good advice that, unfortunately, I did not use to the extent that I should have during my undergraduate career, is to identify what topics, industries, or skills excite you and learn more about what types of careers you could do with those. Reach out to professors, older students, or professionals on LinkedIn who have experience in those fields or careers to learn more about their journey and experiences.
Good general questions to ask include: What do you like about the industry/job? Is there anything you don't like? What do you wish you knew before entering this field/career/job or is there anything I should consider when thinking about this potential career? What does the career trajectory look like? How did you get started in this career? If you're open to sharing, where do you want to be in 5-10 years? What skills are most important? What skills have you developed in this career/job? Did you ever consider a different field/career - if yes, why did you choose this one? Who else do you know that I should talk to?
For fields that require an advanced degree or additional school/training, you may want to ask questions around the time/monetary investment a particular degree requires (E.g., MD, PhD, JD, MBA, etc.), if they think the investment was worth the return, and other factors you should consider.
Talking with those who have walked the path before you has been the most helpful method I have used when considering career decisions or changes. As far as making money goes, if you are passionate about what you do, then you will be more likely to put in the time and effort it takes be successful and the money will come.
Self-reflection: Begin by contemplating your interests, passions, and values. Which subjects or activities truly captivate you? What drives and invigorates you? Take into account your skills, strengths, and innate talents. Recognizing these elements can offer invaluable guidance toward potential career paths that will be rewarding for you.
Investigate various possibilities: Delve into and examine diverse career options that correspond with your interests and strengths. Investigate industries, job roles, and professions that pique your interest. Utilize online resources, career exploration websites, job descriptions, and informational interviews to collect details about different careers and their prerequisites.
Acquire hands-on experience: To gain a deeper understanding of a specific career, consider obtaining practical experience through internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work, or job shadowing. This will enable you to observe professionals in the field, learn more about daily tasks, and evaluate whether it's an enjoyable activity you can envision yourself pursuing long-term.
Get to know yourself: Begin by evaluating your talents, hobbies, values, and personality traits. Think about the activities you love, the subjects you're good at, and what values matter to you in a job. Knowing yourself better can offer helpful clues about possible career paths.
Do your homework: Look into various careers that match your abilities and interests. Search for details about job responsibilities, necessary qualifications, growth opportunities, and work settings. The internet, career websites, professional networking sites, and talking to professionals in the fields you're interested in can offer useful information.
Try things out and gain experience: Participate in internships, part-time jobs, volunteering, or projects that let you get hands-on experience in the fields you're thinking about. This real-world experience can help you understand the day-to-day life of different careers and give you a better idea of your preferences.
Ask for help and advice: Speak with career advisors, mentors, professionals in the fields you're interested in, and people who know you well. They can offer guidance, share their own experiences, and provide insights that might help you make your decision.
Think and evaluate: Take some time to think about your experiences, interests, and preferences. Consider what parts of different careers you liked or didn't like, what skills you want to use, and the impact you want to have. Reflecting on these factors can help you narrow down your choices.
Set targets and create a plan: Once you have a better idea of which career direction you'd like to follow, set clear goals and make a plan to achieve them. This might involve getting more education, learning specific skills, or connecting with professionals in your chosen field.
Keep learning and growing: Remember that exploring careers is an ongoing process. As you gain more experience and knowledge, your interests and goals might change. Stay open to new possibilities and be ready to adjust your career path as needed.
Keep in mind, it's normal for career paths to change over time, and it's okay to make adjustments along the way. Be patient with yourself, and trust that through self-reflection, exploration, and continuous learning, you'll find a career that matches your abilities, interests, and values.
- Follow your passion: If you have a genuine interest in music and philosophy, I believe it's worth exploring these areas further. Engaging in activities that you enjoy can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying career.
- Don't solely chase money: While financial stability is important, it shouldn't be the sole determining factor in choosing a career. Money can provide comfort and security, but it may not bring long-term happiness if you're not passionate about the work you do. I've made a career change 5 years into my career and had to let go of bigger salaries; and now I'm happier than ever.
- Try different things: It's not uncommon for people to change their careers or explore different paths throughout their lives (like me!). The decision you make now doesn't have to be set in stone forever. If you're unsure, consider gaining some practical experience in the fields you're interested in. This could be through internships, part-time jobs, or even volunteering. Exploring various options can help you gain clarity and insight into what truly resonates with you.
Choosing a career is not a one-time decision. It's an ongoing process that can evolve as you gain new experiences and perspectives. Follow your interests, stay open to opportunities, and trust that you have the ability to navigate your career path successfully.
In truth, discovering your passion, motivation, and purpose involves a lot of trial and error. Don't let the idea of what you think you should become hinder what you can become. Embrace the journey and absorb all the skills and knowledge you can along the way! The right path will find you as long as you work hard and stay prepared for the opportunity.