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How did you decide on your career path?

I am trying to decide which career and college to go to and I would like some advice. #career-counseling #career-choice #career-path #career #careers

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Subject: Career question for you

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Marilyn’s Answer

I had a tough time deciding what I wanted to do as a career. I had a number of talents, but I knew that the field for women was limited when I was young. Fortunately it is not the same now. I did not want to be in education, as so many of my family were, but I did wind up majoring in education and began as a teacher. As soon as I could, I pursued a Master's degree and settled on counseling. From there I was in administration and did private practice counseling and training. It was a wonderful career for me, and I was able to fit in a few other jobs as a tour guide in the summers, a tester for psychologists and testing firms, a trainer and a business coach as well as currently an artist. I just took each opportunity as it came and would not change anything I did.
Best of luck,
Marilyn Lowry
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Dhairya’s Answer

Hi Amber,
Great question. It awesome that you are thinking about your future and being proactive. I'm going to offer a bit of counter intuitive advice with couple of caveats. One, ignore this advice if you want to be a doctor, dentist, pharmacist or any other medical/clinical career that requires significant schooling. This career paths require a heavy time investment and if you are excited about them, start early! It's not the end of the world if you decide you want to be a doctor when you 25 or even 30 and out of college, but realize that it won't be until you are 35/40 and be actually practicing in your field.

For everything else, don't worry about having a career path in mind. College is a rare opportunity, where for four years you have space to expand your imagination and learn without any real life consequences. Amelia Rorty writes, the most impactful and power people in society are poets. They have the ability to imagine impossible futures and through the act of writing make those impossible futures possible. Use college as an opportunity to explore new horizons and imagine yourself in futures you didn't even think possible. If you have the opportunity - study abroad. If you have pass/fail take a crazy class because sounds cools (astrophysics or medieval literature). The point is, try to absorb as many different experiences as possible so that you have a broad vocabulary for a potential you could look like.

That being said, there are also practical things you can do to help find you a career. Volunteer and intern as much as you can. It's a great way to explore potential career options. What got me my first job in technology despite being a humanities major was my experience working as pro-bono web developer for nonprofits and working for the student IT helpdesk. And supplement to whatever you decide to study, take the following technical classes (computer programming, statistics, and accounting/finance). Those core skills will ensure you're a competitive applicant for any position really.

Good luck and don't stress to much. Try to keep an open mind!
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Alexis K.’s Answer

I decided to become a tutor to get experience working with children before I started teaching in the classroom while working on my teaching certification. The best way to choose a college is to do research and see if they have programs and classes that interest you and that you can market into a career. Many liberal arts center around teaching, science, math, center around technology, engineering, nursing and so on. So whatever subject you are best in start there. I think you should also think of your career not just a job but something you could do for free because you love it so much. Meaning you have a passion for it. Choosing a career is something you can constantly build your skills in and you can constantly evolve in. This does start in college, and more employable.
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Dylan’s Answer

I took a lot of jobs that didn't interest me until I found one that I was excited to get out of bed and go to every day.


It's hard to know what you want without knowing what you don't want. No job is wasted time; they're all learning experiences.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Follow your passion and it’s ok to change your mind. I got my degree in psychology and criminology and I currently work in a technology company and love it. Find what you love and pursue it and see what happens.

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Vic’s Answer

Life is a journey where you try things out, evaluate if it is for you and then make decisions based on your experience. Another added level of complexity is that you yourself will also change and what your interests and values are at one point may change and the job that you thought was meant for you no longer is. The bottom line is the idea of something being meant for you is a goal that is unrealistic. Instead reserve time for introspection to figure out what you want in life, career, etc and figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are, tie those together and figure out what careers align with such - this will set you up with more alignment in what you want that may not be something you are conscious of and tie it to a career.

Figure out what your life goals are (ie. work to fund your hobbies, work as your hobby)
Figure out what you want to learn from a job, what you value in a job
Figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are
Figure out what jobs align with your personal abilities and your personal & professional goals
Figure out what opportunities are closely available to you (ie. school network, campus recruiting, personal connections, etc)
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Angela’s Answer

Hi Amber

It is always difficult choosing a career path.

Here are my top 12 tips to find your career path.

  1. Think About What Excites and Energizes You.
  2. Keep in Mind What You're Good At.
  3. Take a Skills Test
  4. Try an Internship
  5. Find a Mentor
  6. Explore Unconventional Careers
  7. Ask Other People
  8. Use the G+P+V Formula. ( the G+P+V formula, which stands for Gifts + Passions + Values. Consider your strengths and passions, and what you value in a career.)
  9. Make a Career Plan
  10. See Your Career as a Set of Stepping Stones, Not a Linear Path
  11. Find a career coaches
  12. interviewing other in the career you are interested in.

I hope this helps

Good Luck

Angela



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Tonya’s Answer

Hello,
Finding your career path.
First require you to pay attention to yourself.
• What are you passionate about?
• What make you smile?
• What are your most stress-free moments --- what are you doing at that time?
• What are you good at?

Professionally, there are various test that you can take to help you understand your strengths and weakness.

Gallup StrengthesFinder is a great start. https:// www.gallup.com
16 Personalities will help as well. https://16personalities.com

Remember, as you develop so will your career desires develop. Embrace change as it moves you from one level to another.
Hope this helps
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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Amber! I know this is a fairly delayed response and that you already have two answers but I want to add one more suggestion. The website linked here provides a framework to select a career that is both fulfilling and impactful. It's a lot of reading but it is definitely worth the time investment. I highly recommend you read the entire guide. Good luck!

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

Visit: https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/
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