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How did you find the right pathway and being 100% sure?

I am struggling to find my true passion as i have a lot of different aspirations and passions but i simply cant choose. There are so many jobs in the world and i wanna be able to discover the best option for myself but I'm unsure how to find it, any suggestions on choosing the right career pathway? And your methods?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. May students have similar question. The best person to answer this question is yourself. Think about what you have interest now. Having said that, your interest may change in the future. You may change your career at that time.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what you have interest, e.g. your hobbies, favorite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
Eg. If you have interest in music, would you like to be a musician, singer, musical actor, music composer, music teacher, etc.
If you are interested in Maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, maths teacher, financial analyst, etc.
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, your parents, school career counsellor, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 career 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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Daniel’s Answer

Hi Xcaret!

First things first - that's ok. Most people do not know what they want to do the rest of their lives and it can be stressful to think about. I felt the same way a couple of years ago right before I graduated high school. My suggestion is to go to a community college to obtain your basics. This will help you have time to try some different jobs in completely different fields. Also, by going to a community college you will be saving money and giving yourself more time to decide on a career/job while making progress on your degree. Don't let people put pressure on you that you have to decide now on the rest of your work life. I had a teacher in high school tell me that I would be a failure if I did not know what degree/career I wanted by the time I graduated high school. Well, I did not by graduation but decided a year later on what I wanted to do and absolutely love it (operations)

I really think business is a great field to go into since it keeps your options wide open. That way you are not committing to one specific field and find out later that you hate it. Some fields in business include:

1. Operations
2. Finance
3. Sales
4. Marketing
5. Human Resources

I decided to go into Business Operations since operations touches almost every facet of the organization. I enjoy the different challenges and operations also gives me the flexibility to try new things. Another great aspect about operations is they usually support the other divisions of an organization. Since, there are many divisions of an company if you do not enjoy one area its not a big deal since you can support other areas of the business.

Many larger companies will start you in a rotational analyst program. By doing this you will get to see usually 2-4 different sections of the business. Companies offer this to not only help you hone in on your career path but many companies have realized that if there employees actually enjoy their job they will get better overall performance.

I know this can be a stressful time in your life. Please know that you are not alone.
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Kevin’s Answer

Hello,

Discovering your genuine passion is a journey that unfolds over time. One excellent starting point is to explore various career tests. The internet is brimming with free tests that can guide you, and to make it easier, I've provided a link below to kickstart your journey.

https://www.thebalancemoney.com/free-career-aptitude-tests-2059813
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Regie’s Answer

Hello Xcaret,

It's a great question and understandable that you may find that there are many options in the job market. What I could suggest is to start doing self-assessment, like the things you're enjoying, your key strengths and your passion into a certain field. In this way you could identify what areas to focus on or specialization you want to take into. It's pretty normal to explore in different fields and that is totally fine, as you go along into that field you will have a self-discovery and that is where you will take action into the next stage of your career.

As you progress into your career, keep learning and continue honing your skills to the path where do you want to see yourself. People have different motivations and way how to become successful, what is more important is you love, and you enjoy what you are doing.

Keep it up you are on the right tract.
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Sarah M.’s Answer

I can absolutely relate to your situation, as it is the one I found myself in as a teenager, and often-times since! I've had many different roles over my working life in different fields, and focussed on transferrable skills and knowledge that is applicable in many different ways, and allowed me to experience options that ultimately led me to my current path.

I would love to have told my teenage self that it's OK to not really know what you want to do, and that in fact, that may change as you learn more about the world, and yourself! It's not that uncommon these days for people to change careers, as the world, you and the job market changes. In life you will rarely find 100% certainty, and letting go of that can take the pressure off a little.

If you're trying to decide what to do now so you can enter education, then you might have a bit of a time limit if you don't want to delay. If you really aren't sure, I believe it's a good idea to see what is out there, and you can also do that by checking out job profiles and descriptions on recruiting sites, talking to family friends about their careers, too.

If there's a particular company or industry that you admire, check their websites and career pages to see what they say, and also the types of careers that they cover. I work for a large multi-national in a software development team, but there are hundreds of different roles across the organisation, and being aware of those can be helpful, as it may suggest a career path to you, how you might wish to move vertically or laterally in an organisation or industry. Comparing role profiles can show you the similar and transferrable skills in each.

I'm on my fourth career, I would say, and still have times where I wonder what I want to do with my life - and that's OK! Each role has built on knowledge and skills I've gained over time. I think it's important to acknowledge that not many people will find a job and stick with it for their whole career, or even stay in the same industry. Let that take the pressure off not knowing exactly what it is you want to do now. You'll continue to grow and learn, jobs will change, and you aren't stuck.

Figuring out my values, and what is important to me was key to my current path. Knowing what you value will highlight to you the things you care about, and may have passion for. It doesn't have to be a job, but it can be an activity, a feeling, and then you can find ways in your life and work to help meet these values, and grow. It's great you've asked this question - knowing yourself is key to finding what will interest and drive you. This has really helped me move forward to new opportunities and experiences. If you’re able to speak to others in roles your interested in (maybe even asking specific questions here on CareerVillage), may help you decide if the day to day of those roles would work with where you want to be.

One thing I have found very useful as I've continued in my career is doing a Values exercise. There are a few versions of this values cards exercise online, where you are given a series of cards containing values descriptions, and you are ask to review them and select the values that most resonate with you, down from about 30 to the top 5. Once you have that top 5, of things that resonate and mean the most to you , these can be your guides.

Your five key values may be things that have resonated with you because you feel they are currently lacking in your life or career, or they are things you are passionate about, or things you want to keep doing. The important thing is that they are important to you in the your life right now. Now, when you have a decision to make, you can refer back to your key values, to see if a choice aligns with the things you've identified as being most important to you.

I say "right now" because your values and want you value most can change, as can your goals. Having a guide towards what your ideal life and career might look like gives you a lens you can use to support your choices, or identify why you might not be feeling comfortable, and looking for a change.

I have a physical set of cards, and I refer to them every six months of so, to remind myself, and to double check if anything has shifted. If I've made a change that means one of the valued "needs" now feels "in control", it might not resonate with me so much, and I may switch it out for the next one.

Once you have your values, look at the things you do right now, and a list of things you might want to do - those passions and aspirations you have - and see how they stack up against your values. It might not be what you expected! It can also help you get through a role that's not 100% working for you - to highlight the parts of it that could be framed as moving you towards a goal, and focussing on those until you're in a place to move. Experience is all valuable, especially when you can frame it as a positive learning opportunity.

Some really great advice I've had from a mentor, too, is that not everything you have to do is about your passion, exciting or totally amazing. Passion and fulfilment can be a quiet joy and contentment, too. As long as you are finding ways to feel fulfilled, happy and challenged in the right ways, you will find the ideal balance. If your job isn't your "passion", find things in your personal life the fulfil your values, and look at ways to achieve or relate activities in your work as ways to achieve those things you highlighted as valuable to you.

Honestly, though, for me finding the right path has been trial and error! Sometimes you just get a job, and figure out you love it, or hate it, and that's all useful to you as a person.
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ALi’s Answer

Well done on posting this question, xcaret! You're undoubtedly an intelligent individual. The journey to finding your ideal career can be both exciting and daunting for several reasons. Firstly, it's thrilling because you have the opportunity to pursue your passion. For instance, my childhood was filled with computers, which sparked my love for computer science. I've always looked up to tech pioneers like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Conversely, pinpointing your perfect career can be challenging given the vast array of choices available today, not to mention the future professions that are yet to be created.

A sound strategy is to seek subjects that your interest you, engage with relevant communities, and get insights from those who have already embarked on the career path you're contemplating. For instance, at IBM, I'm currently learning from someone in the position I aspire to. This hands-on experience gives me a genuine feel of the job and reassures me it's the right fit.

In a nutshell, identify your career passions, network with experienced individuals in those fields, and interact with them to guide your decision-making. When your job aligns with your passion, it feels like you're on a perpetual holiday! ;)
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Howard’s Answer

At first, you will not really know. At your age you have time to make a decision. Try something. If you do not like it try something else.
You will not really know if you like it until you try it. It is okay if you make changes. Sometimes change is a good thing. Be positive and do not be afraid to try. If you pay attention, do your research, and follow directions you will do fine.
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Justin’s Answer

Hey xcaret,

I’ll link an answer I made for another student:

Nice to meet you, I’m Justin. I’m a student that was in your exact position for two years, until the end of my sophomore year in college. I was torn between engineering and pre-health and psychology and computer science and physics… and I ended up just bouncing around, taking almost every single intro course at my school. What I will say is that, even after taking all of the intro courses, I still had doubts. My issue is perfectionism—I needed to make absolutely sure that I made the right decision. I was afraid to make the wrong one because I thought my mistake would determine my entire career. I’ll let you know that it will not. Many people I am working with in my internship do not have the educational background in college to work in it, yet are professionals in it anyway. No mistake is truly permanent. And the lesson I’m learning is that there is no way to know truly without doing. Even then, you may not know truly until maybe several years in your career of choice. I still have doubts about my choice, but I know that the only way to find out is dig deep and get more experience, and course correct once I find out. My recommendation: take some time to deeply think about a field of study that fits you, and once you’ve chosen it, try not to let your doubts change your choice. Try not to change majors constantly like me, unless you really have a deal-breaker that you discovered later. Nobody really knows the answer, so trust your gut!!

Xcaret, I totally get your doubts. I will tell you that this doubt will never really go away 100%. The best you can do (and what anyone can do) is not think more about it—at a certain point, more thinking wont really do anything. So, trust your gut. Several people have given answers already about advice on selecting that career choice, but I advise you once you’ve chosen it, to stick to it (barring any deal-breakers). Good luck!!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Xcaret,

Charting a Course from Psychology to Law

The journey from psychology to law can be an enriching and satisfying adventure. The competencies and insights gained from psychology studies can be immensely advantageous in the legal field, especially in areas like comprehending human behavior, analytical thinking, research capabilities, and communication skills. Here are some potential career avenues for those with a psychology background aiming to venture into the field of law:

1. Forensic Psychology: Forensic psychologists operate at the crossroads of psychology and the legal system. They bring their psychological expertise to bear on issues within the criminal justice system, such as evaluating individuals involved in legal cases, offering expert court testimony, and collaborating with law enforcement agencies. With a psychology background, individuals can seek additional education or training in forensic psychology to specialize in this area.

2. Legal Psychology: Legal psychologists delve into various facets of human behavior as they pertain to the law. They may undertake research on subjects like eyewitness testimony, jury decision-making, or the psychological elements influencing criminal behavior. Individuals with a psychology background can pursue careers as legal researchers, consultants, or experts who offer insights into human behavior within legal frameworks.

3. Law Enforcement: Although not directly practicing law, individuals with a psychology background can also consider career opportunities in law enforcement. Comprehending human behavior and motivations can be useful in roles such as criminal profiling, crisis intervention, victim advocacy, or working as a behavioral analyst within law enforcement agencies.

4. Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Another potential career path for those with a psychology background interested in law is mediation and conflict resolution. Mediators assist conflicting parties in reaching mutually agreeable resolutions through communication and negotiation skills. A background in psychology can be beneficial in understanding the underlying motivations and emotions during mediation processes.

5. Legal Advocacy and Policy Analysis: Individuals with a psychology background can also explore careers in legal advocacy or policy analysis. This could involve working for non-profit organizations, government agencies, or advocacy groups where understanding of human behavior and societal issues is crucial for shaping policies, advocating for change, or representing clients’ interests.

In conclusion, there are a variety of career paths accessible for those with a psychology background who are keen on transitioning into the field of law. Whether specializing in forensic psychology, legal psychology, law enforcement, mediation, or legal advocacy, the blend of psychological expertise and legal knowledge can pave the way to diverse and influential career opportunities.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

American Psychological Association (APA): The APA offers valuable insights into the overlap of psychology and law, providing resources on forensic psychology, legal issues related to psychology practice, and career advice for psychologists interested in legal professions.

American Bar Association (ABA): The ABA provides information on the legal profession, including educational prerequisites for aspiring lawyers, career paths within the field of law, and opportunities for individuals with diverse academic backgrounds like psychology.

Psychology Today: Psychology Today is a trusted source that discusses various topics related to psychology and its applications in different fields. It offers articles on careers that merge psychology and law, providing insights into potential pathways for individuals interested in this interdisciplinary approach.

GOD BLESS!
James Constantine Frangos.
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