Paul Goetzinger MPA
The career will be something that you love to do so much, that even it they did not pay you to do it, you will still want to do it anyway.
Something where you will be the first in the office, in the morning, and the last to leave in the evening. You love your position so much, they will have to throw you out of the office to get you to go home.
You will have a career position, where you will feel this way.
From my own experience, I studied electrical engineering but found that I did not like it. I then changed to a general major, not sure where to go. By the end semester, I decided to speak to an advisor, who simply asked what I (as a person) liked, regardless of whether or not was an available program. From that, she introduced me to Engineering technology, which I began as it piqued my interest. However, through the program, I learned about process improvement methodologies (such as Lean Manufacturing & Six Sigma)....and at this point, I did experience that ""AHA"" moment you seek! It is a great feeling indeed, and to date, I shifted from engineering to focus on process improvement full-time, and loving it!
Vasanth Kumar U
My advice is to seize every opportunity that comes your way during your educational journey. Strive to acquire a variety of skills, as they can prove beneficial in different ways. If you perceive a decision as a significant one, look for opportunities where others might see it as a challenge, and explore all possible solutions.
In situations where you feel overwhelmed and think you might not be able to find a solution immediately, break it down into smaller parts. Tackle each part one at a time - that's how we overcome challenges. Remember, never give up. Keep pushing forward.
Venture into the world of various career options by conducting research and engaging in conversations with individuals from diverse fields. Acquire practical experience through internships or part-time work and foster a network of supportive colleagues. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from mentors or career advisors on your journey.
As you navigate forward, thoughtfully weigh your options, considering factors like job satisfaction and potential for growth. Embrace the courage to take informed risks, such as venturing into a new industry or initiating a fresh start. Above all, trust your gut feelings - if a career path aligns with your values and dreams, it's certainly worth the pursuit.
Remember, careers are not static but dynamic, so maintain a mindset of continuous learning and adaptability. Your career path is not just a job, but a lifelong journey of growth and self-discovery. Keep moving, keep exploring, and keep growing.
You need to decide what is important to you in your whole life, not just for work. So I recommend looking at three major areas:
1) What are your passions? Do you like healthcare, customer service, analytics, etc?
2) What do you want out of life outside of work? Do you want to have a family/kids? Do you want to be able to travel whenever you would like? Do you want to pursue a hobby that will need time and money?
3) What do you absolutely NOT want to do? What are you boundaries, dislikes, etc?
These three questions will help you narrow down fields of interest, and then you can observe people in those fields or research them to get a better idea where to go from there. For example, I knew I liked healthcare because I wanted to help people face to face and interact with others. I am not particularly interested in having my own children, but I would like to be able to afford enough to settle close to my family, and be able to travel for work if possible. I knew I couldn't be a doctor or nurse because of the workload and time in school. I finally landed on physical therapy because it allowed me to spend extended time with patients, it encourages movement during work, and has decent pay and travel options so I could see more of the country for the next few years.
There is no perfect job for the majority of people. There will always be pros and cons to everything we're doing, but finding the balance is crucial.
Many have tried to answer the first two questions, but unfortunately, many people lack the self-awareness to confidently respond. But there's always a way to conquer even the most intimidating problems, right? When the goal seems too big or far away, think about breaking it down into smaller, more manageable goals.
Here's an idea: Begin with what you love doing. Set aside thoughts about your job's direction, duties, or salary for now. Just ask yourself, what activities make you happy? What do you think about during sleepless nights? How do you spend your Saturday mornings? Are you counting sheep or scrolling through your phone? And when you can't use your phone, what holds your interest? Is it during your shower time or while driving or biking?
I often ask this question when guiding new employees, and I've received a wide range of genuine answers. Some like planning their outfit for the next day during showers to look their best. Others enjoy listening to hip-hop while driving or biking, but when an attractive woman passes by, they switch to soft ballads. Write these answers down on the left side of a piece of paper.
The second question, 'What can you be great at?' goes deeper than just abilities and explores what you can offer others. People with specific professional skills may answer quickly, but most of us live in the realm of uncertainty. To make it easier, think about what skills you're great at. What do people ask you for help with? Look at your recent expenses—what services have you paid for that you could provide? How do your friends and family see your strengths? Write these insights on the right side of the paper.
Now, it's time to connect the dots. Look at the items on the left (your passions) and the right (your strengths). Do any similarities pop up? Maybe you have a love for music and a talent for a musical instrument, or a passion for sports and knowledge of exercise science. These connections are priceless; they answer the question of 'What are you good at?' by about 60%.
The third question is, 'How can you keep up your interests and abilities?' Julie Zhuo, VP of product design at Facebook, wisely said that your career depends on your skills and how you use them, not external signs of success. Your career is a marathon, and your position and salary only show your current status, not your future potential. So, the long-term use of your skills is just as important.
To achieve this, I believe two conditions must be met: First, do you have support from someone who can guide you? Can you find a mentor? Can you keep improving your skills? Second, can you consistently provide value to your customers? 'Your world is shaped by the people you follow.' The first condition will feed your passion, while the second will help you go from 'doing well' to 'doing even better.'
However, these two conditions might not fully answer the question of 'What is the right path for you?' because they cover the needs of influence, professionalism, and identity. But work involves more than just these factors.
**1. Self-Reflection:** Start by understanding yourself better. Reflect on your interests, passions, values, and strengths. What activities make you feel excited and fulfilled? What are your long-term goals?
**2. Skills and Talents:** Identify your skills and talents. What are you naturally good at? Consider both hard skills (technical abilities) and soft skills (communication, leadership, problem-solving).
**3. Personality Assessment:** Take a personality assessment or career aptitude test. These can provide insights into careers that align with your personality traits and preferences.
**4. Research Careers:** Explore various career options. Read about different professions, job descriptions, and the day-to-day responsibilities. Try informational interviews or job shadowing to gain firsthand insights.
**5. Educational Requirements:** Determine the educational and training requirements for your desired career paths. Some careers may require specific degrees or certifications.
**6. Set Goals:** Set both short-term and long-term career goals. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, or 20 years? Having clear goals can help you make decisions aligned with your aspirations.
**7. Seek Guidance:** Talk to mentors, career counselors, professors, or professionals in your areas of interest. They can offer valuable advice and insights based on their experiences.
**8. Consider Lifestyle:** Think about the lifestyle you desire. Consider factors like work hours, location, work-life balance, and income expectations. How do these align with your personal life goals?
**9. Job Market:** Research the job market for your chosen field. Are there opportunities available, or is it highly competitive? Consider the demand for your chosen career.
**10. Gain Experience:** Whenever possible, gain practical experience through internships, part-time jobs, or volunteering. This hands-on experience can confirm your interest or help you discover new passions.
**11. Make a Decision:** Ultimately, you may need to make a decision even if you don't have all the answers. Remember that it's okay to change career paths in the future if your interests or circumstances evolve.
**12. Continuous Learning:** Keep learning and adapting. Careers evolve, and lifelong learning is often essential for success and job satisfaction.
**13. Be Patient:** Finding the right career can be a journey. Be patient with yourself, and don't be afraid to make adjustments along the way.
Remember that it's okay to have doubts and uncertainties. The process of discovering the right career can take time, and it's normal to explore different options before finding the perfect fit. Trust in your abilities, be open to learning, and remain adaptable as you navigate this important decision. Your career should align with your values and passions, providing you with fulfillment and a sense of purpose.
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Let's Dive into Self-Understanding
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of our traits and talents, passed down from our parents and ancestors. It plays a part in shaping our natural strengths and potential career paths.
Choosing the right career starts with understanding yourself. It's all about figuring out your interests, values, skills, and personality. Think about what you love doing, what you're naturally good at, and what kind of work environment makes you feel comfortable. You might want to try out some career assessment tests or chat with a career counselor to get a clearer picture of your strengths and preferences.
Exploring Career Options
Once you've got a good grasp of who you are, it's time to explore different career paths. Check out various industries, job roles, and potential growth opportunities. Look at the education or training needed for each career and see if they match your skills and interests. Don't forget to check out job market trends and demand for specific professions to make a well-informed choice.
Getting Hands-On Experience
Gaining practical experience can give you a real taste of a specific career path. Consider internships, part-time jobs, or even volunteering in areas that pique your interest. This hands-on experience can help you figure out if a certain career is the right fit for you, plus it's a great way to make connections in the industry.
Finding a Mentor
Having a mentor can be a real game-changer when you're trying to figure out your career path. Chatting with professionals in your areas of interest can provide valuable guidance and advice. A mentor can share their own experiences, give you insider tips, and help you navigate the ins and outs of different careers. And remember, mentors aren't always retired professionals - anyone with experience in your chosen field can be a great mentor.
Balancing Work and Life
It's super important to think about work-life balance when considering different careers. Some jobs might require long hours or lots of travel, while others might offer more flexibility. Think about how different careers fit with your personal life goals and priorities. Remember, it's important to avoid overworking and burning out!
Setting Long-Term Goals
When deciding on your career, don't forget to think about your long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in five, ten, or twenty years? Does a certain career path align with your future aspirations? Look for opportunities for growth, advancement, and continuous learning in your chosen field. Remember, everyone's goals and preferences are unique.
If you're interested, you might want to try the Myers-Briggs test. It's a questionnaire designed to identify your personality type, strengths, and preferences, which can help highlight your natural talents.
Top 3 Go-To Resources:
Harvard Business Review: A treasure trove of insightful articles and research on career development, including decision-making processes and strategies for finding the right career fit.
The Balance Careers: A comprehensive guide on career exploration, offering advice on self-assessment, researching career options, and practical steps for making informed decisions.
Forbes: A trusted source for career-related content, offering articles on industry trends, job market analysis, and expert advice on navigating career choices.
These resources were used to gather authoritative information on career decision-making processes and strategies.
Wishing you all the best,