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How do you know you are picking the right career path?

i am in high school an trying to find the right career path but don't want to make a decision on something and find out that I won't like it after i have already done schooling.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Lidia’s Answer

Determining your path without first-hand experience can be challenging, but don't let that discourage you. Consider observing professionals in their respective roles or engaging in an internship. This will give you a glimpse into their daily routines and responsibilities. Engage in conversations with these individuals, inquire about their likes and dislikes regarding their jobs. This will provide you with invaluable insights. Additionally, volunteering can be a great way to experience the job first-hand. If you find yourself in a job that doesn't quite fit, don't be disheartened. This experience has simply helped you narrow down your search. You might also consider giving it a chance, even if it doesn't initially appeal to you. Who knows? You might discover aspects of the job that you enjoy as time goes on.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate your support, Lidia Marla
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Nida’s Answer

Hello Marla,

It's fantastic that you're adopting a long-term perspective! If you're leaning towards a career that requires the conventional path of enrolling in a 4-year university, remember that you'll have at least a year before you dive into your specialized courses. I'd suggest exploring fields that offer a wide array of career progression and opportunities. Maintaining an open mind is crucial too. There could be emerging fields that aren't yet mainstream, which might present opportunities over time for you to pivot into. For instance, during my university days, Digital Marketing was non-existent. However, having a background in it allowed me to apply the principles I learned from my Marketing degree, effectively transitioning into Digital Marketing years after graduating.

If, after learning, studying, and earning a degree, you find that your chosen field doesn't resonate with you, that's perfectly fine. At the very least, you'll have a solid foundation that will help you in transitioning into a new field. I began my journey in Marketing and noticed the industry becoming highly competitive. I also realized the significant role data plays in Marketing, and over the past decade, I transitioned to Data Analysis. The principles I learned from my Marketing degree still help me understand business strategies and interpret data. This transition simply enhanced my skill set, making me more versatile. View learning and transitioning as opportunities, and you'll never encounter failure. Wishing you all the best on your journey.
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Michael’s Answer

Take courses your first year which expose you to a myriad of topics. The University of Chicago has a core curriculum that exposes all students to courses in the humanities, social sciences, sciences etc. Try to avoid schools that require you to declare your major in your first year.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Marla
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Natalie’s Answer

Hi Marla! I'm a graphic designer and I'm 24 years old. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do as a career. When I graduated high school I had no idea. If you have a community college near you that's a great option. I went to community college right after high school and started out by just taking general studies courses. It allowed me to take a variety of different classes and figure out what I enjoyed the most. Community college is also usually way more affordable than other colleges. I had the same fear as you, and I didn't want to go to a university that costed a lot of money only to realize I didn't like my major. I talked to a guidance counselor at my high school and she's the one that suggested community college to me. Don't be worried that you're not sure what you want to do as a career yet. It's hard to know exactly what you want to do out of high school, and it's ok if it takes some time to figure it out!
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Marla
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Sara’s Answer

What a fantastic question - I think everyone asks this at some point in their education and career. The best advice I've ever gotten aligning to this is that career paths aren't linear. Use every step of the way to identify the things you love and dislike and use it to guide your pathway and take all learnings into consideration along the way. A more immediate recommendation I have would be to take aptitude tests online. There are a ton of free options that can take your preferences, skills, etc into account and give you potential directions to explore! Best of luck!!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your advice Clory
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Brittney’s Answer

This is an excellent question! It can be challenging deciding on which career path to take, and it is especially hard when you can see yourself doing well in a variety of career paths. Thankfully, there are several ways you can go about evaluating which career path would be best for you.

One way to see if a career path is right for you is to talk to someone who is already in the field, or gain experience in the field if possible. All professionals were students once, and most are more than happy to talk to you about their day-to-day and any other questions you may have about their career field! You can connect with professionals using LinkedIn. You can also see if there are any volunteer or internship programs for that industry in your local community. For example, I was able to participate in a program in my local community called "teen court" when I was in High School. It helped me gain a bit more familiarity with the work of attorneys.

I would also recommend researching the annual income of each career path you are interested in, as this could help you prioritize some options over others. It is important to know if the career path you choose will be able to support the life style you are trying to achieve after college. Everyone has their own preferences, so there is no right or wrong answer! The goal is find a career that you can be happy with and also comfortable in.

I wish you all the best!
Thank you comment icon Thank for your reply. It was helpful Clory
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