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How did you know what career you wanted to be In?

I know a couple of things I want to be, but how do I know if any of them are the right choice?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Christopher’s Answer

Dear Khloe,

My journey to becoming an architect began with a spark of passion. It was the realization that I could combine my artistic inclinations with practical skills to create spaces that positively impact people's lives. This passion ignited my determination to pursue a career in architecture.

My path has been filled with learning opportunities, both formal and informal. I've embraced challenging projects, sought guidance from experienced mentors, and drawn inspiration from the works of legendary architects. Each step has shaped my understanding of the field and reaffirmed my commitment to it.

The journey of discovering your career path may not always follow a straight line. It's okay to explore different interests, take unexpected detours, and face challenges along the way. Each experience is a valuable stepping stone, molding you into the professional you are meant to become.

Remember that your unique blend of talents, skills, and experiences is your greatest asset. Embrace your individuality and allow it to guide you towards a fulfilling and impactful future.

So, keep exploring, keep creating, and let your journey unfold with the same sense of wonder and excitement that brought you to this moment. I believe in you and your ability to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much this is one of the best pieces of advice I ever got:) Khloe
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Richard’s Answer

Hi Khloe,

Finding the right career path can be a journey of self-discovery and exploration. Let's address your questions to help guide you toward making the right choice for your future:

**1. How did you know what career you wanted to be in?**
Choosing a career often involves a mix of self-reflection, exploration, and experience. I discovered my career path through:

- **Passions and Interests:** I identified what I'm passionate about and what brings me a sense of personal fulfillment.

- **Skills and Talents:** Recognizing my natural abilities and talents. For example, I love art, writing, speaking, teaching, graphic design, web design, technology, and helping people understand how to do things in a 21st Century high-tech world. Then I figured out how each of these interests can relate to each other in a professional environment. Eventually, I opened my own business.

- **Experiences:** Exploring different activities, internships, or volunteering that resonate with your interests.

- **Role Models:** Being inspired by mentors or professionals in fields that captivate you. I have always seen the value in surrounding myself and learning from people who are smarter than me.

**2. How do I know if any of the careers I'm interested in are the right choice?**
Consider these steps to help validate if a career choice is right for you:

- **Research and Exploration:** Dive deep into the careers you're considering. Understand the day-to-day tasks, challenges, and potential growth in those fields.
- **Internships or Shadowing:** Explore opportunities to experience these careers firsthand. Internships or shadowing professionals can provide valuable insights.
- **Networking and Informational Interviews:** Connect with people already in these fields. Ask them about their experiences, challenges, and what the job entails.
- **Alignment with Personal Goals:** Reflect on how the career aligns with your personal goals, values, and long-term aspirations.
- **Future Prospects:** Consider the future prospects of the career. Is it an evolving field with ample opportunities?

Remember, it's okay if you're uncertain right now. Many people explore multiple paths before finding the one that truly resonates with them. Reflect on what brings you joy, what skills you possess, and what impact you wish to have on the world. Use these insights to guide you toward the career that feels most fulfilling and aligned with your aspirations.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your help. (: Khloe
Thank you comment icon No problem. I hope it helps you. Whatever your decision turns out to be, it will be the right one for you. Wishing you lots of success. Richard Smith
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Thiago’s Answer

Hello Khloe,

Choosing a career is a journey, and it's wonderful that you have a couple of interests in mind. To discover the right choice, reflect on what truly excites you, aligns with your values, and allows you to utilize your skills. Consider trying internships or volunteering in those fields to gain firsthand experience and insights. Don't be afraid to explore different options – sometimes, the perfect fit reveals itself through exploration.

Remember that, your career path doesn't have to be a straight line; it's okay to pivot and adapt as you learn more about yourself and your preferences. Trust in your abilities, stay curious, and be open to the possibilities that unfold. The right choice often emerges as you actively engage in the process of self-discovery and exploration.
Thank you comment icon Thank you 😊😊 Khloe
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Brandon’s Answer

Hello there! Here's some friendly advice on how you might uncover the perfect career that suits you best.

Self-Reflection: Start by thinking about what you love. What hobbies or topics make you forget about time? What issues stir your soul? Reflecting on these things can help you pinpoint areas you'd love to work in.

Your Talents: Take a good look at your skills and strengths. What are you naturally great at? Recognizing your talents can lead you towards careers that match your abilities.

Try New Things: Experiment with different activities, internships, or volunteering to get a real feel for various fields. This can help you figure out what you love and what you don't.

Make Connections: Link up with professionals in the fields you're curious about. Networking can offer you valuable insights, mentorship, and chances to learn more about specific careers.

Education and Training: Think about the education and training you'll need for your potential career choices. Sometimes, getting the right education or certification can open up specific professions.

Goal Setting: Set up short-term and long-term goals. Where do you picture yourself in the next few years? Having clear goals can keep you focused on your dreams.

Ask for Help: Chat with career counselors, mentors, or advisors who can offer guidance and support. They may have valuable insights and can help you sort through your career options.

Stay Open: Realize that career paths can change over time. It's perfectly fine to tweak your goals and try new things as you learn more about yourself and the working world.

Career Research: Find out about different professions, industries, and job roles. Look into the daily tasks, work environment, and growth chances for careers you're thinking about.

Trust Yourself: Listen to your gut feelings. If a certain career path feels right, it might be worth digging deeper.

Remember, it's completely normal to feel unsure about your career choices, and it's perfectly fine to make changes as you go. The important thing is to stay open-minded, keep learning, and adapt as you learn more about yourself and the world of work.
Thank you comment icon Thanks:) this helps a lot. Khloe
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Tunde’s Answer

As a teenager, I was brimming with diverse career aspirations. I was torn between becoming a Surgeon, an Actress, or a Marketing Manager. To make an informed decision about which advanced level classes to take, I had an enlightening discussion with my Father. He guided me through the process, asking me to elaborate on my interests, potential challenges, and filling in the gaps in my understanding of these professions. This conversation steered me towards the path of a Marketing Manager and subsequently, to Business School. If you're someone with varied interests, I'd recommend having a similar conversation with a trusted adult who knows you well. They could provide valuable insights, especially if they're familiar with your areas of interest. If you don't have someone to turn to, don't hesitate to ask questions about specific professions you're considering. Understanding the pros and cons, growth opportunities, and personal satisfaction associated with a job can help you decide if it's the right career for you.

Once I embarked on my journey at Business School, I discovered a plethora of disciplines beyond Marketing. After exploring various fields like Finance, Accounting, Logistics, Human Resources, etc., I chose to major in Marketing and minor in HR. I also sought internships at large corporations to experience the practical aspects of Marketing. It was during this time that I realized the divergence between Sales and Marketing, contrary to what my textbooks suggested. This sparked my curiosity to understand the Sales perspective better, believing it would enhance my skills as a Marketing Manager and foster stronger ties between the two departments. As a salesperson, I faced numerous challenges, particularly convincing other departments to modernize outdated processes and tools to meet customer demands and stay ahead of the competition. This experience opened doors to roles in Sales/Marketing Strategy and Sales Operations, allowing me to collaborate with brilliant minds around the world.

In essence, your career path will continuously evolve as you delve deeper into various fields. Jobs that we can't even fathom today will exist in 5-10-20 years. So, explore what you're passionate about learning, consider what activities you enjoy - whether it's working with many people, presenting to large audiences, or working independently. Keep an open mind, continually reassess what excites you, what bores you, and the experiences you wish to avoid. You're on the path to greatness!

Tunde recommends the following next steps:

Find an adult you trust and who knows you to talk about the first few options that pop in your mind
If no adult around you who can help, think about 2-3 professions you are interested to learn more and post your questions here, one post for each profession.
Thank you comment icon Thank you:) Khloe
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Shelia’s Answer

Choosing a career is a significant decision, and it's crucial to find something you're truly passionate about. Understand your motivations and ensure your choice aligns with them. Never opt for a career solely based on others' expectations unless it genuinely excites you. Remember, you're the one who will be investing time and effort into acquiring the necessary skills or degree. Moreover, a career can span several decades. So, ask yourself, is this something you'd love to wake up to every day? If the answer is yes, then put your heart into it. Show up with a positive attitude, volunteer for projects, and actively engage with your team.

Remember, it's okay if the path you initially chose needs to be altered. Life can often surprise us, and you might find that a new direction suits you even better.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Khloe !

It is a natural thing to pursue the things that one likes, enjoys and gains satisfaction from. I would say that most people start out with that and follow through on it. You are fortunate to have two main interests that you can explore, but worrying about if it's "right" has no purpose. Those two things are right for you because you have been inspired and recognize they could be something for you to develop for your future.

First, do not project into the future and prejudge yourself based on ideas that come from others. Focus on you and your place with your two interests. They are indeed the "right choice" because you chose them and you've chosen your interests for a special reason. Everyone's journey towards the subjects you've chosen is different, so you should not compare yourself with others or worry. It's easy to worry when you only think of the possible end result. The important thing is that you start the journey and think about the steps you must take to ultimately reach that final goal. Make small goals that lead up to each step. It can only hold us back if we try to guess what our future will be like.

Once you jump the hurdle of worrying about the future, think about what you can be doing now in the present. Think about what you need to be doing now and actively take part in it. You will be too occupied to even consider worrying about how your future will end up. By taking the steps, you will discover where your strong points and low points are within your two interests. That will help you to hone the skills you must improve and enhance and build upon the skills that you're good at. If you look at it as a choice you've made and not if it's "right" or "wrong" you will build the confidence and tenacity that every career goal needs.

Now is the time to test how good you are at these two interests. Actively participate in them, read up on them, watch videos about them and speak with professionals who are working in your two interests. The decision is yours and I know that following your heart and mind is usually the best thing to do.

I wish you all the best with achieving your goals and with pursuing your two interests !
Thank you comment icon Thank you this actually helped a lot. :) Khloe
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Emeka’s Answer

There's no definitive answer to this. You're likely looking at a career spanning 40-50 years, and it's perfectly normal not to have everything figured out from the start. Changing your mind is part of the journey. My advice would be to align your career with your passions. For instance, if you find yourself drawn to computers in your free time, why not consider a career in that field? Combining your passion with your profession can make the journey towards building a career more enjoyable. As you progress, you'll come across new opportunities and acquire new skills, which may even lead you to alter your career path. So don't stress about finding the perfect career right away. Choose something that resonates with your interests, keep an open mind, and never stop learning!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Khloe
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Khloe!

Embarking on the journey to choose a career path can feel like a big and sometimes overwhelming decision. It's perfectly okay to feel a bit unsure about which direction to head in. It's a common experience to find it difficult to pinpoint the perfect career, and it usually requires a good deal of time, self-reflection, and exploration to make a well-informed choice. Here are some key points to keep in mind that can guide you in making the best career decision for you:

1. Self-Assessment: Kick off your career journey with a deep dive into self-assessment. This means taking a close look at your interests, values, skills, and personality traits. Knowing what you love to do, what drives you, and where your talents lie can give you some great clues about potential careers that would suit you and make you happy.

2. Research and Exploration: Dedicate some time to investigating different career fields and industries that catch your interest. Get to know the job duties, education requirements, potential for growth, and work environments of various professions. You might also think about reaching out to people who work in those fields to get a real-world perspective on what their jobs are like day-to-day.

3. Gain Practical Experience: Getting some real-world experience through internships, part-time jobs, volunteer work, or job shadowing can be incredibly valuable. By getting a taste of different work environments, you can get a clearer picture of what certain careers are really like and whether they line up with your interests and goals.

4. Seek Guidance: Don't be shy about asking for advice from career counselors, mentors, or professionals in your network. They can offer helpful advice, share their own career stories, and give you different perspectives that might help you make better-informed choices about your future.

5. Consider Your Values and Goals: Take some time to think about your long-term goals and personal values. Think about whether a certain career matches up with your ethical beliefs, your work-life balance needs, your financial goals, and your overall life goals.

6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Remember that career paths aren't always a straight line, and it's perfectly fine to try out different options before you find the perfect fit. Be open to changing your plans based on new experiences and changing circumstances.

7. Continuous Learning: The job market today is always changing and growing. Adopt a mindset of continuous learning and skill development to stay adaptable in a constantly evolving professional world.

In the end, finding the right career is a mix of self-reflection, exploration, research, and adaptability. It's important to remember that it's okay to feel unsure sometimes, and that the journey to find the perfect career is often a process of discovery.

For this advice, I drew on authoritative resources like the Harvard Business Review, The Muse, and Forbes.

ADDENDUM
On a personal note, my own career journey has taken many twists and turns. I started out with a love for astronomy telescopes and a dream of becoming an astronomer. However, after experiencing early deaths in my family, my path shifted. I moved from physics and mathematics to computer programming, then to biochemistry, nutrition, and finally dietetics! My career has continued to evolve, leading me to work with the homeless, displaced refugees, and the sick, and even influencing nutrition policy. I've spent 51 years creating nutrition education software. My goal was to help heal illnesses and work alongside doctors.

May you be showered with blessings that will empower you!
James Constantine Frangos.
Thank you comment icon Thank you James 😊 Khloe
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Michael’s Answer

Khloe, if you grow up to be like the average human being, your tastes and interests will probably change over your lifetime.

I started out in higher education administration. Spent 15+ years pursuing a career that I hoped would lead me to be a Dean of Students at a prestigious university here in the USA. That 15th year, I received a call from a friend who worked in the corporate world. She told me they were looking for someone with a background in education and adult learning to help train new hires brought into their company. I took the dive and never looked back.

I guess my point is that I started out with what I thought I wanted to do, but then life gave me an alternative path. Be ready to take those opportunities!
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Natalie’s Answer

Good question Khloe! Whereas my parents had one career and stuck to it for life, these days it's much more common to make some moves in your career life. I started my career in the magazine industry as an editor, left that and went to graduate school, moved to teaching college and university English, came home as a stay-at-home mom for a couple of years, and went back to work as an instructional designer (curriculum development, graphics, and e-learning packaging) at an enterprise corporation. Each step on the journey gave me new experiences that I was able to apply to the next destination. In each career I thought, "I could do this forever!" but things change in life, and what you want may change. The things I'm passionate about, work-life balance, salary, and the people I worked with all played a role in where I went and how long I stayed. I can trace a thread of learning and creativity through each step of my journey though, so think about the things you naturally like to do.

Long answer short... you don't have to have it all figured out. Start somewhere. Learn everything you can from that place and either stay or take what you've learned and move to the next thing you think you want to do. There are no rules! As long as you are doing something you enjoy, can support yourself financially, and are growing as a person and a professional, you're doing it right. Forge your own path, and don't be afraid to take risks.

Look at job postings and see what excites you. Even if you can't do 100% of what it says you need to be able to do or you don't have 100% of the qualifications, apply anyway and show them what you *can* do! You can also learn a lot from job postings about the skills you need to develop to get where you might want to go. Browse job postings in different industries and DREAM! Sometimes you don't know what path to take until you give yourself permission to dream!
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Rita’s Answer

I think that's a great question. I don't think most people know. Even myself as a doctor, I don't know if I would do it again if I had the chance to live my life again....maybe. I think we just try things out and if they don't work, you learn from it and go to the next job. Each job, you learn different skills.
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Sara’s Answer

I would start with making a list of the career paths you want to pursue and see if you can get in touch with someone who is currently working in that field. I find that the most important part of deciding which career to pursue is getting hands on exposure/experience to the field (if possible). So you can start by asking to shadow or volunteer for a day in that career path and reach out to others who are in that field to ask them questions on what a typical day is like. That way you'll know more on whether or not it's something you ultimately want to go for.
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