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Is it better to follow my interests or hobbies as a career?

I know that I want to do something that associates me with people in a meaningful way as a career. By helping people I was thinking the medical field, but I'm not the greatest at math or science. As for my hobbies I'm much better at writing and artsy things. I want to know what I should go for so I can keep planning for the future. #careers #college-major

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Lindsey’s Answer

Hi Felicita,

This is a great question and so good that you're trying to figure this out early in your career! Some people go years without asking this question or blindly following one or the other without considering options. I find that the most successful and happy people are those who don't follow one or the other, but find a career that fits their interests, skills, and values.

When working with students who are asking this question, I like to have them make a list where they make three columns: interests (hobbies + work interests), skills (what you're good at), and *values (what's important to you). Take some time to go through this list and think about ways you could fulfill one thing in each column through different careers. Once you've come up with a list of some possibilities of careers, reach out to people who are doing those jobs. Always keep your list in mind as you're talking to people so you can see if what they're telling you about your work lines up with your personal interests, skills, and values. If you can, volunteer or obtain internships in those areas to see if you enjoy the work. Research is your best friend when it comes to finding a career that will make you happy and fulfilled. It takes time and effort, but is worth it when you find a great opportunity for yourself. Remember to that what works for you now, may not work later. Don't be afraid to try things that sound interesting even if you end up changing your mind later on. Career Development isn't one-and-done and it isn't linear. It's constantly changing and evolving. Again, it's great you're already exploring! Good luck as you continue!

*Values are hard to think of and conceptualize. Here's a list I like to use for myself and others-http://www.motivationalinterviewing.org/sites/default/files/valuescardsort_0.pdf

Thank you so much for your help! I'd given up on finding internships in my city, however I just had to look a bit harder. Your list actually helped guide me a lot, so my focus is narrowed down to seeing if these few careers interest me. Thanks again! Felicita I.

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Christos’s Answer

Hi Felicita,
You ask a good question with no definite answer. It's important to follow your passions and the things that interest but you also need to balance it with exposing yourself to different fields. You also need to consider how you can support yourself while pursuing passions that are not as lucrative.

Think about what kind of writer you would like to be. Would you maybe want to be a journalist? Or a novelist? Maybe you would be more interested in graphics design? Or maybe you think you could work in advertising where you can create something both in writing and art? Maybe you want to just paint or draw independently?

I think the most important thing you can do is focus on your academics, and even though you might not be as good in math or science you should still try and do as well as possible. The arts and science actually compliment each other from a creative point of view (even though that's not always apparent).

To conclude, try and think about what what exactly you might want to do from a career point of view. Then research what you need to do to get there (internships, apprenticeships, college). Then plan it out in terms of money (if you want to be a freelance writer for example, you might need to consider picking a different career first that is less exciting but allows you to develop your writing until it becomes profitable).

Let me know if that makes sense or if you have any questions!

Sorry I'm just now getting back but thank you! I thought on what you said and I've decided to go and take classes to become a CNA to see if I would want to go into the medical field through that introduction. I'm going to try to go from there~ Felicita I.

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Eula’s Answer

Dear Felicita,
At your young age, it is important that you explore all of your interests and hobbies. As time is limited you may have to let some go in favor of the ones you find most interesting and rewarding.

There are many ways to serve people in all areas of industry. In fact in all industries you will find yourself serving someone.
The question is in what industry?
Finances, Banking, Technology, Arts, Fitness, Health, Academics, Psychology, Childcare, Teaching, Automotive Industry, Housing, Law, Government, City Services, Entertainment, Music, Animal Care?
That is why you need to discover your inner world and what makes it wonderful and makes you happy.
I help people too. I work with furniture but help people with their homes.

You can help people by writing. I am artsy and I write all the time. I am helping you now by giving advice for the future and provide insight from my experience and wisdom. No matter what you choose, I assure you, there is someone you will be helping by the sheer work you do, IF you DO IT WELL.

I was good at math, but not brilliant. Still logic (Math) did help me understand design, spaces and dimensions and how to measure tiles for floors and fabric for windows or sofa's.
Had I been much better in math, I could have been an architect. But I am arty, like you.

Explore the arts, if this is what you prefer. Try the library and find books on all types of arts. Photography, Graphic Design, Performing arts, Liberal Arts, Language arts, painting, music, sculpture, design, architecture, (a combination of arts and logic)
First discover yourself, Your heart will tell you what you like, it will jump like crazy when you find out what you love.

Let me know if this helps. OK?

Thank you for your advice, I really appreciated it as it has helped me a lot, I'm trying a few different things out and hopefully I'll see what gives me that spark so I can try to pursue it! Felicita I.

Thank you for letting me know Felicita. Glad I could help. and if you have any more questions, I am always here. Eula Biezen

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Andria’s Answer

My daughter just finished nursing school and is now officailly and RN. She has been interested in nursing her whole life so we incouraged her to get her CNA license at age 16. She worked in assisted living until the present, this gave her a clear direction that this was the direction in life that she needed to take. She is not fantastic in math either but she made it. I feel that having a career outside of your hobbies is good or your hobbies become work and they are not as enjoyable as they were. Good luck.