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Why don’t I know what I wanna pursue or do yet (career wise) ? #Spring23

I’m currently a freshman going on into my sophmore year in the fall and I for right now, I wanna be a lawyer but I don’t know if that’s really for me or not. I love to debate but at first when I was 10, I wanted to be an actress but I outgrew that, then a therpaist until I found out they don’t get paid enough, now currently a lawyer. My favorite classes so far, I like algebra and math classes.
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Subject: Career question for you

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Daniela’s Answer

Hello Alaya!
It is normal to feel overwhelmed when deciding what career path to take, and I am not here to tell you what should you or not study but to give you two pieces of advice. the first one is never decide what you want to do in life based on the money, look for something that you really like because you are going to do that for the next 30 to 40 plus years and it is not easy to live a life being miserable at work. and the second piece of advice is to do tons of research on each career field and list the pros and cons. I would also look for the option to shadow professionals. talk to your teacher and see if they know about programs that you can get yourself involve in or search for firms (if you want to become a lawyer) that offer internships.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much ! Alaya
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Jesus’s Answer

Howdy Alaya!

The biggest piece of advice I got once I started college was to keep your options open. Most people are critical about college electives because they believe it won't help them in their major career classes. I think electives are a great option to explore what choices your college has to offer, or give you a new perspective of something you don't think you will enjoy.

Many different companies offer different exploration programs of the organization that exposes you to different divisions inside the organization. Some of the programs include Citi ID, Goldman Sachs, and even Capital One's First Gen Program. Keep on exploring what your school has to offer and you might get some ideas of what careers you want to pursue in the future.

Best,
Jesus
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Natasha’s Answer

Alaya,
Please do not stress. It's OK and normal not to be 100% sure of your future career at this point in your life. I encourage to look for internships, volunteer opportunities, and informational interviews for all careers/jobs you think you may want to pursue. Learning about a field is the best way to determine if it's right for you. Even with that, please keep an open mind and be flexible when warranted. Best of luck!!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Alaya
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Laeti Golden’s Answer

Hey Alaya, it's completely okay to feel this way. Life is a grand adventure filled with countless experiences waiting for you, and it's natural to feel a bit overwhelmed. Remember, this doesn't indicate any flaw in you. It's simply a testament to the vast array of opportunities life has in store for you, which can sometimes make choosing a career a bit challenging.

Now, here's a thought. Why not explore different areas for a while, all the while continuing to gain knowledge from your formal education? For instance, you've mentioned your fondness for math. How about tutoring someone for a few months? It could ignite a passion you never knew you had. Or, if you have a hobby you're passionate about, like art or photography, consider enrolling in a class. If your school doesn't offer it, there are plenty of free summer classes available. These are just a few ways to discover what truly resonates with you. Combining your passions with your talents can guide you towards a fulfilling career.

And remember, it's completely okay if you're unsure about your future right now. As you journey through life, your dreams and ambitions may evolve. What you aspire to do in your teens might transform as you enter your 20's, 30's, and beyond. So, my advice to you is to embrace various experiences, soak up as much knowledge as you can about the things you love, and trust that this will guide you to your desired destination and career. I hope this advice proves helpful! I'm rooting for you, Alaya!
Thank you comment icon Thank you ! Alaya
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WILFRED’s Answer

Hello. Let's hope you know what your future holds on you. Before deciding to take what you want, ask the academic advisor in the institution you're going to join. Take care of your physical and mental well being to allow you to choose wise.
Thank you comment icon Thank you ! Alaya
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Tess’s Answer

Hi Alaya, at this point in your college career it's very common to not be certain about what you want to do. Here are some of the steps I would consider to learn more about pros and cons of working as an attorney.

1. Self - assessment - what values, skills and interests do you possess and are these in alignment with the jobs you want to purse?

2. Networking - talk to professionals in the industry and conduct informational interviews to understand the profession and develop a network of contacts. Ask faculty members for recommendations or visit your career center. Sometimes career services offices have mentoring programs and can provide you with contacts in the industry that can provide you with ongoing support and advice.
3. One of the best ways to figure out if a career is the right fit for you is to secure an internship opportunity. Internships can provide you with hands on experience and can help you build transferable skills while you are still in school.

Good luck!
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Elyse’s Answer

Hi,

As an adult who has gone through college and been in the tech industry for the past 3 years I can say that you may never really know what you want to do. I have never known exactly what I wanted to do. I would suggest that you try taking classes that you wouldn't think to take to broaden your horizons. That is how I ended up in Tech, I took a CS class in high school and though I'm not bad at this and I don't hate it. I stuck with it for a few more years in high school as I found the classes quite enjoyable. That being said even in college after I had started taking classes for my CS degree I took elective classes that were the complete opposite of my degree... I took a photography class, drawing class, and a furniture making class. In taking those classes I realized that I have a passion for tech and art and found an area in the Tech industry where the two overlap.

But also please never feel afraid to change your major. It is never too late. This was some of the best advice my mom ever gave me (she works in college admissions) and several of my friends found it very helpful. You are not stuck if you do change your mind. It is perfectly ok to change your mind.
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Zainab’s Answer

Hello Alaya,

Feeling uncertain about your career path is a common experience, particularly when it seems like everyone else has it all figured out. Here are a few strategies you might find helpful:
1. Consider exploring opportunities through local employment agencies. These could offer you temporary positions that allow you to gauge your interest in different fields. For instance, you could try an administrative role in a law firm and get a feel for the environment and the nature of the work.
2. Participating in career-focused clubs at your school could also be beneficial. These clubs often focus on specific professions. I recall my own college having clubs for law, accounting, and so on.
3. Engage in conversations with adults who are close to you about their careers. Ask them what their job entails, what they find most rewarding and challenging about their work, and so on.

I too was unsure about my career direction when I graduated. I chose to join a consulting firm, which provided me with exposure to a variety of fields. After gaining some "real-world" experience, I was able to identify the field and type of work that truly resonated with me.

I hope these suggestions prove useful to you. Remember, it's perfectly okay to take some time to discover what truly ignites your passion.
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Max’s Answer

Don't worry if you're still uncertain about your career path as a 1st or 2nd year student. Concentrate on discovering what truly drives you to excel as a student at this point in your academic journey. Make an effort to connect with professionals around you - they're eager to engage with you, so don't be shy. Consider these interactions as mock interviews, and soak up as much knowledge as you can. Your career planning office is also a valuable resource for obtaining official information.

In relation to law, a passion for debate is an intriguing quality that could greatly benefit you as a courtroom litigator. However, the scope of law extends far beyond just that. The journey to becoming a lawyer, as well as the daily practice, largely involves reading, contemplating, and writing. So, ask yourself - do you enjoy reading and processing information? Does writing bring you joy?
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Cicily’s Answer

Embrace an open mind, there's no rush to determine your entire career path in your sophomore year.
Explore classes that spark your curiosity.
Connect with individuals who are engaged in jobs that captivate your interest.
Don't hesitate to experiment with something new.
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Brittany’s Answer

Hello Alaya,

When I was younger, I wanted to be an interior designer, then a wedding planner, then a physical therapist, then a coroner, then an accountant! I started college as an accounting major, then thought I might go to law school, then decided to change my major to marketing. I got a marketing degree. These days, I have a very successful career in criminal justice. And I am in my 40s and still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up."

All this to say, you are not alone, and are very normal. It's quite possibly a very good thing. In my experience, it simply means I enjoy a lot of things and am a very curious person. This makes a lot of jobs interesting to me, and has served me well in my career.

Good luck on your journey and all the roads you will take in your life.
Thank you comment icon Thank you ! Alaya
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Alaya!

Deciphering Career Uncertainty

Feeling unsure about your future career, particularly as a student, is a common experience. There are several factors that might be contributing to this sense of uncertainty:

1. Limited Exposure: Often, not knowing which career to follow is due to limited exposure to various fields and industries. As a college freshman, it's possible that you haven't yet had the chance to fully investigate a range of career opportunities.

2. Shifting Interests: It's completely normal for your passions and interests to change over time. As you've shared, you've transitioned from aspiring to be an actress, to contemplating a career in therapy, and now you're considering law. These shifts are all part of your journey of self-discovery.

3. External Pressures: Pressure from family, friends, or societal expectations can also lead to feelings of indecision. It's crucial to distinguish between what others want for you and what truly aligns with your own interests and values.

4. Fear of Missteps: The fear of choosing the wrong career can also cause indecision. Remember, it's perfectly fine not to have everything sorted out right away, and career paths can be flexible.

Navigating Career Choices

Given your interest in debate and your enjoyment of algebra and math, law could be a great career choice for you. However, it's important to explore other possibilities before making a final decision:

1. Career Counseling: Think about consulting with a career counselor at your college. They can help you identify your strengths, interests, and values, and suggest potential careers that might be a good fit.

2. Internships and Job Shadowing: Utilize internships, job shadowing, or informational interviews in various fields to gain firsthand experience and insights into different professions.

3. Networking: Reach out to professionals in various industries through networking events or online platforms like LinkedIn. Their career stories can offer valuable insights into different career paths.

4. Additional Education: If you're still uncertain about law, consider taking elective courses in other fields that interest you, or explore minors or double majors that match your passions.

Conclusion

In summary, it's perfectly normal to feel uncertain about your career path at this point. It's important to explore a variety of options before making a final decision. Keep an open mind, seek advice from professionals, and continue to explore different fields to find a career that aligns with your interests and goals.

Top 3 Authoritative Sources Used:

Harvard Business Review: Offers advice on career development strategies, decision-making processes, and tips for handling uncertainties in career choice.

American Psychological Association (APA): Provides resources on understanding personal interests, personality traits, and their connection to career choices.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Shares information on various careers, including job outlooks, salary data, and educational requirements, which can assist in exploring different professions based on your preferences.

Take Care,
JC.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Alaya
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hello Alaya,

There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling the way you do. I, myself, have switched paths numerous times. Here's a friendly piece of advice: always stay receptive to new experiences. As you explore and gain knowledge, you're bound to discover something that truly sparks your interest. A great starting point would be to pursue internships in the areas that pique your curiosity.
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Kensia’s Answer

Absolutely, it's perfectly okay to feel like this. Remember, you're still youthful and there's a whole world out there waiting for you to explore. Don't be too hard on yourself for being uncertain, instead, use this time to discover new things and seek answers to your questions. It's all part of the journey.
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