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How did you decide on a career?

Like what made you decide on that one. Were you undecided or set on what you wanted? I need help deciding for one but I need kind of a more understanding of what they do to ensure I want to do it.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Janet’s Answer

Reach out to people who are working in the field you are interested in. You'll learn so much from people working in the field you and they may also give you fresh ideas around the questions you ask and your own interests. Exploring like this can really help you narrow down what you are interested in and what your options might be. Let yourself dream about what interests you and be open to exploring the topic and opportunities with an open mind.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Alexis,

Once upon a time, my dreams were filled with stars and galaxies, but life had other plans. My uncle, a mere 38 years old, was claimed by a heart attack. Following his death, his academic supervisor, and mentor, Professor Colin Masters, an esteemed biochemistry lecturer, joined our university. This unexpected turn of events led me to exchange my physics major for a deep dive into the world of biological chemistry.

Tragedy struck again when my father, too, fell victim to heart disease at the age of 50. Despite the best efforts of the medical professionals, they couldn't save him. This experience left me disillusioned with the medical field, and I decided not to pursue a career in medicine. Instead, I shifted my focus to nutrition and dietetics, earning a postgraduate diploma in the field. By 1988, I was a fully-fledged dietitian. Although I couldn't help my loved ones, I found solace in assisting thousands of patients over the next 35 years.

One of these patients requested a 14-day meal plan, a departure from the typical one-day sample menus usually provided by dietitians. Leveraging my high school computer programming skills, I took on the challenge. In 1994, I began developing a food menu-generating software, merging QBasic programming with nutrition education. My days were filled with patient consultations, and my nights with coding.

Enter DIET WIZARD
Nutrition Education At Its Best

Remember, it's essential to experience a career or profession firsthand before you can truly know if it's the right fit for you.

May God bless you,
JC.
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Tamara’s Answer

Hey Alexis,

Very important question. The fact that you're pondering this means you're on the right path already.

I coach students through this process using a framework I call the Four Cornerstone of Career Strategy (FCCS) (C). It goes something like this:

1. Current Interests (Passion and Skills):
• Definition: What you are passionate about and interested in right now, including the skills you possess and enjoy using.
• Question to Consider: What activities or subjects make you lose track of time when you're engaged with them?

2. Future Lifestyle (Aspirations and Goals):
• Definition: The type of life you envision for yourself, including work-life balance, income, location, and personal achievements.
• Question to Consider: How do you see your ideal day in ten years? What does success mean to you outside of your career?

3. Current Resources (Practicality and Accessibility):
• Definition: The tangible resources you currently have access to, such as finances, family support, scholarships, or community programs.
• Question to Consider: What resources can you leverage now to help you move towards your career goal?

4. Future Economy (Market Demand and Trends):
• Definition: The projected demand for certain skills or professions in the future economy, taking into account trends and potential disruptions.
• Question to Consider: What industries are growing, and how might technological advancements shape the demand for certain jobs?

The goal here is to find the "sweet spot," the career or profession that will help you balance these four pillars as much as possible.

The FCCS (C) Decision-Making Process:
1. List Down your interests, desired lifestyle, available resources, and thoughts about the future economy (the four questions above).

2. Rate the Importance of each of these cornerstones to you personally. Don't worry about other people's opinions about what you should care about more than the other - THEY DON'T HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE. Make these decisions for YOU.

3. Research and Reflect on careers that align with all four cornerstones and reflect on how these align with your personal values and circumstances.

4. Adapt and Plan by making a flexible plan that prioritizes your highest-rated cornerstones but remains adaptable to change in the others.

5. Seek Feedback from with mentors, teachers, and family to get different perspectives - but remember you make the final decision.

6. Revisit this plan Regularly as it is living document that will grow and change as you grow and evolve.

Dr. Minott
Thank you comment icon Thank you! This helps, actually just taking a look at your response is kinda helping me think a little more. Alexis
Thank you comment icon Hi Tamara! Thank you for your detailed answer but community guidelines do not allow initiation of contact with anyone off-platform due to safety and privacy concerns. Sharyn Grose, Admin
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Chrystal’s Answer

I had the best pediatric dentist when I was 4. She would explain everything that she was doing as she did it and I was hooked
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Jennifer’s Answer

Stumbling upon my career path was a stroke of fortune, but I couldn't be more thrilled with the result. Initially, I envisioned myself as an accountant. While attending college, I worked and cherished every experience and opportunity that came my way. One such opportunity was to aid in recruitment. Within a month, I had a revelation - this was my true calling. Consequently, I shifted my degree from Accounting to Business Administration. Embracing new opportunities, collaborating with others, inquiring, and observing are key to unlocking a fulfilling career path.
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Emma’s Answer

From my personal journey, I can tell you that it's perfectly okay not to have a clear picture of the job or career you want to pursue. I was in the same boat, with a preference for math and science but no specific path in mind. Then I took a high school accounting class and found it interesting, which led me to choose accounting as my college major. I stayed with it throughout my four years of college, and now I'm happily working in public accounting!

Remember, everyone's path is unique, and it often involves a bit of trial and error to discover what you truly enjoy and what you don't. It's completely normal to change your major in college - I saw many of my friends do it. You can also explore different careers by applying for internships or part-time jobs related to your field of interest. This can give you a taste of the job before you commit to a full-time role.

Another helpful strategy is to network with professionals in the fields you're considering. Ask them about their daily routines, what they love and what they find challenging about their jobs, and what aspects of their work they find most rewarding. Their insights could be helpful in guiding your decisions. Best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Alexis
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Bonnie’s Answer

Hello Alexis, my own path began at a humble position which I was able to transform into a platform for growth and prosperity. My academic focus was on business management, and while I didn't immediately step into a management role, I did begin my journey in the business sector. Over time, I expanded my horizons into sales, finance, and eventually management among other areas. So, my suggestion for you is to seize any opportunity you can. Starting somewhere, no matter where, is better than not starting at all. Remember, many individuals in top-tier positions started from the bottom and were nurtured and shaped into leaders. Wishing you all the best on your journey!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Bonnie for the advice. Alexis
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Stephanie’s Answer

Deciding on a career can be hard, but just know you are not alone. Think about what you enjoy doing and also something that you are good at. Do you like being around kids? Does it bring you happiness to teach the younger generation? You may want to pursue being a teacher.
You want to have a career where it doesn’t feel like a job because you love what you do.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students have similar question. The most important is to find out careers you have interest.
Below are my suggestions:
1. Think about what you have interest, eg your hobbies, favourite subjects, etc and identify the related careers
Eg if you like music, would you like to be a musician, singer, musical artist, music composer, music producer, etc
If you have interest in maths, would you like to be an accountant, engineer, banker, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc
2. Find out more on these careers and determine what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counselor, your parents, etc
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the entry criteria of relevant subjects in colleges
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
May Almighty God bless you!
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Sajjad’s Answer

For a week, why not embark on a fun exploration of various career options? Each day, you could immerse yourself in a different job experience, gaining a deeper understanding of each role. Even if you stumble upon what seems like the perfect fit, don't stop there! Make sure you sample at least seven different options before making your decision. It's a great way to ensure you've thoroughly explored your choices.
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Annah’s Answer

Alexis, this is the question many people ask themselves- sometimes over and over again throughout their lives! What I have learned is that there are zillions of jobs you will not know about. They do not fit under a straightforward title such as science teacher or personal trainer. So, if you find yourself leaning towards a certain direction (interest), lean away. You may discover a career for yourself you never knew existed! If you are in high school (pre-college), start with what classes you most enjoy. Ask yourself why- what is it about these topics? What kinds of activities do you enjoy in general? Are you a voracious reader, sports enthusiast, gardener, or cook, for instance? If nothing stands out, keep exploring. If/when you attend college, take a wide variety of classes your first year. Take some risks; it may pay off and be just the thing you have a passion for. Start a list for yourself with everything you like (and I mean everything) and excel at. Caveat- sometimes what we are good at academically is not necessarily what we most enjoy. Get experience- go out into your community and volunteer, travel, spend time with people who have succeeded in their careers. Get very curious and keep an open mind. What I wish I had known at your age- it is fine to follow your own path and forge your own way- no matter how different it may look. Life is a curvy line- you may discover what you want to do tomorrow, two years, or ten. It is also okay to have several careers; this is common. Being financially stable is definitely something to consider; sometimes what we love to do is not going to pay the bills. This means you get to be creative! There is always a way; it may look different than what you imagined initially. Take risks and learn to roll with the punches (failure is a learning opportunity; it is inevitable!). Know that perfection does not exist; you may need to compromise at times. Be courageous and bold! This is your life to live so live it well (and on your own terms).
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Miguel Angel’s Answer

A CEO that became the owner of a dog grooming business. A Commercial Airline pilot that became a musician. A mental health nurse that became a you tube cycling influencer. A pediatric nurse that became a thoracic surgeon. These are people I met, and it just shows that you can plan all you want but at the end you will find happiness in doing what you like. Your career is a balance of what you like, knowledge and soft skills. If you like something you will be open to acquiring the knowledge needed but if your soft skills are lacking it will be a very hard, if not impossible, path. You need to learn what your personal strengths are and match them to your likings. To make it more complicated; do some research on careers that did not exist 20 years ago, and it will be a hefty list. Same for careers that have disappeared. So more than choosing a career choose a field/industry that you might like. Gain as much knowledge about that field as you can. Match careers within that field/industry that utilize what your natural soft skills are, and you will be on your way. Identify people that you think have an interesting job and ask them how they got there, you will not only learn what their experience is but also will expand your network. People love to talk about themselves, use that for your benefit. At the end of the day is a matter of trial and error; by experimenting you acquire knowledge of who you are, what you like and dislike. And be brave, do not let anyone dissuade you from your career path and if you fall be ready to stand and continue your search. Most important of all, a career while essential is just a tool to really keep the important things: friends, family and life experiences.
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